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Surface 2 Diaries: day one

The great Surface 2 experiment of 2014 trips over as it pushes off from the starting blocks.

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It won't turn on.

The Surface 2 tablet that I'm supposed to be using for a whole week won't turn on.

That's why I'm sitting here in a cafe, trying to live the mobile workforce dream, typing this out painstakingly on my phone using Evernote, rather than using Word and a keyboard.

It is, in a word, infuriating.

After yesterday's quick initial set up, I plugged the charger back into the surface and left it for around an hour. The tablet was — I thought — in standby mode, with the keyboard cover closed up.

The Surface 2 survived all of the Christmas shut-down period in standby mode, not being charged, and when it switched on yesterday it had around 20 per cent battery life.

But somehow sitting in my bag overnight has actually drained the entire charge. I'm going to chalk that up to me doing something wrong.

So, instead of getting a morning's work done in a beautiful sunny cafe enjoying avocado and feta on toast, I'll be heading back to the office to find the charger and see what's gone wrong.

It is difficult to imagine a more inauspicious start to this experience.

The above, as noted, was written on my phone this morning and now that I'm back in the office, said morning seems like a golden, gentler time.

I've had five attempts at getting the Surface 2 to work since I plugged the charger in and each time the screen has broken into (for want of a better term) artefacts before the whole tablet freezes.

After attempt six I managed to get roughly half an hour of work done, until it told me it had experienced an issue and needed to restart — before freezing and displaying artefacts during the restart.

Obviously, this is just one of those rare cases of a dud unit. If this was a retail purchase we'd be dropping it back at the store and getting a replacement. As it's a review unit however, Microsoft is sending us a new unit and we'll be setting up again on the weekend and back on track for Monday morning.