The Good The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is a faster, longer-battery-life version of the original model, upgraded with a current-gen Haswell processor. The keyboard cover is also improved with backlit keys, and is among the best tablet accessories ever devised.
The Bad The Surface Pro 2 remains stubbornly thick and heavy compared with some sleeker competitors. The base 64GB version may leave you starved for storage, and the keyboard cover, practically required, should be included instead of sold separately.
The Bottom Line Microsoft's subtly updated Windows 8.1 tablet feels more like Surface Pro 1.5 -- improved battery life and better accessories make it a worthwhile (albeit pricey) laptop replacement, but it's still not an iPad-level category killer.
Better battery and performance, same thick body
Editors' note: The review of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, originally published in October 2013 and updated since, follows.
Just in time for Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system update, the company's flagship Surface tablet line is also getting a makeover. Or in the case of the $899 Surface Pro 2, it's more of a makeunder -- there's no flashy physical redesign, as with the thinner, lighter, higher-res Surface 2 (the updated Windows RT version that starts at $449).
Of course, you're probably here because the Surface 2, despite its myriad improvements, isn't a "real PC." Unlike that model's compromised Windows RT operating system, the Surface Pro 2 reviewed here runs the real-deal Windows 8.1, which includes full backwards compatibility with older Windows programs, not just the ones available in the Windows Store.
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