CNET First Look
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review: Better battery and performance, same thick bodyThis slate sequel has better battery and performance, but the thick body feels more like Surface Pro 1.5.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. That is the latest version of Microsoft's flagship PC product here just in time for Windows 8.1 so you have an updated operating system. You have an updated components inside the Surface Pro most notably Intel Haswell generationship that's the 4th generation of Intel's Core i5 CPUs that supposed to give you somewhat better performance but also much better battery life of the [unk] that the Surface Pro 2 from the outside looks pretty much exactly the same as the Surface Pro 1. In fact, I've got a Surface Pro original version rate here and as you can see, these are pretty much the same. Same weight, same thickness. The big difference physically is that the original Surface Pro is a kickstand, it comes out like this. The Surface Pro 2 has the same kickstand but it has a second angle as well which is actually important. It works up better in your lap when you can tilt the screen back or if you're tall and kind of looking down on it like I am right here. Like the original Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 2 has some optional keyboard covers. It's a touch cover with flat keys and a type cover, which is actually physical key. It remains the best thing about the Surface Pro experience. This new version which is about $119 for the touch cover $129 for the type cover. It's actually backlit now, which is really cool especially if you're sitting on your couch or in your room and typing on it that you can actually see the keys. The people love backlit keyboards. Once you get used to one, you'd never want to go back. It cost about $899 if you start with the 64-gig version. You really want 128-gig, that's $999. They had another 130 bucks for the touch cover, which really should be packed in by default so you'll end up with a fairly expensive kind of premium ultrabook price. For the same price you could also try out Sony's version of the same thing which is the Tap 11. I have that right here. The Tap 11 has the 11-inch screen too. It's a little bit bigger and it also has a keyboard cover and this case that detaches. It's got a little skinny kickstand back here so that's kinda different. They cost about the same but this is thinner and lighter so, you know, really a much [unk] overall physical design. However, I like them both about equally because I like the typing experience on the Surface better because of the attached keyboard and the fact that the kickstand is wide and can go across your lap. But I like the actual, you know, very laptop style keys on this and the fact that the whole product is thinner and lighter. So for about 1,100 bucks if you're working what the keyboards cost you can get the same experience from both. The real selling point for the Surface Pro 2 is that with these Haswell chips and some internal improvements that Microsoft has made you get better battery life and our very tough battery test with the original Surface Pro ran through about 4.5 hours. This new version ran for more than 6 hours. That's pretty significant improvement and if you're just doing casual surfing on it, it should less even longer. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the Microsoft Surface Pro 2.