347 of 352 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you were looking for more from a tablet, you found it
The reason I bought a surface pro 2
I have been looking for a way to eliminate the need for my iPad and my bulky work laptop and still be able to perform any and all work related or personal tasks at the drop of a hat. I tried to add apps to the iPad like quick office and others to help in editing and doing simple xls functions, but I found it was not enough...
Published 13 months ago by Maverick Vailladin
113 of 132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How You Like It Depends On What You Do With It
Liking the Surface Pro 2 (or the Surface Pro) tends to be dependent on several things, most importantly do you need a full Windows operating system for how you work or play on your computer? As a tablet, the Pro is bulky and not easy to handle, and unlike the Kindle HDX, iPad, Galaxy Note, and Asus or Nexus tablets, you really have to use it in landscape for it to feel...
Published 13 months ago by Rebecca Bowen
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347 of 352 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you were looking for more from a tablet, you found it,
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with 128GB, Windows 8.1 Pro - Dark Titanium (Personal Computers)
The reason I bought a surface pro 2
I have been looking for a way to eliminate the need for my iPad and my bulky work laptop and still be able to perform any and all work related or personal tasks at the drop of a hat. I tried to add apps to the iPad like quick office and others to help in editing and doing simple xls functions, but I found it was not enough. I looked at ultra books and 2 in 1's and convertibles. None of those options gave me the true flexibility and performance that I was looking for.
What I wanted was, the ability to do complex excel tasks (pivot tables and more), manage my email in a familiar and productive way, keep up on my news and social networks without having to go to each web site individually, edit photos, presentations and even create marketing materials, and most of all I wanted to use this as a tablet and still retain all the functionality of a "PC"
Speed and Power: The Surface Pro 2 is FAST, I have tested it running most programs and games that I reserve for my gaming/PS PC and it handled them with ease. NOTE: if you are a gamer, you will be able to run most newer games on this, BUT at med to low graphics at best, it's a good way to quench your jitters while on the road or away from your gaming rig but in no way a replacement for a gaming PC. Photoshop and other intensive programs it is more than capable off (add in the stylus and PS becomes so much better!)
Full Office: Selling point for me, I can install most any program that runs on my regular PC and it adds in stylus/touch controls. See my notes about Office 2013/365 in the "not so good" section below as I am running office 2007.
Type Pad 2: This is a great accessory, I could add it into the bad section because you have to pay for it, but it is well worth the extra cash, backlit and very easy typing compared to full-size.
Stylus: I bought about 10 different stylus for the iPad for drawing and editing photos, the active stylus on the surface blows them all away. If you like to take notes with pen and paper, you will not notice a difference when using this stylus/tablet combo.
Size: Compact, easy to open and start working, and a good form. At 2 pounds, some people might pass on this, but keep in mind you have a full windows 8 operating system on board and an i5 processor. The weight compared to what's under the hood is completely acceptable for me.
Battery Life: rated at 7 hours doing regular activities is much less than the "competition" but again, for what you get in comparison to an ultra book or 2 in 1 this thing rocks! I can get thru a full work day without having to charge and it does charge to full in a couple of hours.
Windows 8.1: I put this in the middle of the road; this OS is defiantly coming along, but will take some getting used to be patient with it, it is a lot easier to navigate and manage with a touch screen.
The not so great
The windows app store: Is not there yet, some of the apps are great, but you will find they are higher priced than you are used to paying in the google play or App store. As more people get into windows 8 we will see more, quality apps coming thru the store. You will sacrifice some of the cool/fun apps you get on your iPad, but you will quickly find ways to replace them.
Glare: You will get a good amount of glair in some situations, you can turn the brightness up to counter this, but then you are sacrificing some battery life.
Wifi: The built in Wifi card is terrible, sitting next to my AP I could get 3MBPS Down and 10 UP (I have 50/25 service) I connected a USB wifi dongle that I have and got 50down/25up immediately. I am not sure if this can be fixed with firmware updates or not, but it is defiantly a major issue for me. Doing the basics it isn't overly noticeable, but when I want to download a large file I connect the external USB adapter to shave days off of a download.
Office 2013/365: If you use google sync or other mail services with outlook, do not download the free trial of office on this, it is highly unstable and in compatible, save yourself the time and install office 2007 or 2010.
Initial set up: It took me about 6 hours to get this set up the way I wanted it, between installing all my programs and playing with the live tiles and setting up syncing with all of my other cloud services. It took longer than I wanted it to, I hesitate to say this is a negative, its more of a warning to be prepared, you are not going to turn this on and DL some apps and get to work, it's a full blown PC and you will need to take some time to get it how you like it.
Some of the things I have listed as positive things can be taken as negatives depending on what you are looking for out of the surface pro 2. This product is not for everyone if you are just looking to be entertained, go get an iPad or Android tablet. If you are looking to be multifunctional and completely capable of anything at the drop of a hat, then this is the device for you. I recommend this for road warriors and workaholics alike, it can replace all other devices. Casual/social media hounds will find this heavy and clunky and are better off with an iPad.
I am only giving 4 stars because the Wifi issue really bothers me, it's like buying a high end sports car and putting 87 octane gas in it.
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface Pro 2 - The Most Evolved Tablet Ever... Really.,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with 128GB, Windows 8.1 Pro - Dark Titanium (Personal Computers)
I purchased the original Surface RT tablet. Mostly out of curiosity. It was "interesting" I bought the "Touch" keyboard with it. The touch keyboard really does a disservice to Microsoft and to the device. It DOES work, but not well enough. It was definitely a first cut at it.
Several months later my wife wanted a new PC. She was dumping her Mac because it didn't support the apps she used at school (she's a teacher). So when I looked around, I considered the Surface 2 Pro.
The Surface Pro 2 is a very handsome piece of hardware --but moreover, it's different. Microsoft really has created a new category here. This is a tablet, but definitely not an iPad --it's a lot more. It's not a laptop in the traditional sense --but it does what your laptop used to do in a slick form factor. The materials are quality through out. The color keyboard (I chose the Magenta Type 2) looks and feels impressive. When the wallpaper is matched to the keyboard color it really looks unique. To borrow a word that Apple "owns" the coordinated keyboard and wallpaper colors --they really are "beautiful."
The screen is excellent quality. It definitely made me want to look at it. The touch screen works well. It did make me want to touch and play with it a bit.
The keyboard is great. It's a smaller than the MacBook Air I use, but it is great to type on. Actually I'm finding typing on the MacBook a little slower now, as it feels like the keys are a bit far apart now. That's just habit from using her Surface --but indicative of the device I now pickup when I go to check the news or do a quick search.
You can't adequately see or feel the first impression this tablet makes online. It's very good. Overall, my wife was very happy when she first saw it --and she's doesn't like change, didn't know exactly what it was ("well is it a tablet or a laptop?" she asked). She was all smiles. Home run first impression.
Experience with The Device
The kickstand is a truly defining feature of this product. The Surface Pro 2 introduced a two position kickstand so you could adjust the position of the screen depending on the way your sitting. It's very helpful if laying on the couch and working.
The battery has been fine. No complaints. We generally do keep it charged, and let it run down periodically, though we're not as good about either as may be ideal. It just works, and that's good enough for us. There was one time we let it run down to "beyond zero" --and the device wouldn't start. When we plugged it in, it still didn't start and we panicked a bit that it had for some reason become a "brick" --on another machine I went to the Surface online help --which is overall much better than any online help experience I have had with Windows. It's another big change for Microsoft products. It made another positive impression. While going through the online help we were able to restart it, there may be some reserve space in the battery that charges for a good reason before it starts up --perhaps to ensure there's enough battery left to ensure an orderly shutdown when the battery is about done and your not near a charger, or forgot about it like we did.
The feel of the interface is generally good. Swiping is nice. I installed Chrome since that's what we were using on other devices, but it really didn't work as well on Windows 81. as it does on Mac or Windows 7. My feeling is Google is not wholeheartedly supporting Windows 8.1 --no point in helping Microsoft get a tablet adopted among Google's browser users. Internet Explorer is fine however, it's a fast browser and pretty snappy experience to use. It does take some getting used to, instead of ever-present tabs, it's full screen web browsing and you access open "tabs" with a flick up from the bottom of the screen. Full screen browsing by default is interesting. Again if you're only using this device, you'll likely expect that, my feeling is it's a good experience on a touch based device like this.
Office came preinstalled, as a trial. Office is now downloaded only I believe --good as their is no optical drive on the device, and you really don't need it anymore. Broadband has effectively killed external media at large. Office is good. A bit different in the all touch interface. I used an early version of the Cloud based Microsoft Project and it was pretty bad --they released it way too early. The core Office product at this point is pretty good. I'm guessing they are going to keep refining it as they get more and more Surface users. Supposedly they sold almost a billion dollars of Surfaces in 2013 so that trend may accelerate.
The number one reason I bought my wife a Surface was she had an app that she needed for school that she couldn't run on her MacBook Air (which I got her the prior year for Christmas). She installed it on Windows 8.1 rather quickly. While the vendor did not have a Windows 8.1 or touch specific version yet --they showed clearly on their website they were supporting Windows 8.1 --which is another way of saying that your "old" Windows 7 apps work on the Surface and with 8.1.
The Surface runs updates frequently and keeps itself current. I believe we set it to do that automatically, which in general is a good idea. This Surface came with 8.1 installed which was a substantial improvement over Windows 8. The rumors that Windows 8 shipped incomplete are probably true. This device like took a hit in the court of public opinion --which was also probably muted due to low sales of the device on the first release. I almost never use my Surface RT version 1 anymore after using the Surface Pro 2 --it's a huge leap forward --and granted it's a lot more money.
Our first reaction was to ignore the Stylus. I've had phones that have them and found them all to be a waste. My current Galaxy Note 2 has one and software to go with it and I don't. No utility at all.
The Surface Pro 2 Stylus and character recognition software however simply works. I was surprised to see how well. My handwriting is pretty bad after so many years of touch typing and a very digital career, but the stylus is a 10. If or when I get a Surface tablet (Surface 3?) for work --and It looks like I would-- I can see myself using it to take notes in meetings. Right now for me personally, I don't use it much because I don't need to --I type relatively well.
The Stylus attaches magnetically to the power port on the device. This isn't brilliant per se. When you leave the device there is no way to keep the Stylus with it when it's charging --since the power cord is attached.
The Power Cord
The power cord even looks cool and is made of a very flexible rubbery material. More like a mac, but I think better. The cord is a soft matte black. It looks good and matches the device aesthetically very nicely. The magnetic connector is great --a nod to Apple's Mag Safe connector. It has a little light integrated into the tip that shows it's charging. To attach the cord you only have to touch it to it. It snaps in magnetically pretty reliably. My Surface RT didn't do that so nicely at all --but they got it right on this version.
App Store, Music
There aren't as many apps on the Microsoft App store, but they have all the big ones that "everyone" uses: Facebook, Twitter, etc. There are some really good games. I'm not much of a gamer per se, but our kids love them. There is a race car game that really shows the speed, screen quality and power of the device. The call it Xbox Games as there is apparently some connection between the Surface and the Xbox is you have one. I'd have to guess they are going to continue to drive hard at making those connections more valuable over time --though we don't have an Xbox today.
Xbox Music is neat --free streaming music and you can pick songs. The interface is really attractive. They are clearly motivated by iTunes dominance to make it work well, and it does. You can import your music from the device into the Xbox Music cloud.
Having a USB port is very big deal for a laptop type device. My wife plugged in her inkjet printer and it just worked. That was very important for her as a teacher. She also has a wireless USB mouse she liked more than the Magic Mouse with her Mac, and plugged that in, also worked effortlessly. A "tablet" with a mouse is nicer than you might think. I like using the mouse with it, though I notice certain things I "naturally" reach up and use the touch screen. The work together well on the device --which was unexpected as well, and probably a consideration.
My wife is one to get bored with devices (laptops, tablets) but she seems to always be on her Surface Pro 2. Microsoft produced a device you can buy and appreciate here after stumbling badly with the original RT device I bought.
I would highly recommend it to anyone considering a new laptop, or a new tablet. If you use Office heavily, it's a no brainer --but interestingly enough, if you aren't a heavy office user it's still pretty great. If you like to use a tablet more recreationally, as we do, it's at least as engaging and useful as the iPad --the proof is we have 2 iPads, and virtually never use them anymore. I think that could be a big statement in itself it does render the iPad a little "obsolete" in our household we gave them to our young kids.
5 stars for the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and Type 2 Keyboard.
143 of 159 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tablet with substandard accessory issues and support.,
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with 128GB, Windows 8.1 Pro - Dark Titanium (Personal Computers)
I have owned the Surface Pro 2 for about a week now, and so far I am generally happy with the tablet itself. Unfortunately, this is hurt by general accessory and support issues.
The tablet portion itself works great in pretty much every regard, has decent battery life, and is well designed (Outside of the pen dock being the power connection as well).
The accessories are less spectacular though. The keys get stuck on the type keyboard, and the mouse is uncomfortable to use for long periods (Just plan to get a bluetooth mouse). The docking station is hard to find. Customer service from the Microsoft store is less than stellar at times as well.
* It runs very smoothly even when doing more complicated things like excel spreadsheets with heavy duty calculations.
* The screen looks great and doesn't have any crazy discoloration issues like the Yoga 2 and Samsung ultrabooks. The 1080p screen is just fine for the size as well.
* Windows 8.1 is significantly better than 8.0. Changing device settings is noticeably easier, the included mail/calendar type apps are much better now, and the general flow of its usage feels good to me. Although, I'm sure this is a matter of taste.
* The pen works really well for the most part. My wife owns a galaxy note 8" as well, and the Surface's pen feels better in your hands and has a built in eraser. There are some issues, but I'll talk about them in the cons. Touch input is smooth as well.
* It's really well made. I've used a ton of laptops and none of them have felt this sturdy. Sure, some of the talk about how everything sounds like a luxury car is fairly ridiculous, but not a single thing feels flimsy or easily breakable like the 8" note or something.
* I know that others have commented on the weight, but this is really a matter of interpretation. I still use my ipad if I need to travel really light and need a longer battery life, but if I need something for any sort of productivity work then the Surface has definitely become my go to system. In this sense I expect it to be a bit heftier because it does so much more. I found that flipping out the stand while you hold it makes it much easier to hold as well.
* You aren't going to get 12 hours of battery life out of this, but you will get 6-7 if you use it like I do. I'm very happy with that.
* The keyboard is terrible. After only a week the keys have started sticking on me, and more than a few times I have found myself hitting multiple keys to figure out which it is. Even stranger is that sometimes it will just stop responding at all until you find the stuck key.
Also, the touch mouse is just a pain to use. It will randomly stop doing two finger scrolling, but if you barely touch the thing it will start randomly clicking things. This gets annoying when you are using the pen or something and suddenly it jumps to another program. If I use it a lot it rubs my finger raw as well since it isn't smooth. I ended up buying an arc mouse.
The worst is that there is no keyboard support at all when trying to get into safe mode. A work program I installed crashed Windows, and when I got to the screen where you choose what type of safe mode you wanted to enter I couldn't choose a number. That was with a usb keyboard and the surface one.
* The pen should have it's own dock. End of story. It is ridiculous that it uses the same spot as the power cord connector. So, anytime your computer is plugged in you need to find a place to store the pen if you aren't using it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this results in losing/misplacing the pen eventually.
Also, it doesn't always do a good job of turning off touch input when you use the pen. This get's pretty annoying at times when you are writing something and suddenly the pen stops working. Then when you lift your hand your palm drew something.
* I want the docking station for work, but it is impossible to find unless you want to spend $300+ on ebay. I would be okay with waiting, but Microsoft's policy on the dock is ridiculous. I called my local store to ask if they had any, and they will not tell you if they have them in stock or not. You have to drive to the store to find out if they have them at all. I was told that they do this because they cannot guarantee that it will be there because it sells out so quickly, but if your system says you have zero docks then there is absolutely no reason to make me waste my time driving there. I drove to the store and found out that they hadn't had them for over a week. Terrible customer service.
HOW I USE
* Significant MS Office usage including VB excel development.
* Web design (Coding using Sublime Text mostly. I haven't tried photoshop or anything on it.)
* Remote server administration (Putty, mySQL tools, etc.)
* General computer use (Web, e-mail, twitter, etc.)
* Taking notes for my night class (Onenote is amazing on windows with pen input and a rear camera. The surface does not disappoint).
154 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been 5 Stars,
Once again Microsoft shot itself in the foot. They made an amazing tablet and then tanked it with poor decisions.
The Surface Pro 2 is a blazingly fast Windows 8.1 tablet / laptop hybrid. This is basically a laptop without a keyboard. It comes with a decent amount of storage compared to some of the other high end tablets which is a nice plus and it's somewhat expandable via a usb hard drive or even an optical drive.
The battery life isn't the best but considering the power packed under the hood that's an acceptable compromise.
The ports are a very nice plus. I know you can technically do almost anything without the ports but I'm lazy. I don't want to use software to try and pass files around and hope everything is synced up. I want to just shove a cable in and go.
With the ports included you could turn the Pro 2 into a full blow desktop PC with minimal effort. This gives the product great flexibility that some other tablets just cannot offer.
Now for the bad.
This is an awkward tablet. It weights a little too much and is a little too thick. I wish they had found a way to trim it down. That issue though would not prevent this from being a five star product.
What prevents it from being a five star product? The value. The problem is this product breaks even on value. At it's price point a lot of people are going to walk away because they do not see the value. They will either go with a more traditional tablet, a much cheaper hybrid, or if they need the power a small high end laptop from Samsung, Sony, or Apple.
Microsoft could have crushed the market by adding just two things.
1. Include Office. Microsoft owns the software so it would not cost them much to add office but it would put the value over the top.
2. Include the keyboard. Most people will end up paying around 1150 for this tablet because it does not include a keyboard. With the keyboard included this is a MUCH better value.
Overall this is a powerful tablet / hybrid that is going to find a very niche audience. Most people are going to skip it because they can even get the high end iPad for less or go with a fully functional Kindle Fire HD / Android tablet.
113 of 132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How You Like It Depends On What You Do With It,
Liking the Surface Pro 2 (or the Surface Pro) tends to be dependent on several things, most importantly do you need a full Windows operating system for how you work or play on your computer? As a tablet, the Pro is bulky and not easy to handle, and unlike the Kindle HDX, iPad, Galaxy Note, and Asus or Nexus tablets, you really have to use it in landscape for it to feel comfortable in the hands. IMO, it's unweldy as a tablet in portrait mode. Further, the stylus and handwriting recognition are good, but if your main reason for purchasing a Pro is for drawing or tablet writing, the Samsung Note series does a far better job with this capability seamlessly than Microsoft does. I've also found that reading on the Pro or Pro 2 is ok but not terrific - even with Clear Type enabled, text clarity on the Pro 2 is not close to the fine grain constancy of tablets I mentioned previously.
Combined with the lit Type 2 keyboard, the Surface Pro 2 is best viable as an ultralight laptop replacement in mobile work environments. Games, even graphic intense ones, run flawlessly on this unit. It you're using it for work with a enterprise Citrix environment, it's terrific especially paired with a Microsoft Wedge or Arc Mouse and the keyboard. If you're hedging about getting the original Pro or the Pro 2, get the Pro 2 if for nothing more than battery life, which I've gotten 8 hours out of with continual use.
In a nutshell, I'd recommend the Pro 2 with the Type 2 lit keyboard and a mouse for those folks who need a full Windows operating system and want handwriting recognition - otherwise the Surface 2 (with Windows RT) might be a cheaper, thinner, lighter alternative. For those who only need or want tablet only capability, the world is your oyster as far as tablets are concerned, many of which are substantially better than the Surface Pro, Pro2 or Surface 2 as a tablet experience.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving my new Surface Pro 2,
I work from home, and spend an obscene amount of time on a PC everyday. I have used some variation of the netbook for the past 4 years. I bought an ASUS Q200 last November because it incorporated a nice touch screen into the netbook. While the touchscreen forever changed my thought process on how laptops should be made (always trying to touch the screen on other, non-touch laptops), it was more of a novelty because the keyboard stood in the way. So, for the past 4-5 months, I've been looking for a full-fledged Windows PC, but either in tablet form, or with a removable keyboard. Although I wanted a highly portable machine, I generally have my PC docked to an external monitor about 75% of the time.
Why I chose the Surface Pro 2 vs. Surface Pro vs. Dell Venue 8:
I know, I know, the Venue 8 really isn't in the same class as either SP, but it was a worthy contender and I nearly purchased it the day I bought my SP2 (a few days before Black Friday). However, I wanted a PC with better specs than what I had, and while the Venue 8 is quite powerful for its size, it wasn't the best option for me. Add to the fact that there are almost 0 ports, it was clear that I would be better off with a Surface Pro, despite the massive price difference.
Although I love new technology, and used to follow its progression every week by viewing Best Buy ads, I've found that I am unable to keep up with all the new advances. Therefore, I didn't even know the SP existed until a few months ago, and by that time the SP2 was announced. Once I heard about the SP, I read EVERYTHING I could about it, and absolutely fell in love with it. I made numerous trips to a local PC store just so I could play around on it. That said, I was anticipating the SP2 even more, only because of the presumed price drop on the original SP. Sadly, the real price drops were on the Surface RT, and the $100 price cut in the original SP wasn't enough to make me bite.
Since the price of the original wasn't too far off from the newer model, I decided it was best to "future-proof" my decision, so I stepped up to the SP2. First, I'm 100% happy I spent the extra money. Although the change in the kickstand may seem somewhat trivial, I can't imagine having only one option, and while I never used an original SP without a charger, the battery life on the SP2 is phenomenal, totally blows away my Asus Q200 (again).
Quick list of Pros and Cons:
I've only had the PC a week, and I haven't run benchmark tests or anything like that (you can find this info elsewhere) but I can provide some of the experiences I've had so far. First, the cons:
1). The headphone jack wasn't working out of the box, I plugged external speakers in and it updated a driver for the mic, but it never put sound out. I had to downgrade the audio jack driver and it seems to work fine now.
2.) I've had a few instances where the touchscreen/stylus stopped responding, but I've found that if I reconnect the keyboard, it will register touch again. There are also times where I can't get the pen to work on webpage links, but I think it's because I'm using Firefox.
3.) Maybe this is too much information for the review, but my hands sweat ( A LOT ) so the cloth material that the type cover is made out of will undoubtedly get nasty over time.
4.) This is more of a Windows 8 issue but the App store selection is borderline non-existent, even for basic programs/websites. I'm not a huge app fanatic but I do like how well they work, when they're available.
Now, if you're still with me, it's time for the pros!
1.) Speedy, beautifully made computer. I've used as a tablet, laptop, work machine connected to my monitor, pleasure machine connected to my projector, and have loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of it. I've never owned a PC that could play resource-intensive games, but I had the SP2 running Dark Souls (after running some patches) and it looks amazing, better than my PS3, and it runs just as smooth. When you add in the fact that I generally have a dozen or more webpages open, plus a few large spreadsheets and who knows what else, while running on battery power, it's simply amazing.
2.) The included stylus is amazing, it's so much better than using a mouse (in most instances). The handwriting recognition and palm-blocking technology are brilliant....I only wish I had more of a use for them, perhaps I should try out grad school! It's also a lot of fun using in the Fresh Paint app, who would've thought I could be so artistic.
3.) The design is wonderful. I've always rolled my eyes at my Apple-loving buddies because they held their devices in such high regard, where I would only see my PC's as a useful tool. However, I see the SP2 as much more than a tool and I'm hoping it revolutionizes the mobile PC world.
4.) While I expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of Apps, I really, *REALLY* love Windows 8.1. I've run into some compatibility issue with games, but I'm sure someone will figure out how to patch the issues eventually.
Definitely the best upgrade in technology I've ever purchased. Almost as revolutionary for me as my upgrade from an old cellphone to an iPhone 4. Fairly expensive, part of me was yelling "wait until the next new thing comes out", but I just couldn't wait that long. I'm sure this time next year the market will be flooded with similar devices, hopefully much cheaper, but for now I couldn't be happier.
110 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but not yet perfect,
This is everything i thought my iPad was going to be a few years ago. By saying that please do not misunderstand. I do not believe this is in the same market as people looking for an iPad or samsung ect.
When I bought my first tablet, i thought it would be a laptop replacement. Instead what i got was an oversized iPhone. great for facebook and angrybirds, but not for school and definiatly not for work.
Standard tablets are media consumption devices. by definition they are primarily for entertainment purposes. talented programmers have managed to create some ok apps but nothing that really allows me to leave my laptop at home.
The Surface Pro 2 allows me to ditch my old laptop all together. It is a bit pricey but i have paid more for far less convinient items. Some complaine about the weight. Havent seen had any problems with that myself an my 5'0" wife thinks the weight is fine as well, saying she likes how sturdy it feels.
I agree with the other reviewer who said this could be imporved by including Office for free. I wish they had for the sake of future sales as I would like this form of hybrid tablets to become the new standard. The inclusion of the keyboard in the package would have been a great addition too but I'll survice. my only real complaint is they include a very handy and very responsive digitizer pen, but nowhere really to put it that is truly secure.
Based solely on the product itself I believe it is the first truly 5 star tablet.
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of its kind that's available now; it does replace a laptop for most people...,
I bought this from MicrosoftStore.com with a 10% student discount.
I am a 22 year old college student who loves pen enabled tablets and I have been using these types of tablets for the past 6 years. I hope this honest and extensive reviews helps you decide if this tablet is right for you. This expensive tablet/laptop is meant to replace your current laptop. Don't buy this if you just want a simple convenient tablet for occasional use; buy an android tablet for around $300. There is no point in getting a windows tablet. Almost all electronics, mainly computers have some flaws and the Surface Pro 2 is no expectation. If you are willing to spend over a $1,100 on a computer I think you should at least read this LONG review. This review is for only the device, not Windows 8 and its limited apps selection. You can't compare any android tablets to this because this is a FULL computer. It runs all software like Microsoft Office without any limitation. It runs all desktop and mobile version software.
PEN ENABLED - A tablet that has a PRESSURE sensitive screen and that accepts input from a fine point digitizer pen. Finger touch is great but it's hard to touch things on a screen smaller than 15 inches. The pen is the perfect solution and it is very precise.
If you want to protect your Surface Pro and Pro 2 and have a nice looking and useful case, read and watch my video review on the Manvex case.
In my opinion ONCE YOU USE A PEN ENABLED TABLET, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GO BACK TO ANY OTHER TYPES OF COMPUTERS, you won't know how awesome it is until you use one
YOU CAN SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH BUT I THINK A LITTLE BACKGROUND IS USEFUL INFORMATION TO SEE HOW GOOD THIS TABLET REALLY IS.
Tablets are not new technology, although it has taken off in the past several years. I bought my first pen tablet (no finger touch) in 2007. It was the Lenovo X61 and I bought it for $1,500. And I have purchased the X201 and X220 tablets. They were around the same price when released. The X201 and the X220 both had finger touch along with pen touch. As you can see, pen enabled tablets are expensive. So the price for the Surface Pro 2 makes sense to me. I was wondering for years, why no other companies were not making a decent pen tablets besides Lenovo. Although I liked the performance, usability, and reliability of the Lenovo tablets, I was getting tired of paying so much for a tablet whose design never changed. You could not differeciate the 2011 model from the 2007 model and the design was pretty ugly. Finally the Lenovo Helix came out with a much better design but I decided not to buy it after reading all the problems it had. I liked the Surface Pro but I didn't like the battery life and I wanted to wait for the next model because this is the first tablet Microsoft made and I didn't' want to take a chance. Also I still liked my X220 tablet. Meanwhile other companies made pen tablets but nothing came close to the Lenovo.
IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?
I think all the bad reviews you will read for the Surface Pro 2 will be mainly because the tablet is not right for that person. Being said that, this should not get a rating below 4 stars if the right person is using it. Below I will list who it is best for ranking from highest to lowest suitability.
Who is it for?
***College/School Students - This is a must have for a person who is in school and has to take notes. This replaced 3 or 4 notebooks that I had to carry to my classes. Microsoft OneNote is a must have software for this tablet. Please watch some videos on OneNote and give it a try. I have virtual notebooks and I use write on the screen just like I would write on paper, except you never run out of paper. Imagine using 100 different highlighters and colors without actually having 100 different color highlighters and pens. After a few weeks, you will wonder why you ever wrote on paper. All your notebooks are in one place. Not to mentions how light it is. YOU WILL LOVE OneNote after you learn to use it. My grades improved after I used this approach to take notes because it was easy to study for exams because everything is in one organized place.
***Business professionals - If you attend many meetings at work and have to take notes, this is a must have. Same concept applies as for college students. OneNote is a must have software.
***Artists - If you draw, then pen enabled tablets are a no brainer. You have all the colors of the rainbow in your disposal for FREE. Obviously nothing compares to actual pen/pencils when it comes to drawing shades and shadows but this types of tablets is the next best thing. You can create amazing artwork by using some of the software that are available and most of them provide shadow and shades capabilities.
Who should buy something else?
***People who think 15 inch is the perfect size - If you are using a 15 inch laptop and you think 12 inch is almost too small to consider, then you will hate the surface pro 2. I am used to using the 12 inch Lenovo tablets and at first I had hard time adjusting to it but I love it now because of the high definition screen.
***People who love big screens - If you like using 17 inch laptops, don't even think about buying this. You are wasting your money on this. Buy the regular surface or a normal tablet that costs around $300 for convenient and occasional usage.
***Desktop users - If you currently use a desktop and want a tablet for occasional and convenient usage, then buy a much cheaper tablet. This tablet does too much and that's why it costs so much.
Sorry for all that information LET'S GET TO WHAT MATTERS:
-Design - I love the design, it is well constructed, and decent weight for a powerful machine. It is very stylish
-Display - The display is very sharp and high quality. 1080p is all you need to know.
- Performance - For the price and compared to other tablets, this is the fastest one available. I had no delay doing any work.
- Audio - Surprisingly it sounds very loud and clear, if you want more sound, get a wireless mini speaker.
- Battery life - I am easily able to get 7 hours with normal usage. I don't expect much more from a powerful and small machine like this.
- Touch/Pen - The touch with finger and pen works perfectly.
-Weight - For the power that it has and the batter life it provides, I think the weight is a plus. Most people say it's too heavy, but what they forget is that this is replacing a laptop. All the reviews says, "Heavy and thick for a tablet", once again, this is not just a tablet.
-Keyboard - The keyboard is awesome, I love how strong the connection between the keyboard and the tablet is. I am not a big fan of the touch keyboard; it is sitting in my table. The type cover 2 keyboard is awesome. Light, thin, and backlight.
-Kickstand - The kick stand is perfect, it has two angles to suit your need. Very stable and well-constructed; I have no problems using it on my lap or on a table.
-Touchpad - Like most people says the touchpad is not that great. It is not very responsive and sometimes does things by itself. But I rarely use the touchpad, the pen is way too convenient and I use that 90% of the time.
-USB Port - I wish it had one more USB port, but I guess I'll have to buy a usb hub.
-Memory Card Slot/ Given the size, they should had included a full SD Card slot, micro SD only supports maximum 64gb for now.
-Charging port - The charger magnet is not as strong as the keyboard magnet. While it is not flimsy but it falls of if with slight pull.
-No Pen Holder - The pen attaches to the charging port, which is not strong enough to hold the pen securely. Buy the Manvex case and that will solve the issue.
The cons are small things that could be better but nothing major that makes the tablet a bad choice.
You might wonder if there is a thinner and lighter tablet that is almost as powerful. Yes but the thin and light comes at a price. The Sony Tap 11 is the only tablet that I think comes close to competing. But Surface Pro 2 is a clear winner. The Surface has better build quality and better battery life. Also the keyboard for the Tap 11 is dumb. You can't use it on your lap because the keyboard is wireless and you can't attach it like the surface. There are some other drawbacks but you can read the review on TheVerge.com.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artists perspective.,
I'm an artist who for years worked on a wacom cintiq 12wx, a really nice device with some issues; it has a breakout box and power brick really tethering you to your PC and the screen isn't very accurate with colors, I really had to triple check colors as my yellows would appear green on everyone else's screen and my 2nd monitor.
I've been dying to get off my PC lately as I am tied to it for entertainment, work and communication, no tablet provided what I wanted though, I wanted to do art, and for that I want the software to back it up and no android or ios tablet can do photoshop.
The Surface Pro 2 has full windows 8.1, has a wacom tech and capacitive interface with an i5 processor in it, it's literally a portable cintiq. How portable? 8x11in 300dpi photoshop file+other misc sized docs+firefox+winamp on balanced battery with no lag in PS got me 6+ hours of work time. Mind, freaking, blown. The pen is accurate, colors are more so than my cintiq and this just has a tiny little power brick. I DO recommend anyone getting this for any reason to get the type cover 2 as it adds in a lot of functionality plus acts as a screen protector. It's a fantastic keyboard and does it's job well ...as I'm typing this review on it in the comfort of my living room.
Again, you can install any art software you want as it's full windows, even Zbrush works well on this if youtube vids are to be believed.
It's also a gaming monster, I've played Borderlands 2, Orcs Must Die 2, Torchlight 2, Skyrim, Mass Effect 1 & 2, Rayman Origins, Saints Row 3, Serious Sam 3 and they all work on mostly high settings 40-60fps. This is on a TABLET SIZED DEVICE, it's absolutely mental, tiny screen bothersome? Get a 10 dollar minidisplay to HDMI converter and play on your TV or monitor and you can use a 360 controller because it has a USB 3.0 port.
So anyone knocking this for not having as many apps as the ipad isn't very bright, Surface can do real professional art, music programs, you can play full PC games on it, you can play old DOS games on it, you can do anything a PC can do, use a second monitor with it, expand it's memory with a microSD card or USB3 device. This device outperforms the iPad and has more programs than the ipad has apps.
I do not think this device is for everyone however, as I do art and want to work on the screen with a pen it's a no-brainer:
Cintiq 13wx is 1k, Surface Pro 2 is 1k and it's portable and doesn't require a PC. So call it expensive, it's still easier to swallow when you look at it like that. But if you're just looking to screw around on websites or play really simple games? Maybe an android tablet, iOS or Surface 2 would be better as they are, far far cheaper.
But if you want a tablet, that will do PC tasks on? This is your tablet. Get the 128GB or higher, windows eats about 30GB itself leaving you with 90GB of SSD storage. You CAN expand it with a microSD card (I did, and run games off it too) or a USB3 device.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best option for everyone, but the perfect option for some.,
- Full desktop version of Windows 8 (if you don't like the whole Metro thing, starting to the Desktop should keep you happy)
- Responsive and solid digitizer pen support
- Good battery life (for its level of power)
- Beautiful display
- Able to run programs off of microSD
- USB 3.0 support
- Somewhat heavy for size
- Only one size available (small-ish screen)
I've had the Surface Pro 2 (128GB version) for a little while now, and I can tell you right away what it's not—your standard tablet for playing around and checking your email. Yes, you can do those things on the surface pro, but if that's all you're looking for, there are plenty of other options that will be better suited to your needs and cost you less. What the Surface Pro 2 *is* good for, however, is providing an all-in-one experience that has the ability to take the place of your tablet, digitizer, notebook, and in some cases, even your desktop.
I no longer need my Galaxy Note 8.0 for taking notes at work, my iPad for lounging around checking emails and browsing the web, my Wacom drawing tablet for illustrations, or my Mac Book Pro when I need a bit more power. Don't get me wrong, I love[d] those devices, but the Surface Pro 2 has taken the place of all of them. I have done everything on my Surface Pro 2 from playing around with apps and responding to emails, to sketching out illustrations in Photoshop and playing Skyrim on my Steam account. Heck, the only thing it hasn't replaced is my desktop which I'll need to keep around because I am a heavy gamer and also do intensive video editing. If it weren't for that, the Surface Pro 2 would be the only device I'd keep around aside from my phone and Playstation.
While I initially found the Surface Pro 2 a bit too expensive when I was first looking to purchase it, considering everything it has been able to replace, it has literally been able to pay for itself. For my unique set of needs (mainly unique due to needing a high-end digitizer and Adobe Creative Cloud support) this is the best device I was able to find, and it is completely worth the price. I can only hope that technology will continue to advance to the point where I will be able to replace my desktop as well.
Your mileage may vary based upon your needs, but I, personally, am extremely satisfied and a bit pleasantly surprised as well.
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