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  • Mondozai - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Reading this it seems like Microsoft played it safe, or maybe it's just the lack of execution we've become used to seeing with the WP8 platform(although the updates on that area is picking up). Hopefully the much-lauded "re-org" can change things to become much better for the third generation.

    The Surface Pro is still too expensive considering that the batterylife isn't up to par.
    Reading the review, it still feels more like a jumbled 2-in-1 laptop rather than a tablet with a keyboard cover.

    The whole point of the Google Nexus series is to show the other OEMs what is possible to do. It's priced quite cheap - in relative terms - and you get good hardware for the money. If we compare the Surface series, can anyone say it is driving the ecosystem to the right place?
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Is that a joke? The surface pro is widely regarded as very good for it's price compared to other ultrabooks in the same tier, as well as versus the MBA. Good perf, good display, and while the battery isn't great, it's not horrible either for the form factor and the power it pumps out. Reply
  • augustofretes - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Air has longer battery life, a proper (better) keyboard, Intel HD5000, a much better trackpad and is cheaper. The Surface Pro has a stylus support, a touchscreen a better screen.

    The thing is that as a laptop replacement it's not good at all, simply the experience of typing is too inferior and so is only having to angles for that hinge.

    To be honest with you, with regular ultrabook hitting 8-10 hours battery life in very small 11.6" sizes, the Surface Pro and tablets in general (unless you don't want to spend as much money as you need to to get an Ultrabook) are pretty much useless, especially if you own a smartphone.
    Reply
  • augustofretes - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    So many typos. Reply
  • FredyHandanovic - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
    http://goo.gl/iwURWg
    Reply
  • pppdns - Thursday, December 12, 2013 - link

    ↑ spam ad, please delete! Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Excellent post. Reply
  • santiagoanders - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Now list the Surface pro 2 advantages.
    And please explain how the MBA is cheaper when it starts at $1000.
    Reply
  • Scannall - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    MBA starts at $999

    Surface 2 starts at $899 + 129 for the keyboard. = $1028.
    Reply
  • santiagoanders - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    So I guess we should add in the cost of a Wacom pad to the MBA, huh? Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Don't forget the Windows Pro license. Reply
  • Scannall - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I like Windows 7. Don't like 8 much. I prefer OS X, though Windows 7 comes close. Reply
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I agree although Windows 8 in a tablet or Surface device makes sense. Maybe not so much on the desktop. I prefer windows 7 on the desktop. Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    10 point touch screen as well? But I guess that is moot, people will have their iPad to switch back and forth from, transferring and syncing files, connecting the two - wired or wireless, carrying two devices and all supporting accessories for each... Reply
  • sssqueeze - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Funny you say that. That's exactly what I do. Reply
  • basroil - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    ALL Surface Pro models (including the old ones) run on Windows 8/8.1 Pro Reply
  • Scannall - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Only if you need it. Not everyone does. Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    lol, windows 8 without a keyb and mouse is impossible (tons of right click required, on screen keyb is horrible). I own both AIO Touch and tablet based version on win8 so i do know :) Reply
  • melgross - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Now you're being silly. You NEED a keyboard with the Pro. We all know that. Microsoft knows that. You obviously haven't used one of these. I have. Without the keyboard, the Desktop and it's software is impossible to use. And let's face it, almost no one is going to buy this for the Modern UI. If they did, then the RT model would have sold better. Now that we know how well thePro has sold, though it also seems to have flopped.

    The Macbook Air also has what is considered to be the best notebook keyboard, while the Touch keyboards are barely usable. And try to type on the Pro with a Touch keyboard while it's on your lap. Good luck with that!

    It also uses much more storage out of the box, making 256GB more important than for the Air. The air also is more versatile, with better ports, which includes Thunderbolt.

    The only area in which it's definitely better is in with the higher screen resolution, which will be true until Apple updates the air to Retina screens.
    Reply
  • Black Obsidian - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It's certainly nice that the keyboard is an option, but you're wrong to suggest that everybody NEEDS one to use the Pro. It comes with a stylus that works just fine, even if you're somehow allergic to using touch and the on-screen keyboard.

    On my Windows 7 slate, I get by just fine with the stylus for:
    Editing Word documents
    Browsing Excel spreadsheets
    Annotating PDFs
    Browsing the Internet
    Watching video

    I rather doubt that something about the Surface 2 Pro (or Windows 8) makes the device IMPOSSIBLE to use without a keyboard.
    Reply
  • 074geodude - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Yeah, have fun trying to type up a Word document on the Surface 2 Pro without a keyboard... Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    To be honest, just using the handwriting input for light document mockups is very very nice. It even has substituted some input methods because I already have a pen in hand and not wanting to deploy back the keyboard cover from its folded back position - with a nice method of switching between touch screen keyboards and handwriting input. Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    Of course, handwriting maybe a lost art amongst younger generations, with all of these new fangled devices and all. Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Higher resolution, and stylus. For those who need one. Not everyone do, but then, not everyone need Thunderbold either.

    It is hard to argue that laptop is better laptop than tablet, but MBA cannot be used as tablet at all, while SP2 can be used as laptop - with occasional compromises, but it can.

    In addition, I believe SP2 has docking station available, which I'm personally finding quite interesting. I can think of number of people for whom this could replace desktop, laptop and tablet - if dock is executed right. I guess you can plug external monitor, keyboard and mouse to MBA (or any other ultrabook), but I'm finding dock much more convenient solution.

    Re OS storage requirements, last time I took part in this argument - it was in one of Appleinsider forum treads - it turned out that Windows 8 takes pretty much the same space as OSX. Has this changed..? Recovery partition can be removed (with recovery media created), so personally I wouldn't consider that.
    Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    This isn't meant to (and doesn't) compete with notebooks for using on your laptop. It provides a tablet while you are mobile or consuming media/data/whatever and it is comparable to a laptop/desktop when you are at a desk.

    If you have no use for the tablet side of things and want to type in your lap, the Surface Pro (2) is not for you.

    If you want something to consume, be portable and also be productive at a desk, then the Surface Pro (2) remains unmatched by any other device on the market. It's still not perfect yet (thickness is fine, but battery life needs to improve a bit more and weight desperately needs to go down). Better graphics performance would also be welcome, but as is it plays Starcraft 2, Football Manager and Civ5 pretty damn well, so i guess I shouldn't complain.
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    If you want to compare the Surface to an ultrabook, you need to include the keyboard, otherwise it just cannot compete. Ultrabooks don't have to have touch screens, but they do need keyboards. Reply
  • xdrol - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Except those that do. (Reference Intel SDPs ftw, but there are a few that follow.) Reply
  • fokka - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    as far as i know the updated ultrabook-spec from intel do require a touchscreen. but when just speaking of form-factors, you're right of course. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And doesn't the MBA use a Low budget, fairly low-resolution TN display? That's a huge trade-off just to gain a bit extra battery-life. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    The use of acrappy TN panel wasn't to gain battery life. ... it was straightforward profit mongering on apple's part Reply
  • nafhan - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yes... if you are one of the very small number of people who require (or want) a digitizer. For everyone else, no. Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Likewise the Thunderbolt on MBA. Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 because that model comes with an anemic 64GB of storage. The 128GB / 4GB and 256 / 8GB configurations of both the 11-inch MacBook Air and Surface Pro 2 are the same price. And I can't believe nobody is screaming "rape" about the price of Microsoft's 512GB option—it's $200 more than Apple's, which numerous posters decried in the comments as being inhumanely overpriced! I guess Apple just makes overpriced toys whereas Microsoft makes productivity tablets priced for enterprise customers.

    You can play the whole, "But you need a Type Cover 2 for $129, or a copy of Windows Pro for $139, or a Wacom tablet for $199, etc..." game, but in the end, I'm not convinced that Microsoft is delivering as much hardware for what is initially the same exact money. I think anyone doing an honest analysis of the BOM costs or relative performance would come to the same conclusion.

    Now if you want a device that can operate in a tablet form factor, the MacBook Air is irrelevant anyway, because it just can't do that.
    Reply
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I find both attractive devices. These days most people have Apple and Windows devices so I don't see the religious divide there. I can have Skydrive on my Mac, iTunes on my PC. The only thing I have on the Mac I can't get on the PC is iMessage. B Reply
  • ADGrant - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    And google calendar access. Reply
  • basroil - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    And keyboard and cover too. Total for ipad is +150 and still no passive mode for wacom Reply
  • rhys216 - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Would much rather a MBA. This surface just looks so uninspiring in comparison. Reply
  • neosynthesis - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    I agree with scannall, for 90% of the consumers (light text/blog centric contention creation on the go), MBA is usable out of box with a keyboard whereas Surface Pro/2 NEEDS a keyboard, making it more costly than a MBA. Reply
  • Imaginer - Friday, November 01, 2013 - link

    This! The 1024 pressure point Wacom EMR stylus pen digitizer as part of the screen makes the Pro well worth it over any Air. Reply
  • techconc - Thursday, November 14, 2013 - link

    Why? It already has touch pad built in. Reply
  • oranos - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    um no because unlike this product, the MBA can function without a touchscreen. Obviously missed the point. Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    For that extra $29 you get a device that can remove the keyboard and be a tablet, which you cannot do with an MBA, to do that you also need an iPad that is hundreds of $$$ more and the inconvenience of carrying 2 devices. The MBA is a great laptop, the iPad is a great tablet; and never the twain shall meet. Reply
  • ADGrant - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    The MBA is a great laptop and the iPad is a great tablet but the Surface Pro is neither a great laptop or a great tablet. Its far too heavy for a tablet (it weighs 2.5lbs with the type cover), and it doesn't work as a laptop since you can't really use it in your lap (the keyboard flexes and kickstand is unstable). The screen is too small for desktop apps also.

    The Surface 2 is even worse, it still weighs 2lbs with the cover (almost twice the weight of an iPad Air) and has almost no apps available. Both Surface tablets don't really work in portrait mode.

    For the record I have an iPad Air and a Surface Pro.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    dunno why this keeps getting compared to a mac book air. this is a tablet, has a 1080p screen, and runs windows in all it's glory. Reply
  • ghettotron - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    I know this sounds dumb and kinda defeats the purpose of a tablet form factor....but just save your money on the keyboard and use one your own and plug it into the USB 3.0. Especially since most of those tablet/type cover keyboards suck for people with normal to large size hands. LOL Reply
  • Devjones2236 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Air is not HD, does not have a touch screen (SP2 has capacitive touch screen, which is more expensive than a regular touch screen) and does not come with a digitized stylus. Is in the same ultrabook frame that requires very little Research and Development. Don't be naive Apple is all about profit margins. The Air could be sold at $700 easy, but Apple wants to squeeze your pockets. They say hybrids don't work bc they don't want them too, not because they don't. Apple wants you to buy a $1,000 MacBook Air and a $500-$800 ipad without any accessories. Reply
  • Imaginer - Friday, November 01, 2013 - link

    I guess those numbers also doesn't show the inclusion of a 10 point finger touch screen either in the comparison. Reply
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    You get the MBA for about $999 with a keyboard and 128G Storage so yes, it is cheaper when you cost it out. Reply
  • augustofretes - Monday, November 04, 2013 - link

    The $899 has 64GB of storage and the keyboard is an essential part, and the keyboard is an essential part Microsoft should bundle, the Pro 2 without the type cover is just a terrible tablet and even worse "laptop". Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Air is NOT cheaper when it doesn't have a Wacom Pen or a touch screen, or even an Microsd Expansion slot. When you add all those in, Air cost > $2000.

    you (and many others) gotta stop confusing a "type cover" vs a "touch cover". Type cover is as good if not better than ANY regular laptop keyboard.

    When you have a touchscreen, a good touchpad is negligible.

    and STOP STOP confusing your smartphone os with a REAL full featured Windows OS. they serve different functions.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch medium tablet provides equivalent pen and touch capabilities to the Surface Pro 2 (similar active area with 1024 pressure levels, multi-touch, etc.) and costs $199. Even with the Wireless Accessory Kit it only comes to $239, and you can use it with any Mac or Windows PC you care to.

    The last microSD card I purchased (Lexar 600x) came with a free (and tiny) USB 3.0 microSDXC UHS-I card reader, so I wouldn't place a particularly high value on that feature.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    stop kid yourself.

    drawing on a tablet is DIFFERENT from drawing on a screen. you might as well draw using a mouse...

    drawing on a touchscreen like the Wacom pad (similiar to Pro) on the other hand, allows much much better productivity.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    omg stop kid yourself... so you rather have to bring a card reader with you all the time vs just have it build in?

    fyi, iCrap pad doesn't even have a usb
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Apple doesn't sell any tablet (PC) only their mobile tablets on ARMv7/v8 (soon 64-bit). Modbook does have a USB (3) port, MicroSD/SD, Thunderbolt, Firewire and ethernet port. Plus 1024 pressure levels. It's the mid-2012 MBP 13 though. The third party modification that is. It's still better than some other offerings, has wacom and all the software support. Writing on the screen is more for notes and sketches rather then work though. Having a wacom tablet and an external monitor is what you do for your work.

    Plus your kidding your self if you think this is comparable to an enterprise convertible Tablet-PC that you don't have to remove the keyboard to write or paint on it from Lenovo, Fujitsu or HP.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Most of my microSD cards live in USB card readers and I use them as I would USB thumb drives. If Microsoft had specced a full size SDXC UHS-I card reader here, it might actually be useful. I'm not sure what the point of a built-in microSD slot on this device is.

    Also, this thread has gone a little nuts, but I believe we were comparing the Surface Pro 2 to the MacBook Air (11-inch, mid 2013) since they are priced the same and use very similar hardware despite the difference in form factor. However, since you bring up iPads, they do have USB, they just use a proprietary connector on the device side. Most iOS accessories communicate via good ol' fashioned USB. Device class / driver / application support is obviously spotty for devices that weren't designed as part of the MFi program, but many HIDs work just fine anyway.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Air has CRAPPY TN display, no touch screen, no active digitizer, cannot be used as tablet. HD5000 doesn't mean anything - you still cannot play any proper game anyway. Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Actually, the MacBook Air has a very well calibrated TN display with decent brightness and contrast levels and an appropriate resolution for a PC screen of that size.

    Yes, the Surface Pro 2 is much higher resolution and packs almost twice the pixels of the 11-inch Air, but it also ships with DPI scaling set to 150% by default, which makes the effective pixel density 139 ppi, which is awfully close to the MBA's 135 ppi. It also drops the effective desktop area to 1280x720, which is less than 1366x768, and it has 16.5% less viewable area to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for more pixels, but the 11-inch MBA doesn't have to deal with any DPI scaling that could get messy on a traditional desktop OS in order to provide essentially the same usable desktop area. The Surface Pro 2's screen does go 36% brighter and has a contrast ratio that is almost 50% higher, but uncalibrated dE 2000 values are at best a push with the MBA. The Surface Pro 2 being IPS and all should have a larger gamut than the MBA, but I haven't seen any directly comparable numbers yet as far as that goes.

    The bottom line is that I think both Microsoft and Apple specced the displays they needed to for their respective devices, but Apple is still more aggressive with factory calibration.

    The MacBook Air can never be a tablet, but it is very good at what it does. The Surface Pro can be a tablet or a notebook replacement, but it definitely makes some compromises to fit in that space. Unfortunately, I feel like even with round two, Microsoft is still making more compromises than they need to.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Pixel density effectively, or non effectively is the same no matter if there is DPI Scaling or not. Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    True dat. The point I was trying to make is that MS scales the UI elements by default to be exactly the same size as they would be on the MBA. Of course all the pixels are still there, which works brilliantly for apps that can handle them properly and not so brilliant for many others that weren't expecting a 208 ppi display. I kinda feel like a lot of the reason for wanting a full Windows Pro x86 tablet is for running desktop apps that unfortunately don't handle dpi scaling very well. Reply
  • Silma - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    How qualified are you to make such a statement?
    How long have you been using the Surface Pro 2 as a desktop replacement?
    Please stop the B.S. already.
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Watching movies, playing real games, creating documents and editing photos are better on this than a phone, plus if it is WiFi only, the phone will act as a hotspot so I don't have to shell out for 2 data plans Reply
  • bountygiver - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Article also mentioned 5000 doesn't improve much because of 15w CPU. Best it will reduce battery consumption when not running at 100% Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Except that some of us don't want anything to do with a laptop. I find the Surface Pro superior to my old Macbook Air for portability (smaller, lighter), usability on the go (where I'm only consuming content) and better when setup (better screen, superior for using with a real keyboard, etc).

    Ultrabooks are great from working in between point A and B. But the tablet is better for consumption in that time and also better for productivity at both point A and B.

    As a bonus you get a great screen and a really good drawing tablet.
    Reply
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I am thinking of buying the Surface 2. No one mentions the obvious with RT machines which is that unlike Android, and Windows 8 they are pretty secure from bugs and bad software. It is attractive. I'm typing on a MBA 11 at the moment. I agree that the Surface is a compromise device, not quite as good as a laptop as an MBA and not as good a tablet as an iPad but it does both. Reply
  • Devjones2236 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    I disagree with your comment. I have to attend meetings where computers are not allowed; however, you can take notes on anything that doesn't require a keyboard. Using the stylus on the SP2 is perfect for this and hooking it up to a monitor allows you to be very productive at home or in the office. My clientele can sign docs on the SP2 as well. P.S. The ipad sucks for taking notes because you have to use those worthless bamboo stylus Reply
  • oranos - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    nailed it. Reply
  • hoboville - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Surface Pro is a good device, it's not bad to use regularly, but it's just not as good as a laptop in many respects. Folks at work hook them up to full monitors and keyboards though--they were given Pro's to replace their laptops. They often mention small text and keyboard as their main complaint.

    On a different note, most companies don't use tablets because they see them as media consumption/entertainment devices. Besides Surface, there haven't been any other realistically productivity-oriented tablets. Add in the high price which is either the same or more as a decent laptop and they will go for laptops every time.
    Reply
  • Voldenuit - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Tablets are getting used more in industry, but they have very specific niches. I hear that on some factory floors in Boeing, the techs are being given iPads so they can pull up drawings and installation/finish instructions in tight places. From what I hear, the approval rating is very high, and the techs are able to use their tablets in wingboxes and other tight spaces and immediately get back to work instead of having to crawl out of the space, look for the same information on their workstation laptops (which they have to leave in designated workstation areas because of foreign object debris concerns), print out drawings, and then crawl back into the working space.

    Obviously these tablets aren't replacing multi-screen quad core workstations for the engineers to do CAD, FEM and CFD on, but for the technicians, they seem to be working a treat.
    Reply
  • misfit410 - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    I would suggest anyone who think the Surface pro is expensive look up the Wacom Cintiq 13, for $999 I can get a nice stylus where I can draw directly to my computer screen,except I still need a computer to hook it to, for $899 I can a full stylus setup wit h the computer built in as the Surface Pro 2.. I'm sure the pressure and results are better in the Wacom Cintiq.. but as someone who uses a drawing tablet constantly, the Surface Pro appeals to me madly. Reply
  • Zoolookuk - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    You do know that the MBA gets 15 hours battery life in real world tests? Reply
  • Freakie - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I don't think they're playing it safe, or trying to get larger profit margins for that matter, I think that if they added all the features and specs that most of us would agree should have been in the Pro 2 (better cameras for example) then it would detract from the Surface 2 and Microsoft refuses to give up Windows RT. It's just them try to save an obviously sinking ship. I wish they just let it sink and put the Surface Pro 2 where it should be.

    But then again, that would probably upset many OEM's who don't make devices as good as the Pro 2 and so they have another incentive there to not do it.
    Reply
  • melgross - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It would also have raised the price, and it's already pretty expensive as it is.

    I remember that just before the iPad first came out, there were surveys that showed
    that only a small percentage of people would buy a tablet if it cost more than $800. That was for any tablet, running any OS. This is well over that, particularly once you add the required keyboard/cover.

    And now that the trend is to think that $499 for a full size tablet is on the high side, the price for those is way too high already. I doubt that most people would ever think that a tablet, any tablet, is worth more than a notebook, touchscreen or not.
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    This the review for the Surface Pro, wich is an ultrabook, not a tablet. Reply
  • Rezurecta - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yes, you can say its driving the ecosystem in the right place. The productive tablet is where we need to be. Too much consumption with traditional tablets. Reply
  • Babar Javied - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Why use a "productive tablet" when you can get an ultra-book for the same price yet with better specs and more battery life?

    What is the difference between a productive tablet and an ultra-book anyway??
    Reply
  • rituraj - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The difference is the digitizer. I think if someone is not interested in the pen input, this device is not for them AT ALL. It's too heavy to be used as a consumption device where you can hold it above your head on the bed, at the same time it is uncomfortable for productivity purposes if that means a lot of typing. But, if productivity means using the pen input, then this is a killer device. Just read the review by Gabe as suggested by Anand in the intro page and it is clear that it is almost a blessing for people who ink for a living.

    here is a thought. Although this device has been presented as a general consumer device, I seriously doubt it. People wanting this much power in a tablet are not a lot in number. They are professional artists & designers like Gabe from Penny Arcade. Engineers, Teachers, Engineering and designing students may also crave for such a device although the price is quite high for students. So if the pen means very little for someone this is just not the thing to get.
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    "What is the difference between a productive tablet and an ultra-book anyway??"

    Are you brain dead? When was the last time you could take a keyboard off your ultrabook and use it as a tablet?
    Reply
  • cknobman - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    If your comparing a Nexus to the Surface Pro you have no clue what your talking about.
    As an owner of a Surface Pro, Surface RT, and a Google Transformer tablet I can tell you in no way does an Android tablet come close to a Surface Pro much less a Surface RT.

    The Surface family are brilliant products that actually do what I want out of a tablet. They offer a great platform for consuming AND creating content.

    Only knock I can give either Surface is Microsoft is pricing them a little to high. Android is garbage when it comes to something productive and the marketplace is such a huge sh!tpile that I gave up wasting my time sifting through the apps because every single app (even if it starts out great) turns into a resource hog always running in the background transmitting data even if you tell it not to.
    Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Surface Pro (1) was perfect for me, last year. Had I waited 4 months and known about it I would have gotten one instead of the current ultrabook I'm typing this on. It was priced perfectly competitively, and the only real product in it's category (very high performance tablet thing) that even existed.

    The 2 is still the only product in it's category, but with a drop in TDP I'm disappointed it's not thinner and lighter. Since I'm planning on replacing my ultrabook in the next two years I do agree that another update such as this one would be a disappointment. Here's to a thinner and lighter Surface Pro next year, preferably with a large improvement in GPU performance considering that's the big Broadwell performance upgrade.
    Reply
  • CecileWamsley - Monday, October 28, 2013 - link

    My Uncle Riley recently got a great Cadillac CTS-V Wagon just by working online with a macbook... check out the post right here... http://smal.ly/8wUo2 Reply
  • LOL_BEAN - Monday, January 20, 2014 - link

    @Mondozai - Do you know some thing called surface. which is solid example of what you are looking for. This is for PROs. compare apple to apple not to oranges.
    Surface 2 comes for $450 which is priced similar to google nexus.
    Reply
  • LordSegan - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I purchased an 8/256 model of the Surface Pro 2. I know it's not perfect, but working in an office environment, my iPad simply isn't enough computer and I don't need a full laptop. I also do want to stylus for editing and marking up documents for other people to finalize. So for me, it's a great machine. I'll probably get the Broadwell model eventually too. Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Have you tried an 11" Macbook Air? You should. You'd prefer it. Reply
  • SpartanJet - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Actually I'd rather poke my eyes out with a sharp stick than use osx. Second I see no advantage to using a netbook type form factor I have a real laptop running windows 8 when I need a notebook.. People in the market for a tablet that does more than silly little apps with cash shops or microtransactions are looking at the Surface 2. I love windows 8, and I'm looking for a tablet this is the natural choice for me. Reply
  • meta4our - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I tried going from a 1080p IPS touchscreen with built in wacom digitizer to a 1366/768 TN panel with no input and I wanted to throw it out the window when I was done surfing facebook and wanted to actually do things. Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Try taking the keyboard off the MBA and using it as a tablet. No? Didn't think so, if I wanted just an ultrabook with an OS not optimized for touch there are plenty out there better spec, lower price with Windows 7. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The shit low res TN display on the Air is enough alone to make the Surface Pro better. EVERYONE will benefit from the much better display.

    With a Type cover you also have a keyboard just as good, and its backlit now as well. Pro might cost more with a Type cover but you get what you pay for - a way better product plus advantages like touch screen + SD card slot + quality wacom digitizer. Theres no contest here.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    We have two of the Surface Pro first gens and I'm going to get the same config you got. We run SQL Server and Toad (Oracle) on ours. I find the Surface Pro is a great balance between the convenience of a touch screen tablet-like device and PC workings/flexibility. I believe the Surface Pro models are mistakenly lumped with ARM based tablets, when they are clearly Tablet PC's (remember the early Motion Computing PC Tablets with XP) I would have liked to see the Macbook added to the charts. Comparing a PC tablet against ARM tablets just didn't make as much sense to me, especially when Anand brings up the MacBook in the article. Comparing the thickness of ARM based tablets with a PC Tablet is like comparing Apple and Oranges IMO (no pun intended). How about comparing the weight and thickness of the Surface Pro and some of the Ultra Books out there...including the MacBook?

    At the end of the day, People will buy what works for them. As they should.

    ~Best wishes
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Agreed - either compare Surface (2) Pro to real computers, or compare the ARMs with something of their league, like Kabini and Silvermont Atoms. Otherwise it's like comparing Geforce Titan to a Geforce 7200GS os so.. the Titan is way faster and is obviously bigger and sucks more power. Reply
  • melgross - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Weight isn't everything. It depends on what you're getting for that weight. An 11" notebook has a vastly better keyboard, and you really don't need a stylus with it, whether it's Windows or OS X. So the Pro, without the keyboard-cover weighs 2pounds, and the Air, as the example used here, weighs 2.5 pounds with the much better built in keyboard. Very little difference once the several ounce Typing Keyboard is added in. Reply
  • Klimax - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You don't need stylus either... it is just one of many options with Surface. And I don't think Type Cover adds that much weight either. Reply
  • MikadoWu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Good Choice. I have been using the Surface Pro (purchased 3 for the Family) as my Main computer since release, and Planning on getting the Dock when it hits.

    Sent my Daughter to college with only the Surface and a 24 inch Flat Screen. She gets hounded daily about the Pro, and many of the Honors students, are upset they got MacBook's after seeing what she does. She just giggles and smiles.

    I am replacing my Fathers RT (Mom gets the RT), this week for the 8/256 Model. Can not wait to see how AutoCAD runs on it.
    Reply
  • hoboville - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Interesting, though you're very much in a niche. As someone who has to write endless reports, I can barely stand my own laptop keyboard at times even though it's mid-sized (ProBook 6570b). The nice thing about my laptop is that I can write the reports somewhere alone with it, then when I have to start messing with email and spreadsheets and research, I can hook it up to a monitor and have two sizable displays. It's hard to put a price on that retail space.

    And that's kind of the point, sadly. Surface could be a great device, but it's very dependent on the kind of work you do.
    Reply
  • meacupla - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I thought the 75% battery life increase over original was with the power cover? Reply
  • inighthawki - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Nope, it's the power savings gotten from haswell, LPDDR3, and OS optimizations. With the power cover i think they said it was 150% of the original. Someone feel free to correct me on the exact number. Reply
  • zerogear - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    2.5x with power cover was the stats given. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    No change to the chassis makes me think they just made too many of the chassis and didn't sell enough of them with the original Pro. I still wish Intel dropped the price point on the Pro, or made a x86 version with their Bay Trail-T SoCs, instead I'll end up picking up an Asus Transformer T100 instead. Reply
  • inighthawki - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Just out of curiosity, is there any reason you expected it to change? Or do you just mean mainly thickness? Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yep, mainly in terms of thickness due to the move to Haswell ULT, and possibly better configuration of internals. The original Surface Pro teardown showed the internals were pretty sparse and a nearly universal criticism of the Pro was it's thickness, especially compared to the RT.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+P...
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Apple haven't changed the MBA chassis for almost 4 years - which means they didn't sell enough of them and reusing old chassis. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    MBA had class-leading size and dimenions when it launched and still does, Surface Pro isn't even close to competitive tablets. There's clearly room for improvement, see: every review that mentions the same clunky form factor. Reply
  • mfergus - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Other Tables aren't competitive with Surface Pro performance either. I don't think its fair to compare the thickness of a Surface Pro with ARM tablets. Sure I'd like it to be thinner but I don't expect a much more powerful tablet to be as thin as tablets with phone SoC's. Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    But the Surface Pro isn't competitive with other tablets in battery life. I don't think it's fair to compare the performance of a thin tablet with a fat one with less battery life.

    Sure I'd like iPad to be faster but I don't expect a much much better battery life and form factor to match the performance of a chunky laptop/tablet.
    Reply
  • mfergus - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Cute comment, but I also wouldn't expect a thin tablet to match the Surface Pro's performance. There's going to be drawbacks for either one. Reply
  • Vi0cT - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    However Sony's VAIO Tap 11 gets pretty close. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    What are you smoking? Class-leading size? There are plenty of 13" ultrabooks with almost the same dimension as 11" MBA. What are you comparing surface pro to? iPad? Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Oh yeah, they also didn't update the finish of the Pro chassis, unlike the Surface 2 which got a smaller chassis with a different color finish, less smudge prone, again indication they had leftover Pro stock from last year. Reply
  • sweenish - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I like how MS had to have had leftover shells because they "reused" it (while looking the same, it is better built; see the engadget review), but when Apple does the same thing it's because they're industry leaders.

    Grow up.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Why can't what he said be true? You need to grow up.

    The Surface is chunky and that is undesirable. Many people will not buy because of it. Hardly anyone will have avoided the Macbook Air because it is bulky.
    Reply
  • B3an - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I have to agree. I'd really like a Surface Pro, MS are really on to something with this idea, but it's still too thick and heavy. I was hoping with Haswell they could atleast get it slightly thinner/lighter. I'll just have to wait another year for Broadwell. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Exactly! Glad I wasn't the only ones to remember the chief complaints about Surface Pro. Price, size/weight, battery life. They really only addressed the last concern, battery life, and even then it's only marginally better (40%) and still FAR off from other devices that use the same Haswell ULT guts (MBA 2013).

    I must say Surface 2 Pro is still a disappointment. Surface 2 is much more interesting but the ARM-based Windows RT is just a non-starter for me right now. Wish it was Bay-Trail!
    Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It's not true. Surface Pro 2 uses a different chassis than the original; it's 2 pieces instead of 3. Keeping it the same weight/thickness was a deliberate design choice, likely related to not having to redesign the thermal dissipation system, not due to reusing the old chassis. Reply
  • Klimax - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Few people. You have only assertion without any evidence, which BTW is all you can get, because poor sales can't be matched to your arbitrary terms with any analysis as there is significant problem with Surface - No World Wide distribution. Hell not even my country, bordering with Germany has it and we fall under EU, but not Irish definition of Europe...

    BTW: I suspect that only tiny portion of market has same lust after incredibly thin and fragile devices which you have to replace as soon as you drop it by few centimeters, because it suffered serious damage. (Note: Bit hyperbole, but point is, that thinness has severe trade offs in it self including battery and features)
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Right, because we don't have about a billion reasons to think the Surface underperformed last year relative to Microsoft's expectations or anything.....

    All I got from the Engadget review was a 3-stage kickstand instead of 2-stage, and I do believe that part is linked to just the kickstand itself. Could easily be retrofitted into the old chassis if needed.
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Apart from it is not the old chassis, it uses less parts, so is obviously not the same Reply
  • schuckles - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    i need to go with sweenish on this one...

    Microsoft may have over produced the previous gen surface pro/rt but that doesn't mean they are going to order 10's of thousands of a single component (chassis) without also ordering the same amount of all the other sub assemblies and building finished product. MOQ's are largely irrelevant once you go above 10k units, and microsoft already did a massive 1B $

    I'm not going to speculate too much on why they didn't do a re-design and get it a few mm thinner, but i would point you to one of the positives in the review - it barely spins up the fans when lightly loaded, and that didn't cost them any time/effort to redesign the heat management on the inside...
    Reply
  • KPOM - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    ??? Maybe they haven't changed the chassis because they are selling as many as they like and saw no need to change it. I do think we'll see a more dramatic redesign next year. It's time for the Air to go "Retina" and I think in 2014 they'll be ready to make the leap. OS X doesn't handle 150% scaling particularly well, so they are probably waiting until they can go to 200% economically.

    This is another reason why I think we're more likely to see iOS "grow up" into a desktop-class OS than OS X and iOS merge. OS X will still be there for enthusiasts and Pro users, but iPad will grow into a more powerful device as Apple makes the push into 64-bit.
    Reply
  • Deepcoiler - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You must have missed when it what said that the chassis went from being three pieces to two. Microsoft kept the size the same, but did not reuse the old chassis. Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Shhhhh, let the trolls spread their lies Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Looking over the results here and from the Asus T100 article, all I can think is what a shame it is that AMD gets virtually no design wins. I know they wouldn't be comparable to Haswell CPUs, but compared to Bay Trail Kabini is competitive in CPU performance and far better in GPU performance...the only catch would be battery life, but how will we ever know if there are absolutely no devices to compare? Reply
  • Shivansps - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You cant put a Kabini in a fanless tablet, in a 15W margin the I5-4200U seems to be a good choice, for a fanless tablet you have to use the A4-1200, that cant compite with BT.

    There is a reason for AMD not getting design wins.
    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    As stated by the other gentleman, Bay Trail and Kabini are in the same area in terms of computational performance, but Kabini chews over 3-4X the power. In terms of energy efficiency, Bay Trail crushes Kabini. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    There is a lower wattage version of Kabini called Temash that still kicks Bay Trail's arse in GPU power and still offers better CPU performance than any of the ARM SoCs.

    Also, if you're basing your comparison of power consumption solely on TDP numbers, then you're doing it wrong.
    Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    "Mechanically I don’t know the right solution for Microsoft but I do feel like for the kickstand to realize its true potential, it needs to be able to open and hold at multiple angles. It doesn’t necessarily need to have support for infinite angles, maybe even a few would work, but I do believe it’s necessary going forward."
    by Anand Lal Shimpi on February 5, 2013 9:00 PM EST
    Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand, did you spend much time using SP2 on your lap? What's your opinion on the usability?
    Shame about the battery life, although still good enough for my own use case.
    Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Sorry, went back to check. Missed a paragraph:
    "Surface Pro 2 inherits the same kickstand and branding decisions as Surface 2. As I mentioned in my Surface 2 review, the new 2-stage kickstand is awesome and a huge improvement over its predecessor. The kickstand now opens at 24 and 40-degree angles, the latter enables more comfortable use when you’re not typing at a desk. The new kickstand also ditches the Windows 8 logo in favor of the Surface logo across the back.'
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Way more usable than before, I wrote the entire review with SP2/S2 on my lap. Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Thank you. Reply
  • GTRagnarok - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    For being so crucial to the Surface experience, it's disappointing that the keyboard is still not included in the price. Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Samsung galaxy devices have supported spilt-screen multitasking for a quite while. It is a bit sad that anand is now quite biased toward apple devices. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link


    I know they are, but they are no where near as good as the Windows 8.1 experience in doing the same. Hence my use of the word "well" in this line:

    "The screenshot below really helps illustrate what I would love to do on most tablets, but what I can only do (well) on a Surface:"
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    'Samsung galaxy devices have supported spilt-screen multitasking'

    Yes they also support S-Voice, S-Gimmick and S-Fail. Only problem is that they are all gimmicks rushed to market to be bullet points which only fool unsuspecting idiots.
    Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I don't like to see less tech savvy people called idiots, but "S-Gimmick and S-Fail.... Hahahahaha!! Reply
  • rituraj - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    As much as I wanted to call you an idiot, I shouldn't, because you really need to be taught.
    I agree with you about the SVoice. But the pen, split screen are the features that no one else is providing. Right now I am writing this with a whatsapp window open above my chrome browser in my note2. I forgot to sign a document once so I put my sign on the pdf file with my S *gimmick* pen and mailed it. So that's the *fail* I got out of S-stuff.
    Yes you cannot expect windows7-like split window or the stylus quality of a wacom cintiq (if you even have the slightest idea what that is) but these features are in a fuckk8ng phone, let alone the tablets. Should I elaborate with more examples?
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Samsung may support split screen multitasking, but Win 8 will still let you use desktop mode and you can have any number of simultaneous windows open, hell as the desktop is an App you can have desktop using 70% of the screen and run a Metro App in a bar next to it - Android can't do that Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Man, this tablet could have been so much better with just a tad more polish. It's still a nice hunk of hardware, but I guess we'll have to wait until next year to get the real deal.

    Microsoft is quite the OEM dinosaur... I just wished they were a bit more like Apple.
    Reply
  • dtolios - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    If this same device was an Apple product, consumers would be raving. Reply
  • sweenish - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I'm already raving, the Surface Pro line is what I expected to iPad to be from the beginning. Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    'If this same device was an Apple product, consumers would be raving.'

    What a silly comment. If this was an Apple product it would be EVEN MORE slated, because people hold Apple to higher standards.

    You can't defend any product with a fake, unproven fanboy comment like 'if Apple made this it would be great'. How about accepting that it's actually not that good?
    Reply
  • YuLeven - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You're commenting all over the article recommending people to use Apple products and yet you call other commenters to be fanboys. Oh, the irony. Reply
  • JumpingJack - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I believe he was making an "emperor's new clothes" type argument. Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    you should shut up until Air gets a touchscreen, or ipad gets a full OSX Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And when it does it will be "magical" and "innovative" Reply
  • KPOM - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I don't see the Air ever getting a touchscreen, or iPad ever getting OS X. I do see Apple's push to get the iPhone and iPad 64-bit processors as the first step in a massive improvement in iOS. Witness that everyone who buys an iOS device now gets Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. While they aren't up to Office standards, it's a sign that Apple wants to make iOS a "real" operating system. It's a logical strategy. iOS has a bigger market share than OS X.Therefore, Apple appears to be making a play to scale its mobile OS up to more powerful devices. It's starting from Apple's position of strength.

    Likewise, Microsoft is starting from its position of strength. Windows (for PCs) has a bigger market share than Windows Phone/Mobile ever did. Therefore, Microsoft is attempting to scale its PC OS down to mobile devices.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the reviews as always. Never thought I'd see Penny Arcade cross-pollination in Anandtech!

    I'm still rather conflicted on your recent uptick of "on time" reviews--I know it's important (to OEMs and readers both) to get the reviews out right away at embargo lift, but I do miss the obsessive completeness of your dates-be-damned-we'll-finish-when-we-finish reviews. I do hope you'll consider putting off some of your full reviews and make sure you get every single test done that you want to run--I really miss your bevy of wifi quality tests, for example. Personally I like when you post quick impressions early but then follow on with the comprehensive review later.
    Reply
  • takeship - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Another solution would be for someone do a moments after NDA expiry pod review, and then follow that up a few days/week later as necessary with a full fat review from one of the other writers. If I remember right, wasn't that done with the 2013 Mac Book Air review a few months ago? Best of both worlds. It may be a bit redundant, but most of us would read them both anyways. Reply
  • guste - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Completely agree with this post. I currently use a mid-2011 11.6" MBA and as a university student, the use cases of the Surface Pro 2 are really compelling. I've already seen a few of the original Surface Pros around classrooms and labs and so I pre-ordered one to give it a go. I was really hoping for a bit more here. I expect nothing useful from most other sites, but there's always a lot of meat on the bone here, so to speak.

    Anand, is there any possibility of you revisiting the Pro, with a more thorough follow-up?
    Reply
  • frostyfiredude - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Are we the same person? I'm in the exact same boat here considering moving from the 11" 2011 Air to a Pro2 after having seen some classmates and profs pickup the original Pro. I've heard the phrase "this is the best purchase I've made in a long time" quite a few times in response to queries on the device.
    I'm in engineering so the pen will be awesome for technical drawings and all the graphs in our notes, something which has made the Air significantly less useful than expected.
    Reply
  • guste - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    We must be the same person, as I'm also in engineering (physics)... Or, more likely, there are a few of us that are looking for something life a bit easier.

    I came really close to getting the Pro last year, but that battery life was abysmal and frankly, I couldn't justify getting a new computer after one year anyway. The mid-2011 Air is still a fantastic machine and I've come to admire Mac OSX to the point that I'm a bit apprehensive about going back to Windows on a full-time basis. I think that's where my desire for a top notch Anand review is coming from and why I'm a bit deflated at the moment. It's not going to stop me from trying out the Pro for the next couple of weeks and making my own determination, but I'm still holding out hope for a follow-up.
    Reply
  • guste - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Looks like Anand will be going more in-depth:

    https://twitter.com/anandshimpi/status/39214496614...

    It may take some time though, as he's just flown out to cover the Apple event.

    What concerns me is the conversation that follows the initial tweet, about the power optimization of Mac OSX vs. Windows. Some guy is comparing a 1366x768 MBA to the 1080P screen with a digitizer on the SP2. Power optimization is undoubtedly worse under Windows, but both he and Anand compared apples to oranges without batting an eye.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Penny Arcade review of the original Surface Pro was one of its best reviews. The review was in the context of an artist but oh did it really serve that niche well. Based upon that review, I recommended to an artist to read and consider the Surface Pro. Didn't wind up getting one as the Haswell based one would be worth the wait in terms of battery life and/or performance.

    I will add one thing that would be ideal for the Surface (2) Pro: a tethered monitor mode so that it could emulate the functionality of a Wacom Cintiq display. (Basically the Surface Pro becomes an external touch screen for a different host computer.) That really would be a killer feature, albeit niche.
    Reply
  • jlaforge - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    "I’m actually curious as to why Surface Pro 2’s Haswell implementation seems only good for around 6 – 7 hours on a single charge, while other devices we’ve seen manage to deliver substantially better. I have heard that Microsoft didn’t work all that closely with Intel on Surface Pro 2, which might explain some of this gap."

    The battery life is disappointing, especially considering the testing you did on the MacBook Air 2013 and i5 4250U (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7117/haswell-ult-inv... The Surface Pro 2 has a higher resolution display and active stylus, but I still thought 8 hours of browsing would at least be possible.
    Reply
  • OneOfTheseDays - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand's results do not jive with what other sites are reporting.

    I'm seeing 7-8 hours with regular usage is the norm.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Er, yes they do. They 'jive' perfectly. The Verge states even less battery life. Engadget only do a video playing test which they have to redo.

    Anandtech is the only one who perform reliable, consistent benchmarks which you should pay attention to.

    What you personally see obviously depends on your own usage pattern. The whole point of benchmarks is that they remove that as a factor. They tell you how tablets compare with the same use.
    Reply
  • Klimax - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And then you realize that not even that will tell much of story, until power options are written down. (If you can...) Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Do the other reviews have the brightness calibrated at 200 nits? I see that as a differing factor between battery tests. Reply
  • teiglin - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The Vaio Pro 13 managed over 8 hours in the light desktop battery life test with a larger screen, the same silicon, and a smaller battery (37Whr vs. 42Whr) and it's my understanding that the tablet web browsing test is even easier than the desktop light test. What browser do the desktop tests use? Also, I know time was an issue, but desktop tests would be nice for Surface Pro 2, as I think the usage paradigm for this device is quite a bit more strenuous than iPad/Android tablet usage. Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I read that Chrome has a bug on Windows that prevents the CPU from going idle. I recall Anand's latest PC battery tests having idle times built it so that a faster unit does not get penalized for doing more work. Maybe Anand used Chrome; I know for a fact that Jarred used IE10/11 for the Vaio. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    That's interesting. If true and Anand used Chrome for the battery test, it would definitely skew the results. Hopefully Anand looks into that. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Nevermind, further down Anand stated that he used IE11 for all the battery tests. Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    ALL other sites reports 8+ hrs.

    even my Surface Pro 1 last 5-6 hrs
    Reply
  • Drumsticks - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Regarding IE11 and chrome, is it possible to test or provide your opinion on power consumption between the two browsers? In the least scientifically reproducable scenario possible, BatteryBar reads a consistent 4-6W less power used for IE11 than chrome to me (for example when viewing a live stream)

    I can idle around 16W (Samsung needs to release drivers for 8.1, it seriously crushed my battery life), but when running three or so tabs on ie11 and a live stream, I pull average 22W versus like 26-28 on chrome. This could be pretty significant for battery life... Has anybody else seen something similar?
    Reply
  • B3an - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You make a good point. I'd like to know what browser Anand used for the wifi battery tests... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I used IE11 for all of the Surface battery life tests. Reply
  • michaelljones - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I have seen similar here on our gen 1 Pro device. I think it has to do with a couple of things.

    1. Chrome now is a memory hog. It has a MUCH higher base resource requirement than IE or FF. I don't know why, but it instantly consumes a huge amount of RAM on every machine I use it on. Even on Win 7 it now pulls down about 300MB of memory right after a clean launch.

    2. Chrome's sandboxing launches more instances of Chrome than competing browsers. Even on my Windows 7 machine, Chrome now has 6 independent instances with no plugins running (i.e. no background Chrome apps).

    3. I think IE currently has a better optimized video playback backend that allows your streams to be offloaded more to the GPU than the CPU. Chrome is getting there, but IE is still much better coupled in this way. (it probably also has something to do with IE only being on one platform, vice Chrome on many more, but that singleness of purpose allows for better optimization).
    Reply
  • basroil - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    "rest of the world have moved on to things like 802.11ac and PCIe based SSDs. Microsoft appears to be on a slightly strange update cadence"

    Well, both 802.11ac and PCIe SSDs are not very power efficient currently, especially since the chipset already includes sata. They chose lpddr3 and a 4200U for power reasons, rather than faster memory and a i7 4650U, so i'm sure they had thought about it before staying with slower parts
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    What are you talking about? 1600 is the fastest you can get, and LPDDR3 is available in DDR3-1600.

    I agree with the other poster saying its deliberately gimped to "boost" RT.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    True PCIe SSDs (i.e. NVMe based) are actually more power efficient than SATA designs because the NVMe protocol is much more efficient compared to SCSI. Reply
  • dwade123 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I just wish Apple would make OSX tablets with retina display. They always use displays that's superior to everyone else. Dat iPad display is unbeatable. Workstation class for consumer device. Reply
  • sweenish - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Depends on the test. It lost more than one to the Surface Pro 2 and 2013 Nexus 7. Their calibration is top notch, though. Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    What, you're comparing the old iPad (to be replaced TOMORROW) with two brand new tablets? And using that to claim that Apple's screens don't win on every test? Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Yes? You can speculate all you want on how magical the new iPad(s) will be, but they're not out now and comparing to unknown hardware is downright absurd. Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Tomorrow has come, and the new iPad is just a thinner and lighter oversized iPod.
    According to my calculations, 47% better at chopping onions! And it has the Instagram app, so you can take some nice pics of your chopped onions and share with your friends!
    Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Less than 7h battery? Microsoft isn't even trying anymore, is it? I tested a Surface Pro in a store recently - heavy as hell. Why would I buy a heavy tablet that's almost unusable as a tablet, and has only 7h of battery life? Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Because you want a real computer in a tablet form factor, not an oversized smartphone/ereader? Just a thought. Reply
  • Klimax - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    As soon as you want to do little more then just wasting time? Reply
  • vanZilch - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Why comparing surface pro 2 with ipad and android tablets? Doesn't make any sense because... Aren't surface pro 2 more like laptop in a comparison? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Because the Surface Pro is more of a hybrid design with a tablet form factor and ULV laptop parts on the inside. It is fair comparison to make against both platforms, especially to see if it is the best of both world, the jack of all trades or the master of none. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I love how Anand keeps telling us that "the next Surface" or "next Intel processor" will be so much better and awesome. And yet it never happens. Why? Because the competition beats them by a large margin that year, too.

    We've seen it now with the Surface Pro, and we've already seen it with Bay Trail in the T100, which barely competes with last year's chip.

    Pro-tip for Anand: maybe you shouldn't try so hard promoting these things a WHOLE YEAR until you actually review them, while knowing very little about them other than the bullshit press releases Intel and Microsoft are sending you.

    Sending press releases saying how awesome your new product will be and being misleading without giving all the information, is easy. Actually delivering it against the competition at the time, is the hard part.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    it's pretty funny; anand gets bashed in the same thread by people for being pro apple and pro MS at the same time apparently. quite the feat Reply
  • takeship - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And apparently pro-Intel, despite having an AMD center now prominently featured on the site. What'll be next, Nvidia love? Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand pretty obviously has a love affair with Apple, so your claims of bias toward Microsoft/Intel are pretty funny. Reply
  • hoboville - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Actually, Haswell has been amazing for power savings, even if it isn't a massive upgrade in performance. But power savings is what Surface and mobile devices are all about. The Surface just has too many problems with it to be a solid recommendation all the time, every time. Lots of people like what it can do, but folks aren't sold that it's really needed instead of a laptop.

    Ultimately, MS just needs to make a few more adjustments for it to be good enough to be the next step in Windows or mobile computing.
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    How is the competition beating them? Which benchmark are you referring to? The one where performance was 400% better and more, or the one that said for this raw power the battery still lasts the better part of a whole work day? Reply
  • Joebart - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It is maybe only me but I find windows 8 with its screen touch functionality not that touch friendly as Apple OS or Android especially on the small screen. When using left mouse click for many functions on a large screen is a breeze I find myself struggling hard trying to press some microscopic buttons with my stubby fingers on a small screen. Windows 8 its fine but still not that touch friendly on small screens.... Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Um, yeah, if you're using the desktop it's not touch-friendly. If you want touch-friendly, you stay in the Metro/Modern environment.

    Protip: You can use the stylus to interact with the desktop for a much better experience, since the stylus is much more precise than your fat fingers.
    Reply
  • zerogear - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    If you're trying to use touchscreen on desktop. Give appymouse a try. It's a onscreen transparent touchpad. Reply
  • Joebart - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It is maybe only me but I find windows 8 with its screen touch functionality not that touch friendly as Apple OS or Android especially on the small screen. When using left mouse click for many functions on a large screen is a breeze I find myself struggling hard trying to press some microscopic buttons with my stubby fingers on a small screen. Windows 8 its fine but still not that touch friendly on small screens.... Reply
  • B3an - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I know you had limited time to work on this review... So it would be nice if it could be updated with more details and benchmarks/battery tests.

    Really like the Pro but think it still needs another iteration before i buy it.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand there is something fishy with your battery test, or more correctly put lacking. Since the Pro 2 is also a PC, an ultrabook more specifically, why don't you do the light/medium/heavy workload testing so we can compare it with the 11" or 13" MBA and the 13" Vaio Pro.

    I've also found a pretty glaring inconsistency. Check out Vivek's review of MBA 11", in fact check the slides regarding battery life: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7180/apple-macbook-a...

    The original Surface Pro is rated for 6 hours on Vivek's slide while you rate it for 4.7 hours here. The ipad4 and nexus 10 numbers are identical here(your review) and there(Vivek's review). Is it possible that you plastered the PC Light Workload Battery Life on the Tablet Browsing test roster? Something does not add up.

    On Vivek's review the "Light Workload" PC tests show the 13"/11" MBAs at 11h/8.6h while on the same page, the "tablet battery test" slide shows the MBAs at 14h/11h respectively, ALONG with the original SurfacePro rated for 6 hours instead of your quoted 4.7h. Judging by the MBA's numbers I get that the tablet oriented battery test is even lighter that your standardized Light Workload battery test for PCs.

    So...either I am right in my assumption, or wrong if you do a light workload PC test and get something like 4hours instead of your quoted 6.6h for the Pro2.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand is confused between a FULL windows OS vs ios / android...unfortunately.. probably half hearted review as well.

    putting my Surface Pro to "power saver" profile and it last 5-6 hrs easy.
    every other review I read Surface Pro lasts 8 hrs.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I believe Vivek pulled that number from our older, lighter tablet battery life test. The 4.7 number I re-ran for this review using the latest suite that we introduced with the iPhone 5 review last year. It's a heavier workload for sure.

    I will be running Surface Pro 2 through our standard Windows notebook battery life tests, just didn't have time to do so prior to the NDA lift.
    Reply
  • cloudgazer - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Would be nice to see a rerun of the old test on the same Surface Pro device to see how much of the difference between 6 and 4.7 is down to battery age/condition. Reply
  • Travk06 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Can you include the Snapdragon 800 reference platform in the performance charts? Reply
  • GooseGrease - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    When Microsoft boasted ~40% greater colour accuracy, I expected a better panel, but I don't think they improved the display at all! They merely calibrated it and the saturation plots show all the tell tale signs of narrow gamut clipping post calibration. It looks virtually identical to the one in Anand's original Surface Pro review, post-calibration.

    The better display was one thing I was really looking forward to. I'm disappointed. :(
    Reply
  • GooseGrease - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    http://i.imgur.com/F7GlSHv.png

    (The saturation chart from Anand's Surface Pro 2 review. The grey triangle is the original Surface Pro's gamut)
    This pretty much confirms my suspicion: Surface Pro 2's display is the same as Surface Pro's, except it's calibrated out the door.
    Reply
  • tential - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I find it amusing that people are comparing a TABLET to a MBA.
    Then they are ignoring all of the tablet's benefits, while touting the MBA's and ignoring the detractions of the MBA.
    I won't lie, I LOVE the MBA series. Always have. But you're comparing two products that do different things.
    MBA is great for what it does.
    Surface Pro 2 is great for having WINDOWS OS (which is a very important key word in all of this), in the palm of your hands.
    Android devices are great at what they do.

    In the end, it's all based on WHAT YOU NEED. Most of the comments on here clearly aren't objective and are pushing one party over the other.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    MBA now lags way behind competitions, lacking a proper high-resolution IPS display and touchscreen which becomes a new standard. Now you can pay $350 to get T100 (720p IPS display, touchscreen) or $500 to get venue 11 pro (1080p IPS display, active digitizer, touchscreen) Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Unimpressive-ness redefined! Keep it up M$... Reply
  • Silma - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I really don't think it's a good review. I know there is intense pressure to make reviews available as soon as possible but this seems rushed. A few benchmarks don't make for a review.

    On battery life you only talk about your own benchmark, which leads me to think you haven't even tried to time the battery while doing usual work with the tablet and you haven' the faintest idea of what it could be.

    On the body all you complain is you find it too thick and too heavy which is your right of course.
    But you certainly never explain how exactly this has an impact. Were you tired holding the tablet with 2 hands? With one? what did you do with it when holding it so?
    Also your are very quick not to mention how this is a masterpiece of studiness, and the advantages that come from such a kind of industrial stength body.

    USB3? Doesn't seem to interest you. Cameras? Yes the resolution is bad but they are clearly thought for video communication. The low light demo from Microsoft was outstanding, did you try to replicate it and what were your own conclusions? Sound? Whatever. Wifi? how good or bad is it? Pen? Barely mentioned there. Isn't it the case that it is one of the best pen tablet available today?
    Reply
  • Silma - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Complaining about non pcie ssds. Ok in which real case scenario do you see any difference? Isn't it the case that in most real life scenarios it is already impossible to feel the difference between ssds except in very special cases that don't concern most people? Also how fast does the surface pro 2 boot? compare it to other windows & mac notebooks. isnt it the case that it is in fact best in class? Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The storage subsystem has been the single aspect of performance that has been gating consumer devices for the past five years. People don't need hefty CPUs, GPUs, memory bandwidth, or memory capacity when browsing the internet and editing documents. However boot times and program launch times could always be faster and most of the time the rest of the system is twiddling it's thumbs waiting for storage. There's a reason anandtech pushes these things: it's so OEMs will take away what they should focus on to give people better devices. Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    USB 3 has decent bandwidth, but its will add to the latency, it will still be orders of magnitude better than a HDD though. Reply
  • dew111 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    "Once again Microsoft refuses to equip Surface Pro with a Thunderbolt port, which would help greatly in dealing with high performance storage expansion concerns. There is still a USB 3.0 port at least."

    So, Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 are both fairly good for external storage. Since this is a tablet, there isn't a whole lot of room for ports. One of these is compatible with literally tens of thousands of devices, with cables starting at ~$2. The other is compatible with literally dozens of devices with cables starting at about $40. Maybe they could have put a Thunderbolt port instead of the miniDP, but then they would have had to pay Intel for an expensive controller chip for a feature that very few people would ever use.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I have TONS of macbook users around and not a single of them ever own any thunderbolt storage. Oh many of them DO own thunderbolt ethernet dongles, hdmi dongles and VGA dongles. :D

    Have anandtech EVER complained about macbooks not having VGA ports (super important if you do ANY presentation), ethernet port (important for any real work), hdmi port or eSATA ports? Why do they care about the interface NO ONE bothers to use at all?
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Thunderbolt VGA? Well that's bandwidth well used.... :-s Reply
  • rituraj - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Agreed. Also, seeing that people are complaining about the price (I too am), it is very likely they will buy a thunderbolt device for whatever reason. Reply
  • eanazag - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I have had the Surface Pro since it first came out and I think it is great. That being said, there was a lot of opportunity to improve the device going into the Pro 2. There are some key things that I would have liked to see. Battery life should have improved more since they kept the device the same thickness. I was looking for 8 hours on basic usage (email, word doc, and web browser running). What about cellular and GPS? The Surface Pro and Pro 2 and frankly the Surface 2 do little to compete against the iPad. As a matter of fact I view it as if there is a non-compete clause with Apple. There are too many location based applications and use cases for this size device that I just don't get it. I don't want to carry and charge a hotspot and Bluetooth GPS on top of the Surface Pro.

    MS is killing me. I can't recommend this at my job for an iPad + laptop replacement because of this. It is a great device. It just seems like no attempt to really attack the market. Nine months for a CPU upgrade and a dock that should have made it to the first party earlier this year. The two position hinge is the only other advancement and Anand gave them the idea last round. I don't see anything here that makes me thinks MS gets it. I just see changes that any MS design team could have gotten from Googling the web for ideas. I am disappointed at what this could have been.
    Reply
  • hoboville - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    You're hitting the nail on the head, it's target audience is people who need mobile productivity. The inclusion of Office has been one of their main selling points (probably the only reason for RT to exist). Compare this though to other tablets and it does seem weird. On one hand it's trying to be a tablet, on the other it's trying to be a PC, but does neither very well. Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    for god sake, if you've never used the device, stop saying that it doesn't work well ..because the truth is , it works well enough both as a tablet or as a pc. Reply
  • aliase - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    wow, you guys actually tear-down it before ifixit did. Reply
  • unkinected - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I've been trying forever to find any info on connected standby. According to a MS whitepaper (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/ha... page 7), Windows already supports this for ALL platforms:

    "All client versions of Windows support Connected Standby on capable hardware—both ARM and x86/x64 systems."

    So shouldn't that mean the Surface Pro 2 already supports this? Unless the hardware is not up to snuff, in which case no software/firmware update is ever going to address this. There's no clear documentation anywhere online, was hoping you guys could clear it up.
    Reply
  • unkinected - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    And further to the point...with Connected Standby enabled, I'm wondering how much battery life I get when idle. Reply
  • synth0 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Dear Anand,
    I generally like your reviews, however I fail to understand your slashing remarks regarding the battery life of the new Surface Pro.

    Regarding the battery life, you say, and I quote:
    "...seems only good for around 6 – 7 hours on a single charge..."
    "Battery life is still not up to snuff with traditional ARM based tablets"

    I just can't grasp how can an adequate reviewer compare a desktop designated CPU (designed for ULTRABOOKS) to a ARM devices (which are primarily designed for PHONES), and EVEN so: Surface manages to give 85% of battery life of Galaxy Tab 3, while providing 5-10 times faster CPU & GPU performance (really!).

    Answers, please...!
    Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    I agree with your statement.

    This tablet has a full blown Intel haswell chip clocking inside. Whats the point in comparing it to weak, small ARM core's battery life?
    Reply
  • aritai - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Ditto here. Even better with a 3rd (or even a 4th or a 5th) screen using a usb3 hub plus a video adapter.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0086359SG

    because "it's also (just) a (high performance) PC"
    Reply
  • ccd2 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure MS has gotten used to the speed with which tech devices like convertibles are improving. The Pro was groundbreaking last year. This year it has competition. Next year, the competition will be even stiffer. Broadwell has the potential to be a game changer for the OEM that puts it all together. My thought is that Dell could be the big winner. The XPS 12 was been a nifty idea in need of better hardware. It's already a pretty decent laptop, just not a compelling tablet. Make the XPS 12 thinner and lighter and it might be as good a compromise as anything out there. And that does not take into account what Sony or someone else will do with Broadwell. MS needs to look at Google and the reasons for its success in its devices so far: aggressive improvements coupled with aggressive pricing. The Surface Pro 2 shows that MS has not yet learned that lesson. Reply
  • Will Aitchison - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I'm really curious to see how the Dell Venue 11 Pro will stack up against the Surface Pro 2 in terms of build quality and pricing when it comes out in a few weeks. I know it's a busy time of the year for everybody but I really hope somebody at Anandtech gets a chance to review it.

    I'm holding my breath for more configurability - I'm okay with a 128GB SSD, but I wouldn't want to settle with less than 8GB ram. I also think they may have made the right choice with their choice of the Y sku i5's. Hopefully they can offer up some strong competition - I'm really interested to see what they come up with.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Amazon currently has 3 of the Venue Pro 11 SKUs listed: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-...

    It looks to start at $550 for the model with an Atom. Moves up to $650 for the Pentium, then $850 for the model with a Core i5. There's supposed to be a Core i3 option as well, which I'd guess will fall in at the $750 mark, given the way the pricing is structured. Atom model comes with 2GB of RAM, all the others with 4GB.

    So you're not going to get better specs, and the Core i5 model is only $50 cheaper. I'd pay $50 more for the better chassis and accessories, myself. It is interesting if you're looking for a cheaper tab that doesn't use Atom (with the Pentium and Core i3 options).
    Reply
  • Will Aitchison - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Kudos for finding pricing information, I had been looking earlier and had not found it. I agree with your sentiment about paying a little extra for the premium build quality that MS has been delivering. It also appears that Dell is charging extra for the stylus, effectively bringing the two devices close to the same price point if that functionality is important to you.

    I still find myself hoping that some competing company can actually deliver the product I'm really looking for. Microsoft is so infuriatingly close with the Pro 2, but I can't help but feel they did not iterate the device enough this round, and it needs one more revision. For the premium price point it's difficult to make the investment in something which doesn't feel quite ready.

    As an aside, a big part of why I'm interested in the Venue 11 Pro is the Transformer style keyboard and power dock, although this is definitely a matter of personal preference.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I'm curious about this as well. The surface pro 2 is tempting. I kinda wish it was a quad core part as I'd like to use it as a desktop replacement, but my current system is a dtr laptop with a first gen i7 620m and from what I can tell this should be slightly slower, but perhaps not enough that I'd notice. I'm not really unhappy with the current cpu performance I'm getting so I might be ok with that. But it would be nice to say it's definitely faster. Do we know which sku's of i5 dell is looking at? Any chance there is an actual quad core part?

    Also can anybody confirm, with surface pro 2 using displayport, I should be able to chain 2 dell professional monitors together should I not? I have a U2413 with displayport in and out, I'm pretty certain I could run two of them from the single mini displayport on the surface pro2. That would definitely make the surface pro 2 a win over the dell in my books (which I believe uses hdmi)
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    It has two fans in it and you wonder why the battery life isnt better? hahahahahah Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    They really really really need to at least start putting a 4G HSPA+ Stack in this tablet. 4G LTE would be preferred, but just something that does not require me to carry a dongle or teather to my phone constantly. No doubt next year's version will have broadwell and a new chassis, and it will probably be the one to own, if they can get 4G integrated and connected standby. Reply
  • KAKAKAZAWWW - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Anand, or anyone else - any chance MSoft will offer a patch in the coming months to improve SP2's battery usage? (that is, assuming it's a software issue)

    Very puzzling that there's a discrepancy in battery life - I would love to read some more from you about a more dedicated attempt to find out what the issue is.
    Reply
  • Klimax - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    What's up with complaint about thickness? Yeah, it won't snap in half in your hand or suffer other kind of damage, but that is plus. Not to mention that thinness will cost you features and battery. Reply
  • KPOM - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    A 2lb device can be cumbersome to hold for an extended period of time. People complained that the 3rd iPad was "heavy." If Microsoft can get the Broadwell Surface Pro down to the size and weight of an iPad they might sell considerably more of them. At 2lbs, it is more like a small ultrabook that you can occasionally use as a tablet, rather than a truly converged device. Reply
  • Klimax - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Argument was about thinness, not weight. That would count as goalpost moving... (Question however then becomes, do we have affordable materials and light battery tech for this use?)

    Also wonder how much weight adds display...
    Reply
  • gudomlig - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    what is the background u used for the photos? seriously that is more interesting to me than the surface 2 or the surface 2 pro. MS is capable of making good products but their marketing tends to suck, think ZuneHD. At their price point they should absolutely include the keyboard if they want to be competitive IMO. But seriously what's the artwork in the background! Reply
  • YakubuL - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    Hey guys. I'm really interested in purchasing the Surface Pro 2 as my laptop/Desktop/Tablet all-in-one wonder device. Thing is I'm quite worried by this statement "Since there's no connected standby 64-bit version of Windows 8/8.1 yet, Surface Pro 2 ships without the feature."
    Searching around google for windows connected standby, I came across this white paper from Microsoft http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/ha...
    In it Microsoft specifically claims "All client versions of Windows support Connected Standby on capable hardware—both ARM and x86/x64 systems."
    In addition the article indicates that a lack of connected standby support would prevent many VOIP/IM services from functioning properly when the device sleeps as connected standby enables device wake-up in response Wake-on-Lan (WoL) Patterns.
    The alternative would mean that the surface pro always stays in a full powered state. Interestingly enough, if your comment turns out to true, I wonder what this would mean for the rumored LTE surface pro 2. Mobile data without connected standby wouldn't make much sense .
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    not true. that was a iTurd who commented on that.
    my Surface Pro still had >60% batteries left after 2 weeks of inactivity. i didn't turn it off but i suppose it was in hibernation because i closed the lid(keyboard).
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    I think the Razer tablet might be a bit more focused than Microsoft is with Surface Pro. It seems like internally they bet on the Surface RT line for some reason and are shocked that the Pro line is the one that most want.

    I think they're leaving money on the table not making a Surface with Bay Trail.
    Reply
  • AbbyYen - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    is it only me or, why I feel all these review are Microsoft paid review. The device is out there for quite some time and only today that all those reviewer sites suddenly decide to post a review on the same day. ps: It's Apple new product announcement day.

    and don't get me wrong, Amand's review has always been very very informative. but I dislike the idea of occupationize reviewing. I mean how hard can it be to find USD300 to buy and review it yourself? if you can't, ask shops to sponsor a unit and by return give them a free advertise. if all fails, auction it and a slight increase price, cause you have more fan base to support it. and also the advertisement income from website. it is tedious but that's what make the review more neutral.

    paid reviewer will always biased. And please shut m$oft door cause they've been good previously but now they want to shove and force you to eat win8. all these time they're backward compatible. Vista time, you can install xp, in 7, you can install xp, Vista. now? no option. you must die.

    I'm in the transition to buy many machine to replace. win8 is a pain to use. and all those ultrabook are ultra easy to break. useless stuff. precision are great device with great warranty but It's too high a cost for the time being.
    Reply
  • YakubuL - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    You got the idea of how tech blogs work wrong. For big launches like this, there is usually a review embargo for all websites. You also have to consider that Microsoft might have shipped out the devices for reviewing all at the same time Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    you sound like you are being paid by Apple.

    MBA is an ultrabook. are you saying it breaks easily?
    Reply
  • AbbyYen - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    ok, sorry about the last rage. I can always go to clevo or other OEM to custom made everything. but price will be very high. maybe I'll wait for next or else explore other option. ubuntu, droid, all support custom made software. not a big deal.

    now back to the article. This thing won't replace notebook in the near future. too fragile. no real keyboard, battery suck, it'll fail within a year. it's only good for our sales booth where only simple input are required. Heck, on our testing periods, they prefer the iPad more. the only best thing about this is the remote desktop or server thingy.

    the m$oft idea of putting office to clouds are stupid move. why would I share my info when I got my own server. and local storage is still the fastest access. cellular data are not stable. I understand that in the next future, all your device will only be a client but I really dislike that idea. client concept in an office is acceptable thou, investment wide It's still better. but when you are out there, you'll need to pay service provider for band with. this suck.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Nothing, absolutely nothing is more expensive than MBA spec vs spec Reply
  • InspectHerGadget - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    You know the Surface is sexy. I've thought about it and that is it really. It is unique. It isn't as good as a notebook as a notebook like an MBA and not as good a tablet as an iPad but it does both and really there has to be some compromise. It does both well and it is unique (OK I said that twice but there are a million laptops around). Reply
  • WP7Mango - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    I don't think you understand how cloud-Office works. You don't have to store your data in the cloud. You can store all your data locally if you wish. You have the option of saving your data to the cloud, or syncing it via the cloud, but nobody is forcing you to do that. If you want to store your data locally, then you can do so, no problem at all. Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    if the software is optimised you don't need all this horse power in this device. Guess what they own the SW, it isn't optimised hence the reason why they stick to higher end parts to make it smooth = higher cost and bad power consumption. In stead they would better focus on SW optimisation, that would help xxxxxxx users. Reply
  • Welgudtor - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    "sharing a lot of the same DNA" ? I didn't realise a tablet was a animal. Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Blimey, can't you understand a simple metaphor? Reply
  • bull2760 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Why are you running a battery comparison with the surface Pro 2 against ARM based tablets. Although the Surface Pro 2 is a tablet it by no means is meant to compete against them. It's designed to compete in the thin and light segment. This comparison is a waste of time. If your going to compare and apple to and apple than run battery tests against other x86 computers not ARM. Reply
  • Da W - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    204 comment

    Seems like Microsoft finally got interest in its products.
    Reply
  • ikkaiteku - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    "Since there's no connected standby 64-bit version of Windows 8/8.1 yet"

    I can't find this referenced or documented anywhere. In fact, several pieces of documentation like this one explicitly state the client versions of the OS *do* support it on x64: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/ha...

    Are you sure it's not just a limitation from their choice of TPM 1.2 on the Surface 2 Pro?
    Reply
  • burntham77 - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    The CPU on the first gen Surface Pro was pretty fast. They could have gotten away with something similarly fast from the 4th gen Intel chips, which could have allowed for lower power draw, which might have let them use a thinner case. Honestly, the thickness and heaviness of the Pro is what ultimately has me looking elsewhere. I'd be willing to pay near 2000 dollars for the 512 gig model if it was thinner. They are so very close to giving me something that can replace my tablet and desktop. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    It seems utterly impossible for people to compare this properly to anything else. I'd say the weird space in inhabits is its number-one strength, and anyone who's looking for a device right there will be wonderfully happy with it. Everyone else will look at it weird.
    Frankly, I can't think of a better device for me. (This is what any device choice boils down to: personal fit.)
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Anand saying it needs to be thinner and lighter? Does everyone but me have girl hands, wrists, and arms? Does one not cradle their clipboards, books, etc in their forearms like people have done in the past?

    If anything, it feels like a good thin hardback book in my hands. any thinner and it feels weird.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Would appreciate it, but if it keeps the same size, a slight increase in battery would be nice. But the real estate seems full on the circuit board to me - considering this crams the equivalent of a laptop in one tablet chassis. Reply
  • ptman - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Reading Surface Pro 2 reviews from different sites I'm seeing quite the range of battery life reports - often reported without brightness figures and often compared with the iPad 4.

    Here I'm assuming the iPad4 9:48 figure coms from:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6472/ipad-4-late-201...
    and states "displays are calibrated to 200 nits"
    Was the Surface Pro 2 calibrated to 200 nits for this battery test?

    Reading this:
    http://www.trustedreviews.com/microsoft-surface-pr...
    The brightness was set at 40% (assuming a linear scale w/max 470 this would be ~188 nits) and the measured life was nearly 8 hours (although clearly running a different test).

    I'm also confused by the inconsistency with
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7180/apple-macbook-a...
    which also states the iPad 4 achieved 9.48 but states that the Surface Pro got 6.00, not 4.72.

    I understand the discrepancy may be a distinction between the "Tablet Web Browsing Battery Life" test and the "Web Browsing Battery Life" test, but in this case the iPad 4 result would be 9.37, or am I missing something perhaps?
    Reply
  • ptman - Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - link

    Just realized ananduser already brought this up - my bad Reply
  • ananduser - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Anand usually calibrates for 200nits. But it seems to me that Anand rushed the testing, I mean the Pro is definitely worthy of PC testing. This review only focuses on tablet testing. Reply
  • jje - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    I am writing this on my Galaxy Note II because the S pen stylus is so much easier to use than a tiny onscreen keyboard. l am thinking of getting a bigger tablet, such as the Note 10.1, but l use OneNote a lot and the Android version isn't great and of course there's no integration with Outlook (which doesn't exist on Android). I would love to come out of a meeting, click on a note l've just made with my stylus and drop it onto the tasks list in Outlook to update my to-do list. So the digitizer in the surface is, for me, a really attractive feature. I don't want or need another laptop, I want a bigger version of my phone that runs Office and uses a stylus. The Surface Pro is overkill (too expensive and a bit heavy) but the surface 2 doesn't have a digitizer. So, I am waiting for Dell's Venue Pro 11 and to test drive a Note 10.1. l wish Microsoft and others would think about making a perfect tablet instead of a half-arsed laptop. Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    The thing is, if going by sheer physical size, there is no one size fit completely all. It is asking for one shoe size for everyone, big and small.

    Microsoft left other sizes for now open to other hardware partners. The Dell Venue Pros go at 8 inches as well as 11 like you mentioned. Sony has an 11 inch offering. Acer offers a 7 inch tablet.

    And Wacom themselves offer a 13 inch Companion tablet.
    Reply
  • jje - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Sure, but it's not just the screen: the surface Pro is heavy and expensive, arguably because it's overpowered. Microsoft have been in pen computing a very long time and its handwriting recognition is superb: l just wish they would put it in the right hardware. Reply
  • Serr - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    "I did notice an odd display corruption issue on Surface Pro 2 when waking up from sleep (pictured above). Resetting the device or sometimes just doing another sleep/wake cycle was enough to fix it. Microsoft tells me it’s aware of the problem and plans to issue an update shortly to address it."

    "I noticed the same trackpad disappearing issues on Surface Pro 2 as I did on Surface 2, Microsoft claims a fix is in the works."

    "Like Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 ships with 150% DPI scaling enabled for classic desktop applications. Unfortunately even under Windows 8.1 there are a lot of issues with DPI scaling in 3rd party applications and touch targets. Chrome for example is mostly unusable as a touch browser in classic mode."

    "While multitasking on Surface 2 can struggle, the same really can’t be said for Surface Pro 2."

    "Just like last year, my recommendation comes with a caution – Surface Pro 2 is good, I’m happier using it than I was with last year’s model, but the Broadwell version will be even better."

    Looks like a "don't buy" advice for both tablets to me.
    Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Multitasking may struggle on the Surface 2 (in my experience it depends what you are doing), but you can't do it all on other tablets :). Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Also, the 150% scaling issues do exist, but I can't recall encountering them. This might be because there's not many desktop apps that I use (basically Office, remote desktop, games and Putty).

    If you want to use Chrome (I do use Chrome on my desktop, but prefer IE11 on my Surface Pro because it's faster and supports touch) or another 3rd party browser this might be where the issue starts to crop up.

    The other things are minor bugs (no different to similar things on every laptop/phone/tablet released) and will be fixed promptly.

    Not that I'm saying you nessecarily should buy, but for what it is there is no better device ever made.

    What it isn't though is a lightweight tablet or a portable typing machine. As somebody who uses it for portable gaming (emulators, Starcraft and Football Manager mostly), in-transit media and information consumption and a portable desktop PC though, I can say I do not miss my laptop (in fact I am not 100% sure where I even left it).
    Reply
  • Utomo - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Suggestion: 1 Microsoft need to improve the windows 8, so the battery life is much better. including on standby 2 need a thinner body 3 Price is too expensive. Reply
  • Devjones2236 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    First, the stylus is the best in its class. It has very good accuracy and feels like you are writing with a pen not a piece of crap rubberized marker like the ipad. This requires a capacitive screen, which is much more expensive than a non-capacitive screen (ipad or any other apple product, as well as Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and most other windows machines) it has premium specs with a high def screen. I hate when people compare this to MacBook Air. The air is not touch screen at all and does not have a HD screen. The 128 gb ipad is $800 without a keyboard and it cannot run legacy applications, does not have a capacitive screen allowing for digitized stylus (just the crappy bamboo sticks), does not come with a pen, and does not have the performance the Surface Pro 2 has. iPads are good for what they are but the surface pro 2 deserves a premium price. In addition, it is perfect for taking written notes on in meetings where clicking keyboards are not allowed or in class, it is productive on the go, and at home I hook it up to a 32 inch LED TV which allows me to be very productive. The weight is not that big of an issue unless you want to read a book sitting in a chair. I read PDFs on it all the time. However, if reading is the only reason you want a tablet I would stay with a 7-8inch light tablet Reply
  • Proppw - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    "This requires a capacitive screen, which is much more expensive than a non-capacitive screen (ipad or any other apple product,"
    You just made a fool of yourself! Apple uses capacitive screens since iPhone 1 for touch enabled screen products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).
    This shows how ignorant MS shills are!
    Reply
  • bored again - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - link

    He meant that Apple products do not support a pressure sensitive stylus. And just because someone prefers this to an ipad and can appreciate the extra computing power does not make them an MS shill.

    I for one was looking forward to the first ipad, but no stylus meant no buy for me, which is sad as Apple was always perceived as the creative choice, but it took MS to make a tablet for artists.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    The Surface Pro has an Electromagnetic Resonance panel in addition to a capacitive touch panel. That is what he poster meant. Reply
  • ewpelleg - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    Hello Devjones2236, active digitizers can be a bit confusing. Wacom and N-Trig technology do not rely on the touch screen, capacitive or not. Instead, there are sensors under the screen which emit an EM field. This field induces a current in the Wacom Pen which powers it, allowing it to then send information (like pressure) back to the computer. N-Trig is similar, but does not get it's power from the computer but a battery.

    Capacitive stylus' do exist, but their function is to interact with the screen like your finger (for example the iPad).
    Reply
  • b16roy - Monday, October 28, 2013 - link

    The reason they did not change the design is so that they can use the same accessories namely, the docking station.. Reply
  • pmhparis - Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - link

    It is being compared to the MBA because Microsoft keeps harping on how "productivity" oriented it's tablets are & then in the next breath crowing on how inexpensive a Surface Pro is compared to the competition.

    A SP is non-productive without the good keyboard & with a useful sized disk, it is easily more expensive than an equivalently specced MBA.

    When Microsoft stop attempting this bait & switch, we will cease to point out the attempted fraud.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, November 02, 2013 - link

    Both Type Cover and Type Cover 2 are just as suitable and works like any laptop keyboard. I am not sure how the type cover is any less effective at being productive versus a regular laptop keyboard.

    And, instead of creating a hard bundle, the pricing of the covers as an add-on makes sense. You can go without if you plan or already have other travel cordless or corded keyboards, or want to select your own type or touch covers at your discretion.

    Even as of typing this post, I have no problem typing on a type cover on the lap, sans desk, on a couch, with the device on the lap.
    Reply
  • nasqb112 - Monday, November 04, 2013 - link

    I posted this in the iPad Air review as well:

    I currently have a MacBook Air (2011) and a Nexus 7 and want to consolidate.

    I was thinking Surface Pro 2 or iPad Air with keyboard case (similar to the Surface keyboard blades) as I need to be productive on the device. I'd also watch movies, surf the web, game while traveling, etc.

    Can anyone offer their thoughts on using Office (particularly for spreadsheets/data analysis and presentations?) on the Surface? I assume I will be using the Type Cover here.

    So what would you choose, Surface Pro 2 or iPad Air with keyboard and why? Thanks all!
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - link

    Pro 2 easily. You have greater input and periphery device choices and can leverage heavy hitter demanding computational programs, all previous Windows programs (even previous Office versions to a point would work). You can easily connect an optical drive for DVD or Blu Ray reading and writing.

    Office works well on the 1080p display. And can connect to a multi monitor station,

    Pen for quick notes alongside typing and diagraming is a plus.

    Plus, when all work is said and done, this easily is a great web surfing device, communications device, and music and video playback device, leveraging currently installed codecs or ones downloaded and installed online (software can be through the store or loaded and installed the normal usual Windows means of .msi or .exe)
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - link

    Steam runs as it always does on the Pro 2 and Windows. Low and laptop game settings at 720p will have most games (sans intensive FPS ones) will run fine, adding to the 'app' options many so not know about. Reply
  • nasqb112 - Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - link

    Thanks a lot Imaginer. I forgot to consider the wacom pen as that would be a plus for quick notes. Plus I have a good amount of steam games I bought for light gaming on my HTPC that I could play. I'm starting to lean towards the Surface Pro 2 and am heading to Best Buy to check in out in person. Thanks a lot for the feedback, much appreciated! Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - link

    Origin also works well, so there is that option. Reply
  • VanDiesil - Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - link

    Why people are arguing over screen size & using it as a desktop replacement amazes me. Most of us will have a monitor on our desk & by using the Mini Displayport socket on the side of the Surface family of tablets, (if you require an adaptor, these are also cheap enough to buy) you can easily then use the monitor instead of the 10.6" screen. If you have a Bluetooth keyboard & Mouse (these cost peanuts nowadays), you don't even have to use the Surface at all once placed to one side on charge. I do this with my Surface RT and can do everything I need to do on a daily basis with it (other than use non-Office desktop apps, but using Photoshop, Premiere Pro & Dreamweaver may be a bit slow on a Tegra3 SoC!). With a Surface 2 Pro, I could use all those still with no problems (albeit Premier Pro encoding would be slower than my main editing "beast"). Reply
  • mhaager2 - Saturday, November 16, 2013 - link

    I went to the MS store today intending to buy the 256gb surface 2 pro and came out with the Lenovo Helix (ivy bridge i7 8 GB config) which was on sale for 1500 making it closer to the same price as the SP2 + type keyboard. My only hesitation in sticking with it is the ivy bridge processor -- everything else about it I like better. Any comments from people who've owned one? Reply
  • kennyboye - Friday, November 29, 2013 - link

    Yep have one for 6 months in that config. Keyboard OK but not great. Touchpad is OK but 2 finger right click inconsistent. I find the KB is bulky and the rip and flip is a pain, lining up the phlanges is a pita even after 6 months!
    My major concern is that the tablet is starting to creak and flex which does not bode well for longevity. Battery lasts max 7 hours for just word processing and internet connection for gmail at a screen brightness I could comfortably manage.
    Stylus/screen is great. Tablet weight is fine but pretty bulky with the KB. Oh and the hinge doesn't open out far enough for me.
    Honestly I am about to eBay now and buy a 256 pro 2, lenovo build quality just not good enough and I like the idea of a lighter KB implementation. Had a ivy trail Asus as well but atom was way too slow and the build quality/ drivers a pain.

    I have owned tablet PCs since forever (my son still uses my x61) and they are so close to delivering on their promise...the helix was the best I have had so far but I think the sp2 is another step further along the line to a mature device.

    Oh and I had a core i7 MBA and kept wanting to rip the screen off to use it like a tablet...and the screen is covered in fingerprints where my kids keep trying to use it like a touchscreen. Go figure.
    Hope that helps you.
    Reply
  • ccd - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - link

    I was initially very excited by this product. Now much less so. As devices get smaller and lighter, the appeal of this kind of niche product diminishes. For example, I carry an Apple Nano, an iPad, an Android phone and a windows laptop. The Surface could cut down on the number of devices I would have to carry, but what is the benefit besides consolidation??? I have the benefit of 3 ecosystems right now (IOS, Android, Windows) and the benefits of each. The weight of the devices collectively would not be much more than the Pro. I'm just not convinced that the advantages of convertibles outweigh their disadvantages Reply
  • oranos - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    To me, this product has very little mainstream appeal. It's too heavy and thick to compete with ipads and it's screen is too small to compete with ultrabooks. Sadly this more resembles a glorified netbook (car crash sound) to me than anything else. Reply
  • kennyboye - Friday, November 29, 2013 - link

    See my post above. Like a lot of technology once you use it for a while you can't imagine not having it. Touchscreens and PCs with tablet functionality might not seem that important but I could never go back to a MBA/ standard ultrabook now even with my nexus 7 and android smartphone. Reply

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