Microsoft’s latest venture into the tablet industry, the Surface Pro 2, was released in October of 2013.
This device runs on Windows 8.1 and is much improved over its ancestor. It has received mostly positive reviews among various technology websites with the only negative feedback generally being about its difficulty to repair.
As far as tablets go, the Surface Pro 2 is above average in terms of system specifications. It comes in varying versions, and was updated soon after its release to include a better CPU. This device is now equipped with a 1.9 gigahertz dual core processor from Intel for all models and comes in 64, 128, 256 and 512 gigabyte variants for storage, along with the capacity for expansion via its microSDXC card reader. Depending on which amount of base storage is selected, it will either come with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM. This tablet uses integrated graphics, as is to be expected, and features the professional version of the Windows 8.1 operating system (as the name implies).
Abundance of Peripherals
One of the advantages cited by many for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 is the capability to expand its basic functionality with added accessories. Most of these accessories are designed to fit on the device as a cover while providing some important function. One such cover provides a backlight with a sensor that automatically adjusts itself depending on how bright the surroundings are. Another adds a concealed external battery that nearly doubles the device’s initial lifespan. For those who cannot stand software keyboards, a cover is available that also provides an analog keyboard. Other add-ons exist that are not covers, of course: the Docking Station, which connects to the back of the tablet, provides a USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet capability and audio ports. This accessory is developed directly by Microsoft. Finally, peripherals such as the Music Cover exist. This is a specialized type of cover that acts as an audio mixer complete with sliders, a 16 button sampler, and music controls. The introduction of this add-on has caused much speculation over what future innovations Microsoft could produce to enhance their versatile Surface Pro 2.
Not Without Cost
While Microsoft’s newest tablet is decently powerful and extremely adaptable, it comes with a hefty price. This piece of cutting edge technology is sold for $900, or $1,000 for a mid-range model, and even beyond for the highest level of storage. The accessories are also generally in the low-to-mid hundred dollars range, depending on their functionality. For the same cost, a non-touch screen laptop could have double or possibly triple the system specifications.
Due to the high cost, the Surface Pro 2’s marketability really comes down to preference and intended use. This device is more of a student or business-oriented productivity tablet, and Microsoft markets it as such. Anyone who is not looking for this type of solution may wish to investigate the non-pro version of this tablet.