Beneath the Surface

KeyboardtasticAs predicted, the Microsoft’s Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are little more than spec bumps from last year’s flops:

The Surface Pro 2 is a full laptop in a tablet design, said Panos Panay, the Microsoft vice president in charge of Surface, who noted that the graphics performance is 50 percent better and its battery life 20 percent longer than its predecessor. It includes a tweaked “dual-position kickstand” that allows users to tilt the screen at two different angles.

The Surface 2 is the successor to the original Surface RT, which runs a stripped down version of Windows 8. The company said it is lighter, thinner, and faster.

The RT version contains a Tegra 4 chip from Nvidia, as CNET previously reported. It also features a full HD 1080p screen and runs three to four times faster than its predecessor. At the same time, battery life is 25 percent better than the first Surface.

“This is the fastest product I have used relative to a personal tablet,” Panay said. “This product is faster in every single way…. You’re using this thing at speeds that are unprecedented.”


I don’t recall anyone claiming the major problem with the old Surface is that it ran too slowly. Don’t get me wrong, I love speed increases as much as the next nerd, but that’s not why the Surface failed. It failed because it was an ill-conceived keyboard-centric “touch” tablet with a screen, battery life, and app selection which were all worse than the iPad’s. And a price that was higher than the Android competition.

The Surface 2 doesn’t really address any of those issues, although the battery life on the Pro model now looks to be acceptable. Yet it remains the answer to the question nobody is asking: “Where can I get a tablet that might as well be a laptop I can’t use on my lap?”

Also notice that Microsoft has dropped the “RT” branding from the junior model. It was poison.


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