Microsoft Surface 2 – Review
Microsoft Surface 2 is the new tablet 10″ with Windows RT, with well-designed, high-level performance and full support for personal productivity. It’s only been a year since the launch of the Surface RT tablet , a time that Microsoft has wisely used to correct the roll on a product that did not convince. Today, almost everyone, the defects have been eliminated, and the heir Surface 2 is much faster, with a screen improved even if not yet comparable to the best Full HD panels and multimedia sector of excellence.
Some gaps remain the most obvious of which concerns the park of the Windows Store app does not yet match its competitors iOS and Android, especially for quantity. In any case, very pleased, especially for those who use the tablet for study and / or work, find pre-installed Office 2013 RT. There is also another limitation, or not being able to install traditional programs for Windows (can do his older brother, Surface Pro, which is pre-installed the latest version of Windows 8.1).
Microsoft Surface 2: Design
At first sight, the differences between this Surface 2 and Surfaces RT are difficult to notice. We observe immediately the rear panel with the new silver staining and a magnesium frame slimmer and lighter (thickness of 9 mm, weight 675 g).
We enjoyed early on the back support, which allows you to take advantage of two angels, 24° and 45° : the first is perfect for the desk, the second to hold it in her lap, and in any case in a lower position than the first. We only appreciated more rounded edges for increased comfort during both picked it up and when it is resting on your thighs.
The layout of the controls remained virtually unchanged, with the volume rocker, the headphone jack and the speaker grille arranged along the short edge of the left, while the expansion connectors – microHDMI output, USB 3.0 port – and the speakers are located on the right side.
Remains, unfortunately, the microSD slot on the back, almost hidden from the rear support, although now the location is more accessible. Overall, the construction of the Surface 2 is well cared for quality of materials and finishes, with details of the competitors at the most representative – Apple iPad Air in the first place – the tablet market with a diagonal of about 10″.
Microsoft Surface 2: Performance
The heart of the Microsoft tablet passes from a now passed to a more powerful Tegra 3 SoC and current Tegra 4 (T40) with clock set to 1.7GHz and backed by 2GB of RAM. The performance gain is substantial, noticeable, especially in gaming with titles and more expensive in terms of computing power, turning so incredibly smooth Full HD resolution on the screen. Even the loading times of apps and smoothness of operation they have earned, even while you take advantage of multitasking with split screen between two applications used simultaneously.
The storage capacity of the Surface 2 is excellent, with 32 GB available for the model of market entry, flanked by the more capable 64 GB. The fund more powerful hardware does not penalize the autonomy, which remains in the media, allowing you to reach the end of the day with heavy usage of the tablet.
Screen and Sound : The new display Clear Type 10.6 ” with a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels and a five-point capacitive touch is a big step forward compared to the predecessor, for color fidelity, sharpness and brightness media. The gap is still evident if we compare the best interpreters of the tablet world, such as Apple iPad Air and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the more convincing for the key points listed above but also for the depth of black and contrast. The stereo speakers perform adequately their work, more power to you for loyalty, with a resounding generally flat and shallow.
WIndows RT 8.1 : While passing the new and shiny version 8.1, Windows RT is the younger brother of the operating system ” traditional ” , not having the support for desktop applications. Microsoft has worked to improve the user interface and usability of the tablet, without adopting invasive interventions that road would turn to the new paradigm based on the ” live tile “, animated tiles. Now the user experience is pleasant with smooth transitions, but especially with a direct and immediate access to both the app and device settings.
Multimedia : Both the front-facing camera and the rear of the Microsoft Surface 2 has been improved: the front comes in 3.5-megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel camera. The gain is not only the video quality (both shooting in Full HD) and photography, but also in the management of the shoot, with more parameters accessible and available scenes. There’s also a powerful tool for photo editing directly on the tablet, among the best ever seen on a tablet pre-installed.
Turning to the management of multimedia content (video and music), great improvements have also been made to the app Xbox Movies and Xbox Music, with a more profound personal library and a user interface more agile, which facilitates fast access to content sought. Should not be overlooked the wide availability of music tracks, more than 30 million songs, with an archive streaming between the richest.
Touch and Type Cover : Accessories are sold separately, but the cover 2 Touch and Type 2 have been improved both: they are thinner, more comfortable with backlit keyboard for the second. We have appreciated, in particular, the Type 2 Cover for accuracy in fast typing, after a natural and necessary adaptation time. It improved the touchpad, too flush with the palm rest and base with a low sensitivity.
Microsoft does not give up and, after unconvincing Microsoft Surface RT the past year, continuing its battle for the tablet world, increasingly competitive and crowded with attractive proposals. The Microsoft Surface 2 has a few tricks up their sleeves to do well: high build quality, performance convincing, especially in gaming, high capacity even in the base model (32 GB), ready for your personal productivity thanks to the beautiful cover with keyboard, a pre-installed Office 2013 RT and the rich Xbox Music and Video services.
There remain some limitations of the Windows platform 8.1 RT, such as the lack of support of desktop applications, the park app still limited compared to iOS and Android worlds and the absence of a version with 4G/LTE connectivity. The conclusion is simple: Microsoft Surface 2 is a product design and top-notch hardware, unfortunately assisted by software and apps at the same level, but the case is still able to offer a user experience unique.
Where to Buy Microsoft Surface 2
- NVIDIA Tegra 4, 2Gb System Memory 32GB Hard Drive
- SD Card Slot, 1 x USB 3.0, HDMI Output, Windows RT 8.1, Touchscreen, Internal...
- 10.6" High-definition widescreen 5-point multitouch with ClearType technology...
- Front Facing 2.5MP camera, Rear Facing 5.0MP Camera
Value of Money
PROS : Materials and finishes of quality, High-performance gaming, Excellent app for multimedia, Including Office 2013 RT.CONS : Park app still lacking, Screen quality only average, It lacks the option 4G/LTE
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