Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 Hands-On Preview

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They both have a new kickstand! That’s the major cosmetic difference between the new Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and their predecessors, the Surface RT and Surface Pro. The kickstand now kicks out in two stages, with one for standard desk mode, and another for lap mode, when the tablet is literally resting on a user’s lap.

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It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so practical. In testing at the official Surface unveiling event, the TechnologyGuide team came away impressed with the new feature, as it helps solve the genuine problem of tablets and laptops falling off our laps.

TG was also impressed with how light Microsoft made the new Surface 2, the ARM-based tablet that runs Windows RT and now sports a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. It’s still the same approximate size as the first-generation Surface RT, but now much lighter. One would think that would lead to a fragile, or hollow device, but Microsoft reps were very adamant that this is one tough tablet. In fact, they planned a demonstration involving a sledgehammer and a Surface 2, but decided that attendee safety trumped a cheap stunt. Though Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Surface chief, did slyly claim that many on the team didn’t want to try to break the Surface RT with a sledgehammer for fear of failing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPanay also made plenty of boastful claims about the other new Surface’s performance. According to him, the new Surface Pro 2 has 20% better overall performance, with 50% better graphical output, and 75% better battery life. The Intel Haswell processor-sporting Surface Pro 2 is also faster than 95% of all Windows devices out on the market today, according to Panay. He then poked fun at attendees and their machines, as his Surface Pro 2 is undoubtedly better.

TG would like to test those claims, which was impossible in demo stations at the event as most weren’t even functional. TG will just have to wait for a review unit. But in the meantime, head over to TabletPCReview for a full hands-on report on the new Windows 8 tablets, including the new back-lit Touch Cover and Type Cover info and impressions.


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