Microsoft’s first attempt at a laptop/tablet hybrid was a mixed bag. While the hardware was mostly excellent, the Redmond company had difficulty convincing consumers it was the future of computers. Not a year later, and the company is taking a second stab with a more refined vision. Will slicker hardware and updated software boost the Surface Pro 2 into must-have territory over the holiday period?
By now, the idea of a laptop being a tablet and visa versa isn’t such a bold idea—at least not in the Windows universe. This updated iteration largely follows the same script of the first Surface, adhering to a similar formula while focusing attention on the device’s internals. Now, the computer includes a Haswell chip, which allegedly improves the Pro 2’s battery life by an incredible 75 percent; the device’s screen has also been updated, offering up 50 percent color accuracy over the previous model.
The update to the Surface Pro 2 isn’t aesthetically drastic, but the internal changes Microsoft has made will supposedly boost performance and overall use. With Windows 8.1 onboard right out of the box, you have Microsoft’s future in a classy, impressively engineered hybrid. Of course, with a starting price of $899, the Surface Pro 2 isn’t exactly cheap.
For what the device is, the Surface Pro 2 largely only has itself to compete against. Microsoft is really trying to push its hybrid form factor as something for the future. With a host of improved accessories and plenty of under-the-hood upgrades across the board, the device is much more attractive than last year’s model. However, that’s not saying much considering how disappointing the original Surface Pro was.