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Microsoft Surface 2 review

7.4/10 AVG.

Microsoft Surface 2
Microsoft Surface 2
Microsoft Surface 2
Microsoft Surface 2

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
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
5+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


A year and an OS update later, we still have the same feeling. The Microsoft Surface 2 is a fine piece of hardware, held back by an OS which is stuck in no man's land between Windows Phone and full-blown Windows 8.1 territory. Intel Bay Trail powered tablets manage the same battery life so it's unde...

- GSMArena team, GSMArena
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

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

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Quick view

Screen Size

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

1.7 GHz

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


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

5+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ MP camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 3+ megapixels resolution.
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.


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

Surface 2 Specs

Release Date October 22, 2013
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System Windows RT 8.1

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Processor NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad core 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Unknown
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
5+ Megapixels
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 / Aperture
3+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
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
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
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 (Cellular) Unknown
Standby Time Up to 15 days
Mixed Usage
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
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Stereo
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Graphics: Yes
Themes: Yes
Backlit Illumination: Yes
Zoom / Magnification: Yes
Screen Orientation Lock: Yes
Predictive Text Entry: No
Keypad/Screen Lock: Yes
Web Browser: Yes
Email Client: Yes
Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
PC Synchronization: Yes
TV Out Info: HDMI
Audio Formats: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WAV
Video Playback Formats: 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video: Yes
Custom Ringtones: Yes
Vibration Alert: Yes
Viewable document types: XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Games: Downloadable
Apps: Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps: -
Calendar, World Clock, Alarm, Stop Watch, Timer, Calculator, Weather, Stocks, Maps, NotePad, Voice Memos / Recorder

Other Names (AKA):
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface 2 Reviews
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