With the release of the Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft released the Surface RT and the Surface Pro to go with it.
After a year of development and working out the kinks, they now bring us the brand new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, both with marked improvements to their predecessors, albeit the changes are more internal than external in the case of the Pro 2. Here, we take a look at the updated Pro 2 in terms of what has changed and what has not, helping you decide if it is the right tablet for you.
First and foremost, the new Pro 2 has been updated to include a full Windows 8.1 operating system. This feature allows users to do all of the typical tablet tasks – reading E-mails, surfing the web, and checking social media – as well as some true hard-nosed computer work, as well. Photoshop, coding, and other work traditionally limited to the PC are not a stretch for the Pro 2, and its upgraded Haswell Intel Core i5 processor handles it all with ease, making for better battery life, as well. Basically, in the Pro 2 you have the physical embodiment of what Microsoft thinks a Windows tablet should be, taking advantage of all this operating system has to offer.
The new keyboards, although disappointingly still sold separately, also get an upgrade, this time in the form of backlit keys for easy computing even in dim light situations. Both types have a magnetic clip that is very stable, making this easily one of the best features of the Surface Pro 2. Other updates worth noting are the improved speakers and dual position kickstand.
Even a fantastic tablet can’t be perfect in every way. This powerful device is fantastic under the hood, but the outside shell remains unchanged and is stubbornly, decidedly clunky. It feels almost too clunky to take the place of an iPad, with its smooth lines and thin proportions. On the other hand, the size of the screen can make classic computing hard on the eyes, particularly when it comes to word processing at full screen resolution. Most users will find themselves needing to zoom in and out for optimal viewing.
The dual purpose of this device makes it particularly well suited to a small corner of the market – those wanting the life on the go apps of traditional tablets as well as the processing power of a PC for heftier functions. If this describes you, then you have met your match in the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 – that is, as long as you have the purchasing power to snatch one up. The least expensive configuration is still an investment at $899, while the priciest version comes with a jaw-dropping $1799 price tag.
If sales are a sign of what is to come, the Surface Pro 2 has a bright future ahead. In fact, many online retailers are sold out of several of the Pro 2 models. In the future, I really hope that Microsoft makes some outer changes to match the inner improvements, including a thinner design and an included keyboard. Until then, the Pro 2 will keep a lot of folks happy, but it won’t stop them from yearning for what is to come.