Microsoft Surface 2 reviews appeared online today. I’ve collected some conclusions from those reviews from popular websites. Mostly, the hardware received positive reviews with the exception that it is not pushing the boundaries. And the lack of apps in Windows Store was the most popular negative thoughts of Surface 2. Read the full reviews by clicking the title of the blogs/websites below.
Surface 2 is a big step forward compared to Surface RT. The chassis looks awesome, the device is significantly quicker and battery life is appreciably better. The new display is much better than its predecessor (and so much better than what you get from most $449 PCs). The new touch/type covers see similarly major improvements. Surface 2 also benefits from the update to Windows RT 8.1, giving it a far more polished OS than what launched a year ago. The overall package is just a lot better than it was last year.
I really like everything about Surface 2 as a physical device. The chassis, the weight, the kickstand, the feel, everything. The software/services side of the story needs work, and until it gets there that puts a good amount of pricing pressure on Microsoft – at least if it wants broad adoption. There is an alternative solution to this entire problem however. I can’t help but feel like if Microsoft threw Intel’s Bay Trail in the Surface 2 chassis that a number of users might come to a completely different conclusion about the device. When we first posted about ASUS’ T100, common feedback was that users would be willing to pay more for an even better device. A Bay Trail Surface 2 could’ve been that device.
Thinner and lighter, sturdier kickstand
Well-crafted, premium design
Long battery life
Sharper display, great viewing angles
Full-sized USB port
Windows Store is growing, but still has holes
More expensive than tablets running full Windows
Microsoft has already proven it makes the best hardware of any Windows OEM, but the Surface would be more competitive if it ran full Windows and supported traditional desktop apps.
Should you buy it? Probably not. The better screen, better camera, and better processor help make the Surface 2 a much more compelling tablet than the Surface RT, but it’s not quite as compelling as the competition, and what unique value it does bring to the table is not for everyone. Not for many.
The Surface 2 is still remarkable for its accessories, specifically the Type and Touch Cover 2, which are much much better than the covers the Surface RT had to contend with. If you really do find that you need a tablet that simply must have a physical keyboard, but also that physical keyboard must be attached and svelte and not just some bluetooth one, then yes, the Surface 2 is your tablet. But you belong to a very small niche.
All told, Microsoft has a far stronger lineup of tablets in play, and a vastly improved operating system to support them. If it can’t turn that into a sales improvement over its first generation’s rocky year, it can’t become an OEM, period. But with smart advertising (lots), and proper expectations, the company may do well.
I can sum up all the above by saying that if I was heading to a cafe in 5 minutes, I would probably take the Surface 2 with the new Touch Cover, and leave my Macbook Air at home.
Ultimately, the real market for this device is people who need Microsoft Office and are comfortable with other Microsoft services like Exchange Online (Office 365), SkyDrive, Outlook.com, and Xbox Music and Video. Are there enough of those buyers willing to pay $449 ($549 for the 64 GB version) for a light, thin device that’s almost a PC? Or will they prefer a tablet or touchscreen notebook with a full Intel processor? The latter option trades the simplicity and lightness of the Surface 2 for compatibility with desktop apps.