I had the great opportunity to test out the new Microsoft Surface 2 for about 4 days this week. I must say it has never caught my attention because I find it to be on the bigger size range, which is something I don’t really care for. Mobility is very important to me since I carry so many things around. I decided to try it out though because of the OS more than anything. Just to get out of the endless Android vs. iOS routine. Boy, did I underestimate this thing.
I started with the left foot right away because of the price tag. This thing is going to set you back at least $449.00 plus tax for the 32GB (you can double the storage for $100 more). “Why would I get this, I could get almost any other tablet for that price”, you might think. And you are most certainly right. But don’t be like and judge it too quickly. For what it packs inside, it is actually a really good deal.
The first thing I noticed, and it will be the first thing you notice too, is that the Surface 2 packs Windows 8. Seriously, this tablet has the same OS as your home computer. That is plain amazing. I felt I was using a full-on PC. It’s just crazy. You get your start menu bar, desktop, icons, folders, multiple windows, and more. Just like the real deal. But actually it is Windows RT, a variation of Windows 8 designed specifically for mobile devices.
What does having Windows RT means? Well, you get the full Windows experience. And when I say Windows I literally mean just Windows. You can’t add extra third party software to Windows RT. It does feature almost every Windows 8.1 features such as Internet Explorer 11, Sky Drive, Outlook and more. While it is a bummer we are not able to add third party software, something extremely important is worth mentioning. You get Microsoft Office. I cannot stress enough how great this is.
Full featured Word, Excel and PowerPoint right on your tablet. Do I need to say more? This could also justify part the higher price tag for sure.
You might think using Microsoft Office on a tablet may be uncomfortable, and it probably is. This is why Microsoft offers the Type Cover, a slim keyboard that magnetically clicks into place just as an Apple Smart Cover, with the added benefit of having a full backlit keyboard and a gesture-enabled touchpad to control the pointer. When the Type Cover is on, it feels just like a laptop. You can detach it in just a second, going back to a tablet. The Surface 2 has a back fold out kickstand that lets you keep the screen in place while using it with the Type Cover.
The Surface 2 has a 1.7Ghz chip with 2GB ram and features a 1920 by 1080 10.6-inch screen. 200 GB of Sky Drive storage is included (for two years), you can always increase the capacity using the available micro SD slot or storing in an external drive using the USB 3.0 port.
So, this little device is practically a computer and it’s quite impressive. After using it a couple of days it definitely convinced me it was worth the price. Having it almost convert into a laptop is a huge plus. Yes, you can’t install third-party apps but you can always install apps from the Windows Store. It may not be as big as the Play or App Store, but it is certainly growing rapidly with over 100,000 currently available.
At the end, as we always say, it’s all about personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with. One thing is sure though, I didn’t want to give it back.