Microsoft Surface Pro 2 hands on: Can it help Microsoft win over tablet fans?

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 hands on: Can it help Microsoft win over tablet fans?

Summary: Surface Pro 2, with Windows 8.1, better battery life and an adjustable kickstand, is Microsoft's second swing at coming up with a tablet to unseat iOS and Android devices in the enterprise.


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  • Microsoft has unveiled updated versions of its Surface tablet PCs, which are central to its plans to claw back some of the market share the company has lost to iOS and Android tablets in the enterprise.

    The Surface Pro 2 is aimed at business users, while the Surface 2 (an update to the device previously known as the Surface RT) is aimed more at the consumer market. Both go on sale on Tuesday 22 October.

    Above is the Surface Pro 2 with the clip-on 'Touch Cover' in black.

    All images: Steve Ranger/ZDNet


  • Although it was praised for its elegant design, the original Surface Pro was criticised by reviewers for its weight, disappointing battery life and lack of an adjustable kickstand. And while the design and weight of the Surface Pro 2 remains the same, Microsoft has addressed some of the other gripes in this second iteration: the tablet's kickstand (seen above just poking out on the right hand side) can now be set at two angles, for example, with the idea of making it easier to use on your lap or on a desk.

    Here you can see the Windows 8.1 start menu on screen.


Topics: Mobility, Emerging Tech, Laptops, Reviews, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • I love the product...

    ... but this gallery...

  • I hate the "product"...

    forever Crookie is a shill on a payroll.
    • Brilliant comment

      Do you have anything intelligent to say, or do you just like seeing yourself online?
  • That's one sexy tablet.

    Can't wait for the Surface 2 Pro to be available in South Africa.
  • Not interested

    I never understood the kickstand? I use my laptop a lot on my lap. Not on a flat Surface. The whole ideal of a tablet is a touch screen so why is it Microsoft is always showing the Surface with its optional keyboard? I don't have a issue with Microsoft at all, I like using Windows and have for years. But the latest OS (Windows 8) and the Surface have not impressed me as a healthy future for Microsoft.
    • Look how most people acutally use tablets

      The most popular accessory for tablets are kickstand cases.

      Go to any coffee shop and watch how many people are using their tablets on flat surfaces.

      Either way, Surface Pro is aimed at replaced two devices. If your needs dictate the form factor of a laptop, then Surface isn't for you. Maybe something like the HP Split X2 or Lenovo yoga might offer you something more suited to your needs with additional functionality... or maybe just a straight up laptop.

      It is nice to have choices.
      • Is that really how most use their tablets?

        I think not! The majority of tablet users are not crammed in some coffeeshop pecking away at their tiny attached keyboards. That's not the way the majority uses tablets. This is where Microsoft and its fans are getting it wrong, and failing. They (Microsoft) are targeting a small minority of users (like James K.) who would like keyboards attached to tablets. And even then, like James Kendrick himself admitted, that only makes up like 10% of their tablet use. The rest of the time are spent using the tablet, well, like a tablet or slate (not a laptop, or desktop).
        • I'm talking about kickstands.

          I'm talking about kickstands and how kickstand cases are the most popular accessory for tablets. Go look and see for yourself.

          There comes a point when most people don't want to fight gravity by holding tablets in the air all day.

          Beyond that, tablets are going to grow from companion devices to fully function computing devices. Convergence is coming to tablets the same way it did to smart phones.

          Again, not talking about "everyone", but enough to make it an important factor. The hold back right now it the limitations of mobile operating systems.
    • Because

      "The whole ideal of a tablet is a touch screen so why is it Microsoft is always showing the Surface with its optional keyboard?"

      They are trying hard to redefine what a tablet is to consumers. They want consumers to know that a tablet is much more than an extension of the smart phone, a tablet to Microsoft (and fans) is really an extension of the Win desktop PC (TabletPC resurfaces again). They are trying to leverage their 90% Windows market share to force their way onto this space. They are even calling this Pro Surface a tablet in their marketing, but it is really more notebook than tablet. Heavy, bulky, internal fans, x86 architecture, expensive, Windows,'s a notebook!
  • According to Betteridge's law of headlines

  • Mk1 Surface Tanked

    So will Mk2
    Alan Smithie
  • Not really

    I don't see enough here to make me want to spend that much money, when I already have a perfectly good Galaxy Tab.
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2 hands on: Can it help Microsoft win over tablet fan

    Sure can. Trade in your current tablet that you aren't using anyway for a more functional next generation device like the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. It runs your Microsoft Windows based applications.
    • See

      this is part of the problem:

      "It runs your Microsoft Windows based applications."

      That's not what I want a tablet for - I want it for browsing the web, reading for some light Netflix. This doesn't give me anything that I can't get with my current Galaxy Tab.

      Obviously, I'm not the only one ..... at least based upon Windows 8 tablet sales as a whole.
      • It's a Pro device

        and you don't sound like a pro user. But that's ok.
        No, you're not the only one. The world is full of people who only need to browse the web, watch a video and read emails. The device can be used for that but it can also be used for a whole lot more. The pro user who needs to do more is the target audience.
        • Re” "It's a Pro device"

          Maybe for a Pro PA, but not for anyone doing serious content creation.
    • I'd rather have an ultra book

      Cheaper & better. If I want a real pad iOS and Android fill that bill much better.
      • Ultrabook + tablet =

        comparable cost to Surface Pro, and the right to carry around two devices instead of one.
  • Still no GPS!!!

    Would buy it if it had GPS. Don't want to use external USB GPS, just another item to lose or break.
    • Get MS Streets and Tips

      I don't know if it's available for Win 8 or not (Probably have to check the "Windows Store"). Then again, they probably integrated it into their useless search engine known as "Bing", which, may sound like a cherry, but it behaves like a lemon. Just open up Google Maps in Internet Explorer.
      Richard Estes