The first Surface was a decent tablet computer that was hampered by two things: the awful release state of Windows 8 and the confusion between Windows RT and Windows 8.
The Surface Pro 2 has fixed each of those problems and become a surprisingly good tablet computer. It features Windows 8.1, decent hardware, and a sleek design. It’s also $100 less than the first Surface Pro and costs $899.
Still, it’s not on the radar of many PC users. If you’re in the market for a new computer, then I’ve got 4 reasons for you to consider buying a Surface Pro 2.
Note: Microsoft is not paying me to write this. I just think that the Surface 2 doesn’t receive nearly as much press as it should, especially compared to lackluster competitors like the iPad.
It’s built for Windows 8.1
Windows 8 was a disaster. Windows 8.1 is a lot better. The Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1 in all its glory. It’s a true Windows 8.1 device. You can use it in the Modern UI mode or in the traditional desktop mode.
If you’re hesitant to buy a Windows 8 tablet because, well, it’s Windows 8, then you should play around with the Surface 2 at a local Best Buy before you make any assumptions. On a device designed purely to run Windows 8.1, the operating system is pretty easy to get used to.
It’s one of the most portable PCs you can buy
The Surface Pro 2 is designed to be a blend between a tablet and a PC. What does that mean? It means you can carry around a fully functional PC that’s about the size of a book, but thinner.
The Surface Pro 2 folds out to reveal a keyboard under the cover. You can add either the Touch Cover or Type Cover keyboard to your device, although it also comes with a basic keyboard cover on its own.
Carrying a laptop around can be painful. And most tablets aren’t functional enough to do real work. With the Surface Pro 2, you can fold out your tablet on any flat surface (or your lap) and get some real work done.
Other things that turn this into a real PC are its video output slots, which allow you to hook it up to any monitor, and its lengthy battery life, which means you won’t have to kick the neckbeard out of the coveted power outlet chair at Starbucks.
PC games and other entertainment options
For all intents and purposes, the Surface Pro 2 is a real Windows 8.1 PC. That means you can install Steam and download Windows 8 apps. You can enjoy basic PC gaming on it, provided you’re not trying to run Battlefield 4 maxed out.
Other entertainment options on the Surface include the Xbox SmartGlass app, which you can use as a second-screen for your Xbox. If you have an Xbox, then your ability to enjoy your Surface goes up exponentially.
You can also install the usual mix of movie apps, music players, e-readers, and more.
Get real work done
You can attach the Surface Pro 2 to a monitor to create a big screen work environment. You can also attach a keyboard and other peripherals, which basically turns your tablet into a portable PC. Bring it to and from work and home.
And since the Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1 in its desktop mode, you can download and install all the desktop software you need. Run all the Microsoft Office programs, for example, along with Photoshop, AutoCAD, and whatever other Windows software you use.
If you’re looking for a tablet that lets you get real work done, then the Surface Pro 2 is an excellent option.