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Microsoft's latest generation Surface devices have landed - should you pick one up?

Attention Microsoft fans, it is officially October 22, 2013 here in the United States, and the latest generation of Surface tablets are now available for your purchasing delight. In addition, all new Surface accessories are also available including the refined Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2. The questions many are asking, are of course "should I pick one up for the first time?" and "should I replace my current Surface device with the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2?"..

Surface 2

Microsoft’s latest Surface 2 is a follow up to their pervious Surface RT tablet. The new next generation unit includes NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor, which features a more modern architecture that now supports USB 3.0 and power that is promised to be around 6 times faster than Tegra 3.  The tablet’s weight and thickness are close to the last generation tablet at 1.49 lbs. and .35 inches respectively. The Surface 2 now also features up to 10 hours of battery life while consuming video (compared to the Surface RT’s 8 hours).

The biggest improvements to the Surface 2 besides the new Tegra 4 processor, is the redesigned two angle kickstand and the newly upgraded display. The previous Surface RT’s 1366 x 768 resolution was less than desirable, while the new Surface 2 now packs a full 1080p HD display for your viewing pleasure. Internal memory has stayed the same at 2 GB, and storage can be picked up in either 32 GB or 64 GB flavors.

The Surface 2, as expected, has been upgraded to Windows RT 8.1 and includes Office RT for free. In addition to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote – the new Surface 2 also includes Outlook for managing your emails, calendars, and contacts.

Surface Pro 2

If you stood Microsoft’s latest generation Surface Pro next to the Surface Pro 2 – you probably wouldn’t be able to tell a difference. The two units are essentially the same aesthetically, as the real differences are internal.

The new Microsoft Surface Pro 2 includes Intel’s Core i5 Haswell processor and either 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM for some serious multitasking. Solid state storage for the device is available in either 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB.

The Surface Pro 2 includes a battery that is said to last up to eight hours active and 7-15 days in standby (or “Idle life” as Microsoft now calls it). Just as the new Surface 2 includes a two angle kickstand for easier use on your lap – the Surface Pro 2 does also.

Other differences apart from the regular Surface’s ability to run legacy Windows applications, include a digitizer pen for sketching/note taking and a 1080p touch screen that can detect up to 10 points of multitouch interaction (versus the Surface 2’s five points of interaction).

Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 also include 200 GB of online SkyDrive storage for two years (a $400 value) and unlimited minutes with Skype for one year.

The Accessories

Accessories for Microsoft’s Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 machines are not left out of today’s launch. The biggest products on display – Microsoft’s Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2.

The new Type Cover 2 features an improved button layout for a more efficient and comfortable typing experience, a thinner profile, and backlit keys. The cover is currently listed in a variety of colors including comes in Black, Cyan, Purple, and Magenta for $129. At this time, only Cyan is listed as In Stock on Microsoft’s web store.

The new Touch Cover 2 has also been redesigned with more touch sensitive, enabling a more accurate experience, and backlit keys. The cover is currently listed in Charcoal for $119 on Microsoft’s Store, but is currently out of stock.

And before you ask, yes, the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are compatible with your first generation Microsoft Surface RT or Surface Pro tablet.

Other accessories include Microsoft’s new Wireless Cover Adapter, which allows users to detach the keyboard from their Surface and go wireless up to a distance of 30 feet. The cost for wireless freedom will cost you $59.99.

For the more productive type, Microsoft is also offering up a Docking Station and new Arc Touch Mouse for their Surface products. The docking station allows Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to become full desktop workstations; the dock provides a display port, audio input and out jacks, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports (one of which is 3.0). The docking station is not currently available from the Microsoft Store website, but will cost $199.99 upon availability.

The new Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition is also up for display, yet not available, and will cost $69.99. The Arc Touch Mouse is a flat foldable Bluetooth mouse with Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology. A touch strip replaces the standard scroll wheel for navigating through documents. We personally recommend other mouses from Logitech like the MX series, but some may prefer the Arc Touch Mouse for its foldability.

The Decision

The question you may be asking yourself, if whether you should run out and purchase the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, is a valid one and something to consider.

If you currently have the Surface RT and wish to upgrade to the Surface 2 – it will most likely be a great purchase. The new Surface 2’s 1080p full HD screen, two angle kickstand, USB 3.0 port, and Tegra 4 processor will provide a much better experience than the RT. If you have the cash and are sure you love Windows RT devices – the Surface 2 is not a bad upgrade choice.

The Surface Pro 2, on the other hand – takes some serious consideration. The processor has been upgraded and the new kickstand has been added, but nothing has significantly altered the user experience. The previous Intel processors ran well on the Surface Pro and while, the Surface Pro 2 does provide a jump in power – not everyone will need it. The HD screen has also remained the same and provides no compelling reason to upgrade. If you don’t have a Surface Pro already, the Surface Pro 2 might be a great choice and is a good step in the right direction for Microsoft. If you already own the Surface Pro and are enjoying it – you can probably skip this update and wait for Surface Pro 3.

Don’t forget that new Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 do not require the latest generation of Surface devices, they will work perfectly on the Surface RT or Surface Pro. In addition, the new docking station is also compatible with the original Surface Pro.

Whether you choose to upgrade now or wait, is your own decision, but we hope the above advice makes your decision a bit easier. In addition to Microsoft’s Surface devices, other great Windows 8.1 machines to check out include Lenovo’s YOGA Pro 2 and ThinkPad YOGA, Sony’s VAIO Flip and VAIO Tap 11 (for the review click here), and the latest Nokia 2520 RT tablet introduced today at Nokia World. You can check out our hands on experience with the Nokia 2520 by heading over to our post here.

Are you going to run out and pick up a new Surface or are you waiting for different devices on the horizon? If you are already a Surface owner, share your experiences and what you think about the product that Microsoft calls the #1 tablet for productivity.

All products mentioned above can be order at the Microsoft Store online by clicking here.

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Reader comments

Microsoft's latest generation Surface devices have landed - should you pick one up?

197 Comments

Except unlike the Surface Pro, it still runs RT. That's a tough pill to swallow for that amount of money, especially if you want something a little more powerful.

Exactly! Does Nokia actually offer a Windows 8.1 Pro tablet (not rt)? I guess MS does not allow them to steal consumers from the surface pro 2. I would buy a Nokia pro tablet but not rt. My windows phone is rt'ish enough.

I want a $899 surface pro 3 with broad well and a type cover, a $449/499 surface 3 running cherry trail and a touch cover, and a $299-399 max Lumia type device running RT. RT can't hit higher than $400 with devices like the venue pro. I understand Microsoft wants to protect their baby, I just hope they realize they're in the wrong price target, and then recognize precisely how successful a $499 surface with full win 8 could be.

I agree 100%.  Same too with those Ferarri bozos.  If they only dropped the price to $20k, I'd buy two.  And what about them 747s?  Too pricey for the likes of me.  I'll just have to settle for a crappy 737-300.

I'm waiting for someone to buy me a Pro 2. Any takers?
...
Make sure it's the 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB storage model.

I bought myself the surface pro 2 256gig. The difference is price is just the HDD you pay. All depens how many programs you will install since all the rest can be put on usb drive or card.
very happy with purchase only thing that misses is LTE support. If they would have put that on it it would be excellent.

I wouldn't recommand RT...it barely has any apps...its only good if you watch netflix ...or videos

The apps are there, but it's not a good form factor for a reader IMO. Way too big and heavy for books, and not a great aspect ratio for magazines and such.

This is the one reason I'm looking at an Ipad.
I want to view Epub/comics/magazines.
For everything else surface2 is better, but I want the reading.
To bad they don't make a 4:3 cover screen so we can have the best of both worlds.

Not sure what the point of bring an iPad in here was. For reading a paper white kindle is the only device. For everything else the Surface is the biz.

I have a kindle paper white and love it. But I want to read magazines and comics. And the 4:3 aspect ratio is better for that.

Yeah, that's the excuse I'm giving myself for looking at that iPad mini. I have a Thinkpad Tablet 2 Now. I had a Kindle Fire HD, but I had issues with it. Actually, I've had issues with all android base devices. But 400 dollars is a bit Much. I guess Apple figures they can get away with it cause people will probably still buy it. That's 70 dollars more than the first one :(
I think I may look at that Dell Venue Pro 8 or hopefully Sammy will make a nice 8 inch windows device or whomever really. We need some more devices in that segment.

I have the Surface RT and its really nice for reading books. I check them out for free from my local library using the Overdrive app. I then download them in the Kindle format . They automatically get returned two weeks later. Its free and easy.

I currently have the standard grey Touch keyboard but am considering getting the new Type keyboard with backlighting.

I just hate the side scrolling, it would be fine if the apps had some kind of snap that scrolled in pages. Scrolling sideways with the thumb as you hold the tablet is a PAIN IN THE ASS.
And why cant WPC fix this site so I can comment without attaching my keyboard to my Acer Iconia, its  impossible to activate the commentbox and touch keyboard with touch. /rant

What's wrong with the aspect ratio. The books and magazines get laid out horizontally, like an open book and you scroll lift and right , as if turning a page. I have had no issues reading on a landscape device. People have no problem reading heavy ass text books for school, but somehow the surface is too heavy.

I didn't say reading wasn't possible on it.  But there are better devices for every type of reading I can think of (except web pages).  If reading is a primary consideration, Surface is a poor choice.    Sure, if you like reading magazines horizontally on a  roughly 5.5" tall screen and always holding it with two hands, maybe you'll actually like reading on it.  But most readers won't.

That's funny I've been using the RT as my daily work unit since release and it hasn't skipped a beat. I would definitely recommend it.

I'm typing this on my Surface 2. So far I like it a lot though I'm limited to a slow web connection right now.

False.
While it is not perfect for everyone, it is a fantastic device for some so stop spreading the FUD.
I use mine daily for taking notes, browsing the web, writing e-mails, music, connecting to my server, powerpoint presentations for work and other tasks. 8.1 just made it even better.
My only gripe is no VLC yet.

VLC runs on Win8 just like it ran on Win7. According to their blog posts and forums, they have made good progress on RT, but it has been a while since the last update.

The Surface needs better note taking apps.
I know some where just announced, but so far the Ipad has better app taking notes.
Why doesn't the S2 support the digitizer pen, that would really help it sell.
 

One Note is great for note taking on the Surface RT.  If you use the app version of One Note, the alternate on-screen handwriting keyboard - used with a stylus - is fantastic.  I have horrible cursive handwriting and it recognizes most everything I write and converts it to text with the push of a button.

It's good for a lot more than that.  The biggest app weakness is you won't find the latest games.  But you will find a PC-level browser, Office, Skype, SkyDrive, XBox Live, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc.  Full touch IE on a table is really underated.  Do you install an app for every little thing you do on your PC?  Of course not.  You won't have to with the Surface either.

Wonderful post!

People unrealistically expect more from a surface running rt than other tablets or computerS... They act like they need to put everything and the kitchen sink on it or it is junk!

Yet, they compromise and love it elsewhere... Even more funny is someone comparing. It to a desktop...

I have a really nice desktop. Multiple monitors with one being touch screen... That does not mean it is better than my surface.

My computers are tools like other items in my tool box. You will never find one to replace them all and some do things better than others. This does nit mean one is junk or more valuable.

I continue to remind myself that many people do not have many computers like me where they can be selective and see them as tools. They need to make sure the device they choose will work for what they need it to... However, this does not mean they are justified in bashing items that do not work or fit their bill.. Its that simple. That product does not work and move on... Yet many other them bash and hate products and companies to justify themselves...

I guess this is why I don't have a favorite sports team. I enjoy them all and have a great time no matter what.

Oh...the mythical "barely any apps" poster. I would estimate in your lifetime you will see roughly the same number of unique apps as you would on iOS or Android. You forget that, while 100,000 < 800,000, it would takes you days and days to actually see all those apps, read their names, etc. You are very unlikely to read and process close to 10% of all the apps in the iOS or Android store. I would probably say closer the 4-5% range. That being said... even 10% of the iOS/Android store is a SMALLER number than the Windows Store. You will perceive no noticeable difference in app quanitity. You are actually referring to official first party apps from companies you personally care about.
Please don't confuse the two.
If you want to argue 100,000 is barely any...go to one of the several college football stadiums that can hold 100,000 people. I bet you won't be yelling that 100,000 is barely any when you are stuck in traffic for quite a while.

The Windows Store is doing pretty well given it's only been around for a year.  I know you realize this but to be clear, yes you will percieve a difference in app quantity as in you won't find a lot of specific apps.  There is no app for any of my three media streamers for example (Sony, Chromecast, and WDLive).  There is for Android.  Local business apps and such will not be found.  Neither will a lot of specialized professional and educational apps many people require. If you want Angry Birds your only choice is the Star Wars version.  I could go on and on.  A lot of this can be overcome by virtue of a full functioning browser and standard interfaces and drivers.  But not all of it.  

Do your streamers work in a browser? If they do, then they will work on RT. I realize Chromecast requires a chrome browser. So, that won't work. How about the other two? All those local business have fully functional websites. Are the apps any better than the actual website? Angry birds also has the space version. However, your point about games does stand.

I'm guessing you don't actually have one, because that's what the iPad can do, the Surface RT also has a full-fledged USB port with a database of over 1 million drivers it has access too, which includes, but not limited to printers, mouses, keyboards, webcams, phones, even mass storage devices.
 
Please, I beg of you, crawl out from the rock you're stuck under, we're WPCentral, not iMore.

I go back and forth on RT. The terrible performance of the tegra 3 in my surface made me very anti RT when I saw that atom tablets were cheaper, faster, and just as good battery life. If what I read about tegra 4 is correct, then the performance issue is gone. But there still remains the problem that im not sure what you are getting with RT over W8 to justify the lack of x86 compatibility. Saying "I don't need x86" isn't a valid argument because you still haven't shown what you get for the compromise. If rt was cheaper, then sure, but the announced bay trail tablets are all in the $300-400 range. So please, RT proponents, educate me.

The Surface RT's advantages are security, build quality, form factor (subjective of course), support, and generally less muck which tends to accumulate over time on x86 machines.  These advantages appeal more to casual and family use than to enthusiasts.  And of course there's no reason Microsoft couldn't put Bay Trail in the Surface RT chassis and negate the physical aspects.  But they don't, so there you go.

I can understand where you're coming from. I often ask the same questions. Why should I get a RT tablet (From MS or other) instead of a bay trail tablet with x86 support?
If I understand correctly, the Windows 8 store has more apps than the RT store (I may be wrong here), and Windows 8 tablets can also run x86 applications... and they cost less than a Surface RT, and the battery life / horse power is about the same?
Maybe other RT tablets cost less than a bay trail tablet, but I haven't seen one significantly less to justify buying an RT over a bay trail.
Sorry, prlundberg: I don't see a big enough difference in build quality, support, form factor, or security to push me to the RT side.
I guess not having to buy office is a PRO for the RT column.

My reasons were all valid and significant.  If they are worthwhile to you is another issue so I won't try to tell you what your needs are.  The Surface RT isn't everything to everybody and doesn't pretend to be.  But that's the real beauty of Windows, isn't it?  If you don't like it you have several other options.  I don't get why so many people complain about having choices.

I'm not sure what you mean by Windows 8 Store and RT Store. The RT and Pro get their "apps" from the same store. As far as build quality, the screen is very clear (even though its not 1080). The the kickstand and keyboard versatility both come in handy every time I use it and I use it practically every day.

I know what you guys mean, too. I love my Surface RT--it's an awesome device--but there have been several instances where I've been frustrated by the lack of x86 capability (mostly wanting to control it as a remote desktop device). The Surface 2 looks absolutely awesome--makes up for every shortcoming of the original Surface (mainly, so-so screen, so-so speakers, and a so-so processor), adds in some new awesome stuff (improved keyboards, kickstands, and battery life), and I really have been contemplating selling my Surface RT and upgrading. But as I'm thinking about that I then think abou this: say I sell the Surface RT and Type cover for $300 on Craigslist or whatever, then I'd need to spend another $530 (before taxes) to get the Surface 2 with the Type Cover 2. But, if I'm going to spend all that money, why wouldn't I just get a full Windows 8.1 tablet? Well, there are a few reasons: 1) I love the build quality and design of the Surface line, and 2) holy shit they're giving away 200GB of free SkyDrive Storage for 2 years and 1 year of free Skype!. Still, then I think, is all that worth it for the occassional times I will be frustrated that it can't run legacy apps? I don't know, which is why I'm still wavering on what to do (I also fear I'll feel guilty upgrading when I convinced 3 other family members to get the Surface RT, almost like I'm bailing on them).

Do you want a truck or a car??? One has nit value over the other... They serve different task, offer benefits that the other does not or or does not do well enough...

Rt vs regular is the same. They offer pros and cons. Rt has many pluses... Fanless and cool usage, better security is enough for almost every PC user who gets viruses and malware (how I know, but why because they do not know how to use a computer and need a safer environment to play in), plus more..

The store will continue to grow and almost all store apps will work on rt. Tegra 3 moan and groans are not the os... It was the hardware. It was like getting a netbook from yesteryear. Microsoft should have known better on that one, but the tablet still performed well then... It truly multitasked vs others and that alone hurt it when users didn't understand how to use it optimally.

X86 application usage is valid while we go through these short few years of transferring out of the executable of programs. Many people want to see the desktop go away and data stored like a database. Apps are going to continue to be built around and apart of the is vs the old. What desktop apps...

If you know you don't need an rt, fine. Don't buy it... Does that make it garbage??? No! The rt does not need to be justified to you, you don't need it.. So stop bashing it.

I have two surfaces, rt and a 2... The rest of my many computers are all x86 64bit machines. Even my mac. They all have a purpose that it does better than the other. my mac is used the least, but that does not mean it is junk! it is solid and I will be updating it later today. I still have windows 7 running on my production machines, but one is on 8.1 for dev.

Have a great day :)

Thanks for the superb comments. More people need to think this way. I think RT is great for certain things. Will be getting an RT tablet again when I upgrade from my Surface.

Bay Trail x86 performance has been sub par - pretty bad in most reviews I've read so getting a Bay Trail tablet for running true x86 is not really a good reason in my oppionion since the Tegra 4 will run most everything ARM better than bay trail.
Now if you can get a slim fanless iCore tablet then by all means tell me which one it is so i can buy it too!!

i used to own a surface rt. typing on my surface 2 now and i can tell you all the performance issues are gone. blaaaaazing fast.

Also, think of why you really need x86. I thought about it and I realized that i really didn't need x86. IE, office suite and 14hours of battery life is all I need.

It blows my mind to hear comments like this
.. What do you need that is not there... Aheam, that you actually need to use on this small package??? Price? Please...

I have so many computers... So many different purposes for each... I do not and have not regretted my purchase of two rt(s) or my surface 2 today.

No other tablet compares... The surface pro will not replace my ultrabook, that is why I do not have one of those... Even still, I would not do much heavy work or programming on it unless it was docked... Which, I would be using a more powerful machine for.

The surface rt models are great at being a tablet that can do almost all, even remotely when needed. Small, light, cool to touch, et, portable computer... I mean, most people whonclammer about rt use computers for the minute tasks. L.. But whatever floats your boat...

I am not a fan of ios at all.. Can't work with it the way I need to... It is limited. Yet, I don't bash it. It not fit me, but that does not make it or android junk to me... That don't work for me that's it. They work wonders for many. There is nothing wrong with me or them. People get what you want and need. You do not have to justify your choice or lack there if by bashing things.

Rt is the future, just like android, and ios. These will be the future OS's... The desktop of old will be only used for specific tasks. IOS, android, and windows rt are bring built from the ground up to lead in the future... The pain and limitation is only seen now... With every passage, the old desktop is idea will continue to fade foe the consumer and prosumer.

As many have pointed out before, it has a full, flash enabled browser. Many of the apps that are missing have fully functional website that will work nearly as well as the app and in some cases better. A good example is HBOGO. There is no app in the store, but you can access all the content online. On the phone, you need apps because the browser doesn't run flash and it is limited. This is not the case with the tablet.

I'm happy with my home built pc, more power for the money. Although the beautiful surface does have a unique attraction to it.
Either way I supported Microsoft by getting a Lumia 920 and buying Windows 8 Pro for my pc.

I am also happy with my 3 pc's as well as my file server, but not sure what that has to do with anything?
Can't take them to a clients for easy note taking or recording. If you are a user that has and needs a powerful desktop, this isn't and shouldn't be seen as a replacement for it.

What are you talking about...I just picked up a 3 PC folio with bluetooth keyboard the other day. The whole package only weighs 75 lbs, and it looks svelt in my messenger bag /s

^This
Although it would be nice if they included the keyboards in a trade-in, would love to trade my old one for a new one with the backlight!

I'd love to trade my old one in because this is the second one I've had that back of the keyboard, where it connects to the Surface, splits and reveals a silver-plate covering the electronics underneath.

I have an RT. People complain about apps... I dont feel like I am missing anything crucial. Its a great consumption device, and even if there isn't an app for something, what's wrong with just using the web-site? You can just pin that to your start screen... Anyway, would love a 2, but can't afford a new toy right now. I would love the better processor, screen, and stand

Agree 100% mate, I have been using an RT since release day, I don't use a laptop anymore, with 8.1 I have outlook and ethernet connectivity using the surface adapter. I have also never had these so called performance issues that I hear about and I run multiple apps at once.

I still use my old laptop, but only as a stationary PC.  And even then really only for its hard drive.  My RT is all I need for personal mobile use. 

Bam!!! Nail on the head!!!

They complain for other reasons than the product... Don't try to understand, just try to move on... Yeah it is hard to do, but in time maybe we will browse right by their post as we are busy with a solid rt product...

I find the app argument abit moot. One of the main points of apps on smartphones was because the web broswer sucked and teh small screen made it hard to do anything on websites. So a dedicated app helped. On a tablet the web browser is more than capable and I only need an app for something i cannot do in the web. That being said, MS needs to open up RT, and allow devs to recomplile they're x86 programs to run on ARM. It isn't that hard from what I'm hearing, but MS blocks the desktop from being used by anyone but them.

I just got my RT right after the price drop.  If I could sell my 64GB unit for $350 I would consider buying the Surface 2 but I am not sure i can get that for it right now.

Surface 1st gen will stay in my arms....and on my lap......and on a coffee shop table at some point.....and did i mention that the touch cover not only protects the device, but if held appropriately, makes an ideal balancing table when carrying multiple items up the stairs? No? Well it does :P

I'll wait for Dell Venue 11 Pro. It's full Windows and more affordable.
 
Surface 2 Pro is good for sure, but out of my budget. Surface 2 (RT) doesn't meet my needs. I need to run some desktop apps.

Keep my original Surface buddy, add better keyboard and bluetooth adapter. Maybe later the cover with battery. I'll love it more than ever...

I'm not "upgrading". Several reasons:
1st my Surface RT isn't 1 year old yet. Actually, it's not even 6 months old. I could sell it to buy a new one, but why bother? Sure it lags a bit, but I mainly only use it to work on Word (that's actually the main reason I bought it instead of a laptop). Everything else I do on my power PC.
2nd the Surface 2 doesn't come in black. Sorry, but unlike some, I don't like bright nor colourful devices. Black is always the best option to me. I also liked the Microsoft Imperial Seal on the back better than the "Surface" name.
3rd I rather wait for Surface 3. Nokia disappointed me with the L2520. And their exclusion of the current Surface covers, broke the deal to me.
 
So no, no upgrade to me.
That said, I've just ordered the purple Type Cover 2. Because it's gorgeous, backlit and the purple is dark instead of bright purple (as I feared from the renderings)

Now go! I demand a human sacrifice in my name! Only blood will appease me! Go! Or feel my wrath!

I don't need full windows so I'm having a REALLY hard time choosing between Surface 2 and the Nokia 2520...

I'd have to hold that Nokia in person and play with the cover/keyboard before I could decide.  I REALLY like the Surface with type keyboard. 

I agree. Both designs are beautiful in their own way, so I guess it will probably come down to how they look and feel in person.

I literally JUST came to the same conclusion. Just saw the Surface 2 at BB. While very nice, I can't resist the color options of the Nokia and having it match my phone. Throw in NFC, HERE maps, LTE, Carl Zeiss camera, and a couple of exclusive apps...SOLD!!

im gonna wait a little bit for the surface 2 to drop. im happy with my RT and gets the job done. i will get the purple type cover asap tho.

No new Surface for me. The first generation Pro is working just fine. I may look at one of the back lit keyboards. And the dock when it comes out, although I have a 4 port USB hub that does everything I need it to.

To those who have never tried one, I consider the Surface to be the nicest piece of technology I've ever used. It's not cheap, but the quality is certainly there. I've used mine daily in the truck and in a construction site office so it gets a workout in less than ideal conditions and it has held up better than any laptop I've ever used.

Getting the Surface 2 today!  Trying to decide on the touch or type cover.  Especially that they are $10 difference.

For the small difference in price, I would go with the type keyboard. 
The touch keyboard works okay, but the type keyboard is solid.  I found that the touch keyboard worked really well when I was testing it in the store, but it was less accurate when I got home.  I think the difference is when I was trying it in the store, I was standing up and standing over the keyboard.  It's much more accurate in that position, whereas when I am sitting down at a desk, with my palms resting on the table, my accuracy is much worse.  That's just me.  I ended up getting the type keyboard on eBay and have both now, but I always use the type keyboard.  The difference in thickness and weight is negligible.

I know I'm late for this, but I look at it like this:  If you want a great cover you can type on, get the Touch.  If you want a great keyboard you can use as a cover, get the Type.  If you do a lot of typing, it's a no-brainer, get the Type.  If you only occassionaly type, don't care so much about speed and accuracy, and don't mind the feel of it, the Touch will probably be fine.  The main advantage to the Touch is it's nicer to hold when you fold it back. 
I have the Type.  I think the Touch would have been fine for my use, but my wife just didn't like it.

I had the original Surface and sold it a few months ago. I love the kickstand and used it almost always without the touch cover. Part of me wants Surface 2 and the other the Nokia Lumia 2520.. Decisions.

I'd drive down to Best Buy right now and get TWO 256GB Pro's for my workplace if Microsoft would have prepared for SOME demand. Instead, we are stuck on the December 15th ship date. I thought for sure Best Buy would get least 2 of the higher end at each store.

My Surface 2 keeps crashing :( then it needs to reboot ... Fix this Microsoft :( someone else who got this problem?

Mine is working fine. The only slight issue I have is that I don't like the audio out through the headphone jack. I hear really low level white noise when audio is "about to play" like in Xbox music and when I am typing (with key press sound on). The weird thing is that the key press sound has not registered a few times so I'm wondering if this is a real problem or being nitpicky. I also thought I could snap more than 2 apps side-by-side based on my brief usage of 8.1 on my laptop but I can't seem to do that in RT.

So is it based on physical screen size or resolution? My laptop and the Surface 2 are 1920x1080 and turns out both only support 2 app snap. Supposedly apps must be able to reside in 500 horizontal lines so I figured 3 could be snapped, and when I was driving my external monitor, which is 1920x1200 I can snap 3. It's a little confusing. Are there hard and fast rules?

I took advantage of the $200 trade in at Best Buy yesterday for our Surface RT and bought a Surface 2 today. Love the new screen and the second angle on the kickstand is more useful than I thought it would be. And of course the Tegra 4 is the key. Candy Crush is way better now :)
The volume button no longer worked on the old one...and that was annoying. Glad I did it.

You got a full $200 for your Surface RT at Best Buy? Are there any catches? What about adding in the original Touch cover?

The main catch is that the promotion ended yesterday.  I went in and they were going to give me $105.  Then I showed them the promotion on their site from my phone.  The service person fiddled around and finally got to a point where the promotion showed up and she gave me the $200 gift card.  I had nothing but the original box and it's contents (tablet and AC adapter).  The only thing that was required was that the screen was not cracked or damaged and that it turned on.  So the chipped paint, the broken volume and a bent corner didn't matter.  Don't think I would have gotten much more than $200 selling it online.

I'd like to be someone to give an answer from experience, but I can't. Never found a need for the cover. But a quick search indicates that the bus is the same and the first and second gens are compatible backwards and forward.
 
I did upgrade the Surface RT to 8.1 and noticed another button on the virtual keyboard by the space bar. I think it is to turn on and off the backlight. Would be cool to see confirmation of the back and forth compatibility and see if the first Gen surface can turn on the lively backlight for second Gen keyboard.

No USB? It has a USB 3.0 port on the side and two more if you get the keyboard cover.

Micro-USB on the side vs full-size USB on the Surface. Full-size USB on the optional cover. Which is better depends on what you need.

True, but I figure most people will get that optional cover if they plan on getting the 2520. Much like if they get a Surface 2, they'll probably end up getting a keyboard cover there as well, so I figure it ends up being a push. For those that don't get a cover for the 2520, then you're right, they have to go with the Micro-USB on the side. 

Love my, Surface 2!!!! The only real complaint I have is that for the price of $449.00 the Touch Keyboard should come standard. Besides that its by far the best tablet available.

Picked up my 32GB Surface 2 this morning at my local Best Buy. I'm not interested in the Nokia Lumia 2520. It's nice, but there's always been something about the Surface that I have loved. Very happy with my decision to ditch the iPad and go all in on a Surface 2.

The kickstand is the killer feature for me. The new dual position kickstand is so good, so simple yet it makes a world of difference having that extra position. Been using my Surface 2 on my lap nearly all day!

I wonder if any of the tech reviewers were able to test out the Nokia 2520 on their laps. I'm guessing not, but I am curious how stable it would be in that position.

I want to pick one up but the Pro 256/512 has poor availability. MS Store - Dec 15th ship date. Best Buy - not available. Amazon - is not even carrying it yet. This is crazy.

I have to agee there...I know they are being so much more careful now due to the original Surface Write down...but at least carry 2 of the high end Pro's in all stores on launch day. :( They are missing out on my business getting TWO today.

Will wait to see what the Dell Venue 11 looks like in comparison to the Surface Pro 2.  While specs are about the same, would love to see a comparison review.  I am happy to wait until next year.

RT is great. Why do people complain? My wife's Ipad broke so I convinced her on a new Surface and she is in love. She has found every app that she has wanted and loves the web browser. She still uses the browser mostly instead of half featured apps anyways. I need legacy software for production etc, but for her RT is perfect. The only people I meet that do not like RT are ones that have never used it, and people that truly need legacy software. Try RT 8.1 you will enjoy it!

Which more powerful Intel tablet so we can all bash it? Come on, give us some more details.

Hehe, go for it. Information on it is really scarce for some reason, can't even find it on Intel's website. It's the Intel EA-C22L Tablet PC

 

    I can't speak to its "power". Not sure how to compare a dual core mobile celeron 1.5 GHz to the Tegra 4. It has a worse display, which matters on a consumption device with such a large screen, and its cameras are terrible, which wouldn't matter except that they are so terrible that it does :) It does seem to be pretty power efficient. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be "available" to me from a reputable source so that is a big issue.

    "Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 also include 200 GB of online SkyDrive storage for two years" <-- huh, so wtf happens to my content after two years!! This is my first time seeing the "two years" part of this.

    It continues to "exist" but you cannot modify it unless you download it to offline storage (or continue to pay the yearly rate for the additional SkyDrive). Supposedly this will be the deal moving forward so as long as you get a new Surface every 2 years you are set :)

    Damn, didn't know that SkyDrive had a yearly rate. it's cool, I'm just wondering when I decided to end my 200G of free skydrive usage, will my data be properly destroyed, and not be hanging around in the cloud. 

    My understanding is that you will have to remove your data from your account until you drop below the amount of storage that you get for free and then your SkyDrive will work as it did before you had 200 GB of extra space. So basically you get an extra 200 GB of cloud storage for free for 2 years to "streamline" transfer of all your stuff between your various supported devices, after which time you either start paying or lose that ability.

    You either move it or pay for the storage space if you like and need it. Cost will likely be minimal for that amount of Cloud storage by then.

    I was in two minds about whether to get a Surface 2 or wait until the Nokia tablet was released.  Eventually, though, I thought Nokia's colourful designs might be a bit much when scaled up to tablet size so I plumped for the Surface with the (fairly muted) purple type cover.  I'm very pleased with it -- it looks and performs superbly.

    I bought a surface 2 with a purple type cover 2 at Best Buy today with 18 month financing. I am a happy camper
    have been using it throughout the day and it's an enjoyable experience. It is fast, the screen is crisp, and the keyboard a delight to use (not missing a beat/key). I have lots of apps on it and will also he using it for office and SkyDrive. I bought a separate64GB microSD card as well so I can store my music and videos on it. With windows 8.1, you can easily go to the microSD drive via windows explorer, right click on a folder, and tell it to virtually "add" the contents to, say, the Music library. BAM, happy camper x 2 ;)

    I plan to get a yoga 2 pro in the future and make it my FULL Windows ultrabook, because it has a larger screen and will have more storage than the Surface. My Surfsce is for consumption, entertainment and much productivity, whole the yoga will also bridge me into the consumption side, but will be my workhorse when I need one

    Another thing: the integrated kick stand is a must for me, and the way surface has done theirs, it works much better on the lap than other options out there, and it is very stable on the desk

    I don't get the dislike of RT devices. This is the direction that MS wants to go in. Its clear that the desktop is their just for office etc. Metro is the future and as soon as the Metro apps are sufficient the need for desktop in these devices will be irrelevant. I'm looking forward to them dropping it. No viruses, consistent performance. What's the problem with that?

    Because in its current state RT is a woeful replacement for desktop functionality. If all you want to do is watch Netflix and browse the web you're welcome to RT but most people use other productivity programs other than office so just because that is available doesn't mean RT meets everyone's needs. And just look at android, an ARM based system if you need reassurance that viruses are not strictly for x86 systems. If RT gets big enough viruses will follow so that's no reason to favor RT.

    Actually in its current state it can meet most people's personal needs.  Most people only use their PCs for browsing, email, and light media (photos, video, etc).  It doesn't meet everybody's needs of course but it doesn't pretend to either.  That's why Microsoft continues to support Haswell and Bay Trail tablets along with ultrabooks, notebooks, and desktops.  There's no question Microsoft wants Metro/Modern to be the future, they have made that clear.  It isn't all there yet, but then again it's not pretending to be.  The RT is a companion device that has replaced my laptop for my personal mobile use quite nicely.  It's also very close to being able to replace my work laptop (but not my work PC).  It is remarkedly capable with the Type keyboard, a wireless mouse, and RDP.
    As far as security goes, the fact that you can only install apps from the Microsoft Store is what makes it more secure than Android will ever be.  With that said, Android's reputation for malware is overblown, they don't have near the issues x86 Windows has had.  Not even close.  And I don't necessarily like the fact that RT isn't an open marketplace, as openess built Windows.  But there is no question it is more secure than an open market and will always be so.

    I thought I heard that while the Touch and Type Cover 2 are backwards compatible with the Surface Pro, that they cannot be used on the original Surface RT. This article says otherwise.

    haswell and more mem are very enticing, but i'll have to make do with the surface pro. I will probably get the type cover with the battery built in for added battery life. should hold me over until we see what surface team and nokia hardware team can do together (will they? who knows, maybe they'll continue to both put out 2 different products, but it definitely would be interesting to see what they concoct together).

    Just got my new Touch Cover 2 delivered today.  It's better than Touch Cover 1 in almost every way except for one big flaw, selecting text using click and drag is like a bad joke, it just doen't work for whatever reason.  It just stops when I'm not even done dragging.  It's not just me, I connect my Touch Cover 1 and voila, I can click and drag to select without any issues...

    Got mine just after midnight (Surface Pro 2), and I absolutely love it! It's an incredible machine, the next few years with it will be wonderful.

    I don't need a new Surface but what I do want is to be able to use a pen. So I guess I have to upgrade.

    Don't forget about the Dell Venue 11 Pro. That tablet/laptop looks to be the best convertible of the bunch (assuming that the accessories work well). It's not only got a removeable battery, core i5 processor (if you upgrade to that), but also a keyboard with a battery which you can use on your lap.

    I know devices on paper are sometimes better than how they perform in real life, but this would be the device I would buy if I didn't already own a Surface Pro.

    Traded in my OG Surface RT yesterday, picked up my Surface 2 about two hours ago... It's wonderful. The screen, texture of the bare metal has more grip, its much much snappier, and its much lighter! I'm in love.

    Can't get a Surface 2 Pro, it's backordered for ages. You can't even preorder a keyboard. Why did they make so many RTs but not nearly enough Pro 2s? They are terrible at demand prediction.

    I am so conflicted. I guess I need to feel the Nokia in hand before I judge, but I quite love my Gen One Surface. A Surface 2 with dock would make working even easier. Sigh. First world problems.

    I've got the Surface RT and while the Surface 2 is a nice upgrade, I think ill wait for the Surface 3, or a Surface 2 price drop.

    Dude... the Surface Pro 2 has a 7.5 hour battery life... the Surface Pro has like 4.25 hours of battery life.  That significantly improves user experience.
    Glad to know that the keyboards are backward compatible... now... are the old type covers cheaper?

    I'm a medical student from India,but my cousins got one surface pro 2 for me,I'll be getting it soon,i need to carry books like 3kg for my postings,now with SP2 i can go paperless just with 2lbs excited and with snap view I can take notes same time reading a book,its an awesome device.

    I have difficulties to understand why there is a successor to a $900 millions flop. Also I don't understand why Nokia is going to make a Windows RT tablet and not a real Windows tablet.
     
    I actually own a Surface RT with Touch Cover but never use it. I bought it because I thought my local newspapers would surely create apps for Windows like they did for Apple and Android. But so far they haven't. So the only usecase for my tablet usage is nought. I wonder if I will ever be able to read my newspapers on the Surface RT.
     
    Therefore I will not upgrade to the Surface 2 as it's not useful for me due to lack of apps. (newspapers to be exact). On the other hand a Surface Pro 2 would be a good upgrade for my current laptop. But it's too expensive unfortunately. Maybe I can talk my employer into buying one for me but I doubt it... :)

    If all you use a tablet for is your local newspapers, it's no surprise you don't understand the appeal of the Surface RT. A generic Chinese $99 Android will probably work fine for you.

    Hi, I need help here. On the MS website, the Surface Pro 2 (256GB of storage with 8GB RAM) will be available from the 15th of December. This is only valid for online purchases? I'll be in the U.S. in late November, if I go into a MS Store, can I buy a Surface Pro 2 with 8 GB of RAM before December 15?!

    I was curious on the surface 2"RT". But I have decided to buy the ace w700 instead. I don't want the RT os when you can get better performance and the real Windows 8 for the price of Microsoft surface 2.

    I bought a Surface RT for $199.99 on Black Friday and don't regret my purchase one bit. Its everything I could ask for and more. Yeah the apps might not be great but that's what my WP is for. I'm a college student and I just typed up a 5 page essay on my RT, wirelessly printed it and backed it up onto my flash drive while using a second screen on a monitor to listen to Spotify. Yup, I'm happy :)