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Microsoft Surface 2 review

7.4/10 AVG.
RATING



7.4/10
Informr score
The Microsoft Surface 2 currently has an Informr score of 7.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 27 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

With the less than stellar launch of the original Surface RT, Microsoft appears to be working to fix many of the common complaints with the Surface 2. Reviews of the new Windows 8.1 RT-powered tablet are generally positive. Kevin Lee of TechRadar says "It's still too early to say if the Microsoft Surface 2 is a safe Windows 8.1 RT tablet to stick with, especially after getting burned by the first semi-capable Surface RT. There's definitely a decent pairing of hardware compared to all the 10-inch tablets.”

The device is powered by a 1.7-GHz quad-core Tegra 4 processor and features a 1080p screen for improved clarity and detail over the original surface. It comes from the factory with a full copy of Microsoft Office RT and 200GB of Skydrive cloud storage space for two years. For students or those looking for a tablet geared toward productivity, those offerings could be tempting.

Other improvements include redesigned Touch and Type covers, a dual-angle kickstand and a front-facing camera featuring a ⅓ -inch sensor for improved low-light performance. Kevin Lee calls the new covers “the most impressive pieces of tech to come out of the new Surface line.” The Touch cover features Swype-like capabilities while the tactile feel of the Type cover appears to have been improved as well.

All of these improvements are packed into a device that is roughly the same size and weight of any major competitors. Daniel Perez of UberGizmo notes that the Surface 2 “felt much lighter than the Surface Pro 2 as it resembled a weight that many of us who are familiar with tablets, such as the iPad or Galaxy Tab, many would be comfortable with.” This is due to the two-piece magnesium shell of the tablet.

All things considered, reviews indicate that this is a capable device that will hopefully help Microsoft recover from the mistakes of the original Surface RT. Multi-tasking capabilities, full Office productivity, outstanding visuals and a light-weight design help to add to the list of reasons to the consider it. Michelle of TechRadar was “impressed with what Microsoft put forth.”

The Good: 1080p display, light-weight design, sturdy construction, excellent multi-tasking capabilities and included Microsoft Office RT.

The Bad: Dependence on the Microsoft Store, lack of docking support and extra price for covers.


Operating system
Windows
Processor
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
10.6"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Know Your Mobile

The Surface 2 is a nice attempt by Microsoft to create one hybrid device that has the potential to appeal to both laptop and tablet users.

- Michael Grothaus, Know Your Mobile
Recombu

When it comes to any Microsoft Surfaces device, progress is slow. The Surface 2 is a clear improvement over the first-generation, but it suffers from the same shortcomings, almost all of which are software-based. The user experience is responsive and in places, very slick, but it can get convoluted...

- Alex Todd, Recombu
Digital Versus

With a stylish, well-built body, Full HD resolution and good battery life, the Surface 2 is a choice buy for anyone looking for a tablet that does (pretty much) everything. It does still lag behind some of the competing high-end iOS and Android tablets, however, due in large part to the heinous shor...

- Romain Thuret, Digital Versus
What Hi-Fi

Full Windows 8.1 needs to be let loose on the Surface 2 to make it a real alternative to the attractiveness of iOS and Android tablets.Until then, this is something of a poor man’s iPad.There’s no doubt the Surface 2 is more geared to work-related use and if this is what you want from a...

- Kob Monney, What Hi-Fi
TrustedReviews

If you use Office day in, day out and want a lighter, more portable alternative to a laptop then the Surface 2 is worth a punt. But the sad truth is that, despite the Surface 2’s many qualities, Office RT 2013 is its only true selling point. It’s the only reason to buy one. And, believe...

- Andy Vandervell, TrustedReviews


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Quick view

Screen Size
10.6"

The Microsoft Surface 2's screen size is 10.6 inches with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.7 GHz

There is a NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad core 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows RT 8.1 operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 3+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.

Surface 2 Specs

Overview
Release date October 22, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Networks
No
SIM card size
No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows RT 8.1

Compare Windows Tablets

Processor NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad core 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity Unknown
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Magnesium
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.3 x 27.5 x 0.9 cm (6.8 x 10.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 676 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Pixel density 208 pixels
Size 10.6 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
3+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface 2 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface 2
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