Microsoft’s Surface didn’t exactly hit it out of the park for us, what with how it looked like Windows 8, but didn’t run apps found outside the Microsoft Windows Marketplace. Surface Pro 2 is a different beast altogether, though, bringing the Windows 8 experience to a tablet, letting you do practically anything on a highly portable machine.
The sequel to last year’s Surface Pro, the second-generation takes the same basic design from the previous model made from metal and updates the insides, the operating system, and changes the kickstand by adding an extra position.
From the outside, it’s mostly the same design, with a slightly slanted metal tablet that looks nothing like any other tablet, made from a form of magnesium called VaporMg.
Like on the Surface 2, the kickstand has been changed to work in two positions, as opposed to the one on the first Surface Pro.
The screen is still the same 10.6 inch Full HD display used in the first generation, with ten points of touch supported, but underneath it, so much has changed.
Inside the Surface Pro 2 is a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, paired with 4GB RAM on the 64GB/128GB storage models, or 8GB RAM on the 256GB/512GB storage models.
Our review unit was the 64GB model, so only came with 4GB. The storage can be expanded here, however, thanks to a micro SD slot found on the right edge.
Connectivity options are relatively standard, though not exactly up to the level we expect in a 2013 computer, with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi supported, Bluetooth 4.0, and a single USB 3.0 port. A display out is also included, in the Mini DisplayPort on the right side of the unit, while a headset jack is included on the left side.
Multimedia is catered for with two 720p HD cameras, one on the front above the screen, and the other on the back I nearly the same position, while the speakers are stereo and a microphone is included.
Microsoft has also built in two proprietary ports, just like on the Surface Pro and Surface 2, both of which are magnetic and use several pins: the five-pin magnetic port on the right is for charging the tablet and holding the included pen stylus, while the six-pin magnetic port on the bottom of the tablet is for the keyboard cases.
While this is a tablet, there are some buttons, including a power button up top, volume rocker on the left, and a Windows icon soft button just below the screen that acts as a link back to the modern Windows menu.
The included power pack comes with a USB port to charge smartphones and tablets (and any other USB compatible device) as you’re charging the Surface Pro 2 tablet.