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First look: Microsoft Surface 2 with Type Cover 2

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
While Apple unveiled its newest iPads on Tuesday, rival Microsoft attempted to steal some of its thunder in releasing its competing Surface 2 tablet, along with the new Type Cover 2 accessory. AppleInsider provides a first look at the tablet that will go head to head with Apple's iPad Air this holiday season.

Surface


Microsoft provided a 32-gigabyte Surface 2 ($449) and black Type Cover 2 keyboard ($129.99) for review on the product's launch day -- the same day Apple unveiled the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. The Surface 2 was sent in a Surface-branded tote bag, and came with a protective zip-up case from Targus, as well as one year of 100 gigabytes of cloud storage from Microsoft's SkyDrive service.

The Surface 2 and its more powerful counterpart, the Surface Pro 2, were unveiled by Microsoft last month. The low-end Surface 2 is most directly an iPad competitor, while the Surface Pro 2 runs a traditional Intel processor, making it more of a competitor to Apple's MacBook Air.

Surface


The Surface 2 runs the same ARM architecture as many of today's tablets and smartphones, which, along with an Nvidia Tegra 4 graphics processor, drives the 1080p high-definition display in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Because it features an ARM CPU, the Surface 2 still runs a stripped down version of Windows 8 that can't run traditional Windows apps. Despite this, Surface 2 running the newly released Windows 8.1 still offers a classic desktop mode, which is primarily used to access the included Microsoft Office apps.

Surface


Microsoft's pitch with the Surface 2 is that it's a device that allows users to be more productive than Apple's iPad. Accordingly, the device has a number of ports: USB 3.0, micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio, and a micro SD slot for memory expansion hidden under the rear kickstand.

When using the Surface 2 in landscape mode, which is the most comfortable way to access the device, stereo speakers output from the left and right sides of the display. A magnetic power connector, not unlike Apple's MagSafe, exists on the right side of the display.

Surface


The rear kickstand has also been revised to allow two different viewing angles when propping up the device. And the Surface 2 has a 3.5-megapixel forward-facing camera, and 5-megapixel rear camera.

The Surface 2 is just about exactly as thick as Apple's third- and fourth-generation iPads, which means it will be thicker than the iPad Air, which arrives next week. The Surface 2 with Type Cover 2 is considerably thicker than an iPad with Smart Cover, though the latter option obviously lacks a dedicated physical keyboard.

Surface


The new Type Cover 2 allows for 1.5-millimeters of key travel, which Microsoft says should allow for faster typing than its predecessor. The updated accessory also sports a backlight to make it easier to find your way around.

Like its predecessor, the Type Cover 2 also includes a trackpad on the cloth surface. Touching it will bring up a traditional mouse cursor on the display, allowing users to interact with the device through either touching the screen or touching the trackpad.

Surface


From our initial impressions, Surface 2 is an interesting device that seems more like a netbook successor than an iPad alternative. It's clear that the Surface 2 with kickstand and keyboard is meant to be used mostly in laptop-style mode on a desk, which is a stark contrast from how most people use Apple's iPad.

The 16:9 aspect ratio of the device's large 10-inch screen makes using the device in tablet-style portrait mode, as we typically use our iPads, rather cumbersome. But the design of the Surface makes it apparent that the device is intended to mostly be used in landscape mode anyhow.

Surface


The touchscreen is responsive, and the display offers adequate viewing angles, along with what Microsoft claims is less glare than the iPad. And the keyboard accessory works well for a smaller, thin keyboard, allowing us to type quickly.

We'll have more on Surface 2, including how it performs as a productivity tool, in the coming days. Additional pictures of the device are included below.

Surface


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post #2 of 56
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Surface
 

 

What the terrible hardware specs and horrible software don’t say, this image does.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #3 of 56

wtf is this doing on an apple site

post #4 of 56
Gotta admit the surface 2 commercials are better than the surface 1 commercials. No more dancers and they show what you can do with it. Still not my cup of tea, though.
post #5 of 56
It runs Windows RTarded
bb
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bb
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post #6 of 56
Oh dear ... tech porn, I must have accidentally gone to the wrong web site ... I don't know how that happened?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #7 of 56

I've seen the Surface Pro2 live at WorstBuy.  POS.  The thing is thicker than most laptops and HEAVY as my ass. 

post #8 of 56
This was DOA months ago, yet MS just keeps pouring money into *the same thing that's not working*.
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

This was DOA months ago, yet MS just keeps pouring money into *the same thing that's not working*.

It's called the XBox theory of marketing. 1biggrin.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #10 of 56

Glad competition is going strong! 

 

Quote:
 Microsoft's pitch with the Surface 2 is that it's a device that allows users to be more productive than Apple's iPad

 

Huh! Never thought of an iPad as needing to be 'productive'. Just thought it was awesome to carry the content I consume! 

post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

This was DOA months ago, yet MS just keeps pouring money into *the same thing that's not working*.

 

Microsoft made billions doing that in the 80s and 90s.

na na na na na...
Reply
na na na na na...
Reply
post #12 of 56
I really like the concept of the surface pro2. The ability to have photoshop cc and illustrator cc with a wacom pen is appealing to me. I'm looking forward to the generation of intel chips that run fanless. I'm not sure if that will be Broadwell or the gen after.
post #13 of 56
Wow! I am deeply impressed. Where the hell has microsoft the boldness to present such a clunky device to nowadays people?

Wait. May be ... is it the surface of the Microsoft grave?
post #14 of 56

The only things I find attractive about the Surface devices is the Wacom pressure-sensitive tech built-in, along with the ability to run programs like Corel Painter. If there was one thing I would change about the iPad, it would be giving it pressure-sensitive ability. But, I know that's not something that the target audience for the iPad wants or needs; it's merely something that the cartoonist in me craves :)

 

That being said, I can't wait to try out the new iPad Air & Mini 2 - I love my current iPad 4 and my wife has absconded with my iPad 1. Love the idea of the same gorgeous screen in a lighter and thinner design!

post #15 of 56
I don't have a use for this. I do have a use for my new Macbook Air.

I did hold one of these surface machines. It just seemed...odd.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post
... and my wife has absconded with my iPad 1.

Hope you mean the iPad 1 and not the wife? ;)

post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post
 

The only things I find attractive about the Surface devices is the Wacom pressure-sensitive tech built-in, along with the ability to run programs like Corel Painter. If there was one thing I would change about the iPad, it would be giving it pressure-sensitive ability. But, I know that's not something that the target audience for the iPad wants or needs; it's merely something that the cartoonist in me craves :)

 

That being said, I can't wait to try out the new iPad Air & Mini 2 - I love my current iPad 4 and my wife has absconded with my iPad 1. Love the idea of the same gorgeous screen in a lighter and thinner design!

Fortunately there are aftermarket pens that do just that.  http://adonit.net/jot/touch/

post #18 of 56
The RT version is essentially useless as you won't be able to find even half the apps you are used to from the more mature google or apple ecosystems, and the Pro version is too expensive when compared to alternatives. You'd get a Macbook Air instead of the Surface Pro. Or you'd get a Samsung Series 7, or a Yoga, or a refurb Macbook Pro 13, or a Zenbook. You would not get the Surface. If the Pro was 699, you'd consider it.

And the main reason is because we want tablets to be tablets, and laptops to be laptops. Tablets aren't for doing serious work. They are for doing light work, and playing games. The Surface products exist for a market that doesn't.
post #19 of 56
I actually applaud AI for posting an article about surface. Gets things in perspective. And finally it doesn't look very biased. They actually point out stuff they liked.
post #20 of 56

I have to say that visually, the Surface looks like the screen from a netbook or small form factor laptop, while in landscape mode.  In portrait mode, it just plain looks wrong in your hands.  It's far too skinny to be representative of a book or magazine.  It's clear MS did not think through its use as a tablet - they're simply saying it could be used like a tablet, but the real use is as a small form laptop / netbook replacement.

 

The tapered edges look cheap to me, for some reason.  It doesn't have the solid look that the iPad, in either 3/4th gen or the iPad Air / mini,  has.  MS should just let their hardware partners manage the hardware side and let MS keep doing what they do best - screwing up the software side of things.

post #21 of 56
If you worked on the Surface 2, and had spent months figuring out how to make it no thicker than the iPad so it could compete, it must be soul destroying to see Apple leapfrog you yet again.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

If you worked on the Surface 2, and had spent months figuring out how to make it no thicker than the iPad so it could compete, it must be soul destroying to see Apple leapfrog you yet again.

I bet MS thought that just as Apple does mild refreshes where they use the existing design and simply improve certain specs, that they could get away with doing the same thing with the Surface.  Like it was perfectly designed to begin with...why change something that's perfect already?

 

I feel bad for those people who feel like they have to support MS's efforts (while bashing Apple's).  MS is certainly not doing themselves or anyone any favors with respect to both their OS and hardware like this.

post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Hope you mean the iPad 1 and not the wife? 1wink.gif

Huh?

iPhone 5 64GB, iPhone 4S 16GB, mid-2011 iMac, Apple TV 2nd Gen, iPod Nano

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iPhone 5 64GB, iPhone 4S 16GB, mid-2011 iMac, Apple TV 2nd Gen, iPod Nano

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post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Oh dear ... tech porn, I must have accidentally gone to the wrong web site ... I don't know how that happened?

That's the appropriate way to review a Tablet PC from the PC era of computing. It's all about the checklist of PC features, not the experience.

Open in file explorer? Why? Just put everything in the cloud. The old PC paradigm is that you have to push files around a disk. You have a C: drive. Or D: drive. Why? The post-PC experience is that you have your content, (document, video, song, picture) and you want to get to it, share it, etc. Yes of course there's a file system underneath, but Apple--specifically Steve Jobs--believed that someday, the Finder would be a tool used by "pros" and that users would have never have to think about file management. Doing that requires nothing short of reinventing the computer, and that's what Apple has done with the iOS devices. File management is a symptom that your paradigm of computer use hasn't changed since the 1980s. You can put a shiny new Touch UI on your file management program, but that's solving the wrong problem.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

Microsoft made billions doing that in the 80s and 90s.

Agreed! I believe MS has done more damage to productivity in the last 3 decades than any other influence!

 

They became the largest SW company while producing utter crap!

 

Rather like Coke, McDonald's, Gen. Foods, Walmart, GM, Ford, Dell, HP, Sony, Samsung, etc., etc., utter crap.

 

My late CEO father said, businesses that can devise a way to sell their crap can make a lot of money. Just like the companies above.

 

Think V8 juice....which is the dregs of their soup manufacturing. Or licorice, which is the tar-like scrapings off the vats of candy manufacturing...

 

Fortunately, Apple is not this type of company...


Edited by christopher126 - 10/23/13 at 2:29pm
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

This was DOA months ago, yet MS just keeps pouring money into *the same thing that's not working*.

 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

 

Sad - would've thought they would have changed something after their experience with the Zune and the first Surface.

post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
 

 Or licorice, which is the tar-like scrapings off the vats of candy manufacturing...

 

 

Take that back right now, and say you are sorry!! :P 

post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

If you worked on the Surface 2, and had spent months figuring out how to make it no thicker than the iPad so it could compete, it must be soul destroying to see Apple leapfrog you yet again.

Nah. Outside of Apple fan base, there is no even remotely as much obsession with thinness, once you reach a threshold. I'd say Surface Pro 2 is questionable here (though it does play in a bit different league), but Surface 2 is thin enough not to be an issue for most of people (again, outside of Apple user base).

That being said, I think devices like Nokia's new Snapdragon powered RT tablet will be more interesting for general audience - as many or as little as they are. Nokia Lumia brand is quite strong outside of US these days (well, stronger than MS anyway, IMHO) and addition of LTE, better camera, colours... plus, Snapdragon 800 should be a bit better performer than Tegra 4, if I remember correctly.

But for my personal usage scenario, ThinkPad Tablet 2 turned to be best tablet fit for me... so I'm looking forward Bay Trail tablets with 8.1 Pro.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Nah. Outside of Apple fan base, there is no even remotely as much obsession with thinness, once you reach a threshold. I'd say Surface Pro 2 is questionable here (though it does play in a bit different league), but Surface 2 is thin enough not to be an issue for most of people (again, outside of Apple user base).

That being said, I think devices like Nokia's new Snapdragon powered RT tablet will be more interesting for general audience - as many or as little as they are. Nokia Lumia brand is quite strong outside of US these days (well, stronger than MS anyway, IMHO) and addition of LTE, better camera, colours... plus, Snapdragon 800 should be a bit better performer than Tegra 4, if I remember correctly.

But for my personal usage scenario, ThinkPad Tablet 2 turned to be best tablet fit for me... so I'm looking forward Bay Trail tablets with 8.1 Pro.

And there you've summed up many of the problems Microsoft (and Android) licensees have.

I don't know what Snapdragon 800, Tegra 4
and Bay Trail are. Much less do I care.

When I hold a tablet, I definitely care whether it is heavy or light.

I'm a normal consumer.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


And there you've summed up many of the problems Microsoft (and Android) licensees have.

I don't know what Snapdragon 800, Tegra 4
and Bay Trail are. Much less do I care.

When I hold a tablet, I definitely care whether it is heavy or light.

I'm a normal consumer.

 

That is what has been holding me back. I want the big screen, but unlike a netbook turned tablet, I plan on holding my iPad, not sitting it on a desk to crank out spreadsheets. I want it light, and I am happy it is less wide as well. Very nice for holding without giving up the screen size. 

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlmwallace View Post

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

Sad - would've thought they would have changed something after their experience with the Zune and the first Surface.

Well, if I remember correctly, original iPhone was hardly runaway success... and it took Android quite a few releases in both software and hardware to start taking off. Xbox was pretty much failure, contrary to Xbox 360. Apple TV had really slow start. Etc etc.

Expecting that new platform will always take off immediately is real insanity, IMHO. It does happen here and there - iPad, original Playstation... but those cases are still in minority.

In addition, there is a big waiting game in the background - Android OEMs might find it very hard to continue with what they do if Apple has their way with patents. I'm not expecting it, but I also would not be completely surprised to see a huge migration from Android to Windows platforms in foreseeable future.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post
 

 

Take that back right now, and say you are sorry!! :P 

Now that's funny! :)

 

I feel the same way about Coors light...it's sh*t beer, but I sure drink a lot of it! :)

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

And there you've summed up many of the problems Microsoft (and Android) licensees have.

I don't know what Snapdragon 800, Tegra 4
and Bay Trail are. Much less do I care.

When I hold a tablet, I definitely care whether it is heavy or light.

I'm a normal consumer.

There is no one mould to fit "normal customer" into.

Before I buy device like tablet, I figure out what I want to do with it. I can make some sacrifices in size/weight if I get more functionality I am looking for.

But in this case, I don't even have to make sacrifice. Last year's ThinkPad Tablet 2 was 9.9mm thick and 0.58kg heavy. Last year's iPad is 9.4mm thick and 0.65kg heavy. Have you tried holding this tablet, you could have found out for yourself. But if you prefer to base your opinions and decisions on lack of information, that is also your right.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

There is no one mould to fit "normal customer" into.

Before I buy device like tablet, I figure out what I want to do with it. I can make some sacrifices in size/weight if I get more functionality I am looking for.

But in this case, I don't even have to make sacrifice. Last year's ThinkPad Tablet 2 was 9.9mm thick and 0.58kg heavy. Last year's iPad is 9.4mm thick and 0.65kg heavy. Have you tried holding this tablet, you could have found out for yourself. But if you prefer to base your opinions and decisions on lack of information, that is also your right.

I guess that ThinkPad wasn't in Best Buy. I had a play around with the tablets they had and liked the iPad Mini, so I bought it.

It was basically an impulse buy, and it came good.

Again, I'm a normal consumer. Like the majority of people, I want a tablet to look at content.

Again, like most normal consumers, I've got the laptop work gives me when I need to be productive.
post #35 of 56
Steve Ballmer made a joke about how he brought his kids up right, to know enough not to use any Apple products. This idea probably pervades the entire company, and as a result, here we have a "tablet" designed by people who don't use iPads and probably have no idea about how most people use them. They've re-invented the ultra-book and called it innovation. The iPad Air is a thing of beauty. Surface is a monstrosity.
post #36 of 56

http://mashable.com/2013/10/21/surface-pro-2-review/

Can't be too bad for a microsoft product to get a positive review on mashable!!

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by graxspoo View Post

Steve Ballmer made a joke about how he brought his kids up right, to know enough not to use any Apple products. This idea probably pervades the entire company, and as a result, here we have a "tablet" designed by people who don't use iPads and probably have no idea about how most people use them. They've re-invented the ultra-book and called it innovation. The iPad Air is a thing of beauty. Surface is a monstrosity.

 

To your point, Microsoft is reaching out to a different client, a client they feel wants to be 'productive' with their tablet. Unfortunately, that is like trying to recycle the netbook by making it a tablet. Sure, there are those who take their tables to meetings, and I see more tables at meetings then notebooks, however, that is for very light use and because they don't want to carry their notebook around. 

 

What Microsoft refuses to understand is the client, and most clients want a tablet to consume content, not to plug peripherals into, or to store gigabytes of data, or to process 1GB spreadsheets. They have real notebooks to do that or desktops. The vast majority of consumers want a tablet they can hold in their hand and have some fun. 

 

Tables are the escape from work, not the extension of work from the office. 

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post


Nah. Outside of Apple fan base, there is no even remotely as much obsession with thinness, once you reach a threshold. I'd say Surface Pro 2 is questionable here (though it does play in a bit different league), but Surface 2 is thin enough not to be an issue for most of people (again, outside of Apple user base).

 

I understand what you're saying, and it makes sense in concept, but I disagree. My wife has an iPad 2 and I have a Nook HD+. The HD+ (awesome tablet for a $150 btw) is about as thin and light as the iPad Air and the difference that makes in contrast to the iPad 2 is jaw dropping. When a tablet is thin and light enough to hold by the edge in one hand with no feeling of stress it really changes how you relate to it. It's hard to describe... and Phil Schiller alluded to this in the keynote. So, wait until the iPad Air is available, and hold one in your hands. I think you'll be surprised. This isn't about bragging rights for "thinnest on the block." It really changes how you feel about using the device.

post #39 of 56
Hardware: OK except for battery life.
Type Cover: netbook-ish.
Software: f-ing nightmare.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #40 of 56
OK, no argues here.

I like to believe I am normal customer too, but I never believed in "one-size-fit-all" mantra.

I am also mostly using tablet to consume, but I like that I can access my media same way I'd do on laptop or desktop. My tablet fits into my existing home network, with no need to do what-so-ever adjustments to make network tablet-friendly. As in, browse my network shares and copy over (if I want to take tablet away) or open directly from the network; older TV shows, comics, eBooks mostly.

My wife grabs tablet to do quick review of assignments, MD and PhD chapters for students she is supervising.

We both print and scan on occasion to and from network attached printer/scanner.

And of course, usual stuff - web, email, FB...

Most of these things can be done from iOS and Android nowadays, but there are still some limitations in network access, compatible printers and scanners and, in my wife's case, full MS Office compatibility - she is physical chemist, some of those documents are quite full with formulas and other "non-standard" content.

I did get two iPads for my mother (so far) and I'm very convinced that was the best choice for her. She is also normal customer, only more stand-alone and less networked than I am.
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