Microsoft's Surface 2 Brings Better Battery, More Speed

IanDavis

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Aug 18, 2012
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Microsoft's Surface 2 Brings Better Battery, More Speed



The laptop/tablet hybrid gets a host of new improvements.

Microsoft knew it was taking a gamble with the hybrid interface in Windows 8. The Surface showcased the dual-desktop idea, and even experimented around with the low-power ARM processor. For whatever reason, the Surface never really caught on, forcing Microsoft to [a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125988-Microsoft-Slices-30-Off-Surface-RT-Prices]heavily slash prices[/a] to start moving inventory. Regardless, it's moving forward with a [a href=http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/pre-order]new and improved[/a] version of the Surface, hoping that with better battery life, a new kickstand, and more power, the hybrid device will finally find a market.

The Surface 2 gets a moderate improvement in battery life, with Microsoft quoting 10 hours of "active use", even with the new 1080p screen. Both cameras get a boost, with the front-facing camera modified to perform better while video chatting in low-light environments. Also, the kickstand can be adjusted for lower angles, so it's more comfortable while being used on a lap. Perhaps the most important change is that Outlook will now run on the ARM-based tablet, meaning it now has a shot at adoption in the business world.

The Surface Pro sees fewer, but more critical, changes. The 1.6Ghz i5 processor running with Intel's new Haswell chipset earns a 60% increase in battery life along with the improved performance. Microsoft has yet to announce any specific hours to go with that battery life, but any improvement over the original's notoriously short lifespan would be welcomed. The solid-state storage can be customized to be anywhere from 64GB to 512GB, but specific pricing hasn't been announced yet.

The Surface starts at $449, and the Surface Pro at $899. Neither price includes the (now backlit) $119 Touch Cover 2. Meanwhile, purchasing either device will earn you 200GB Skydrive storage and one year of unlimited Skype calls to landlines. Pre-orders are set to begin shortly.

Source: [a href=http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/pre-order]Microsoft[/a] via [a href=http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/23/raw-stats-and-hands-on-notes-for-microsofts-new-surface-2-and-surface-pro-2/]TechCrunch[/a]

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Ed130 The Vanguard

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Sep 10, 2008
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They are still trying to force Windows 8 Windows RT down peoples throats?

I thought with Ballmer gone they would at least cut their losses, or is this his last hurrah?
 

Teoes

Poof, poof, sparkles!
Jun 1, 2010
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Can I have it in Android please? :> And cheaper. And, oh, forget it.

Ed130 said:
They are still trying to force Window 8 down peoples throats?

I thought with Ballmer gone they would at least cut their losses, or is this his last hurrah?
"From Hell's heart, I stab at thee.." *Ballmer melts into the floor*

(edit: typo)
 

RicoADF

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Jun 2, 2009
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The Samsung ATX hybrid shows how its done. The surface is a bad wannabe device that does a far worse job of merging tablet with laptop/PC.
 

BloodSquirrel

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Jun 23, 2008
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I'm tempted to get the pro.

Android is nice for phones, but for the tablet, where I expect more functionality, it just isn't cutting it for me. Android has a lot of apps for it, but they're mostly simple stuff designed solely for touch. There's nothing like, say, Eclipse IDE for android, and the lack of proper mouse support for stuff drives me nuts.
 

james.sponge

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MS should stick to making semi-successful operating systems. Speaking of which isn't it time for win 9 announcement? ;)
 

Alfador_VII

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james.sponge said:
MS should stick to making semi-successful operating systems. Speaking of which isn't it time for win 9 announcement? ;)
Say what you like about Microsoft but you can't call many of their operating systems semi-successful (even Vista and Windows ME sold well). If you're a Gamer, they really are the only viable option. Yes, there is Mac OS and Linux, but they have far less support for games.

Basically, we all say we hate MS, but most of us their OSes all the time :/

As for this surface, interesting, but it's not going to make me move away from my laptop or iPad just yet.
 

james.sponge

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Alfador_VII said:
james.sponge said:
MS should stick to making semi-successful operating systems. Speaking of which isn't it time for win 9 announcement? ;)
Say what you like about Microsoft but you can't call many of their operating systems semi-successful (even Vista and Windows ME sold well). If you're a Gamer, they really are the only viable option. Yes, there is Mac OS and Linux, but they have far less support for games.

Basically, we all say we hate MS, but most of us their OSes all the time :/

As for this surface, interesting, but it's not going to make me move away from my laptop or iPad just yet.
I totally agree. I just wanted to point out MS domination on OS market has nothing to do with quality of their products. Ms is your only option if you are a gamer, engineer, graphic designer or simple office worker because almost every piece of software is made with windows in mind (and macOS I guess ;) ).

Vista was popular true but only because they shoved it down your throat with every new computer at the time same with win 7, and let us not forget all companies around the world just finished migrating to win 7 after abandoning xp filling MS vault with lots of cash and allowing them to develop baffling ideas like win 8 win and 8.1.
 

Estelindis

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Saving money at the moment in the hopes of buying a Pro 2. Need to replace my old laptop with its wonky hinges and have always wanted a graphics tablet where you can draw directly onto the screen; this seems to cover both bases. Really looking forward to getting my hands on this new device. :)
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Teoes said:
"From Hell's heart, I stab at thee.." *Ballmer melts into the floor*
"I've already hurt you, consumers, and now I plan to keep on hurting you...."

*raises head to sky*

BALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLMER!
 

CosmoJoe

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Mar 20, 2013
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Ed130 said:
They are still trying to force Window 8 down peoples throats?

I thought with Ballmer gone they would at least cut their losses, or is this his last hurrah?
For a touch device, what OS would you want to be using? Windows 7? I mean seriously, c'mon. I understand the griping from people using a non-touch device with Windows 8. It is awkward until you learn a few windows shortcut keys and whatnot but for touch devices, Windows 8 is very usable.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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Sep 10, 2008
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CosmoJoe said:
Ed130 said:
They are still trying to force Window 8 down peoples throats?

I thought with Ballmer gone they would at least cut their losses, or is this his last hurrah?
For a touch device, what OS would you want to be using? Windows 7? I mean seriously, c'mon. I understand the griping from people using a non-touch device with Windows 8. It is awkward until you learn a few windows shortcut keys and whatnot but for touch devices, Windows 8 is very usable.
As a tablet OS Windows 8 is at best a competent tablet OS, normally this would be fine however it is going up against two entrenched opponents and carrying heavy baggage.

When it came out it was like MS were barely trying, the app store was a mess http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/5-reasons-why-the-windows-8-store-is-a-complete-mess/ (I hope they've at least fixed those issues)...

And I just realised I should have said RT instead of 8.

Anyway all of the above still applies to both Windows RT and 8.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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Ed130 said:
I thought with Ballmer gone they would at least cut their losses, or is this his last hurrah?
I think this is his last desperate flail at some horrifying unseen foe.

Given that the Surface not only bombed, but bombed so badly they had to write off almost a billion dollars in stock, you've got to wonder what they were all smoking when they dreamed up Surface 2. Not only that, but they've decided that to be a success, they need to remove the most interesting/best feature (the cover keyboard) and make it an accessory costing over a hundred bucks!

Maybe they were injecting something too, they definitely weren't sober.

Or maybe, if Ballmer can't go down as a success, he's trying to set a record for most failed pieces of hardware.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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Estelindis said:
Saving money at the moment in the hopes of buying a Pro 2. Need to replace my old laptop with its wonky hinges and have always wanted a graphics tablet where you can draw directly onto the screen; this seems to cover both bases.
Don't do it. Speaking as the owner of an ASUS e121, a $400 laptop and a Cintiq would have been much better for a couple of hundred dollars more. Once you're using a screen to draw on you rapidly start yearning for a second screen, plus shortcut keys and the proper Wacom pen is so much better (I'm using a Samsung one that's most of the way there, but not as nice to grip). Stroke tracking is nothing like as good as a Cintiq on any tablet I've used, including a surface Pro.

It's better than a normal graphics tablet, but having had a go on a Cintiq 13 after about five minutes I was cursing not being a bit more patient and buying the separate hardware.
 

Estelindis

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Jan 25, 2008
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fix-the-spade said:
Don't do it. Speaking as the owner of an ASUS e121, a $400 laptop and a Cintiq would have been much better for a couple of hundred dollars more. Once you're using a screen to draw on you rapidly start yearning for a second screen, plus shortcut keys and the proper Wacom pen is so much better (I'm using a Samsung one that's most of the way there, but not as nice to grip). Stroke tracking is nothing like as good as a Cintiq on any tablet I've used, including a surface Pro.

It's better than a normal graphics tablet, but having had a go on a Cintiq 13 after about five minutes I was cursing not being a bit more patient and buying the separate hardware.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't think this would make good economic sense for me. I'm not going to be able to buy a laptop with specs anywhere near those of the Surface Pro for $400 (even assuming that dollars were my currency, which they're not - and, FYI, it looks like it's a lot easier to snap up laptop bargains in the States compared to Ireland). And if I have to save to buy a Surface Pro, it's going to be even harder to save up an extra couple of hundred dollars on top of that.

Basically, much as I'd love a cintiq, I cannot afford spending money like that on something that's just a hobby. But if I buy a Surface Pro as my new laptop, I basically get a graphics tab for free.

I appreciate your voice of experience, but I think we just have different needs as users. :)
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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BUt did they made it usable too?
I remember the first time me and my dad found it in a shop. we clicked on some program and then spent the next 15 minutes trying to find a way to close that program. eventually i said fuck it and started treating it like cell phone, vuolia - i found an exit button. Phone OS is still Phone OS even if its faster.