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The best Surface Pro deals, prices and bundles in October 2021

Grabbing a Microsoft Surface Pro deal can often save you a lot of money on that otherwise lofty MSRP, which is a relief seeing as these premium Windows tablets can reach $1,000+ price tags fairly easily. The Surface Pro price certainly isn't intended to appeal to an entry-level buyer. That said, with cheaper specs seeing dramatic discounts and bundles offering up free keyboards and other accessories, you'll be able to find an excellent Surface Pro deal to keep those costs down. 

If you're after a flexible but still powerful device, the brand new Surface Pro 8 is now the go-to choice. The top of the line laptop and tablet hybrid is the most recent device on the market. Given its incredibly high price tag and specs, though, you can also consider the Pro 7 should you want to get more value for money.

We’ve tracked down all the best Surface Pro deals on the Pro 8 model right here, but we're also tracking the latest sales on the older devices. As these older tablets become discontinued, though, those prices can start to re-inflate, which is why we'd recommend sticking to the Pro 7 or 8 in your quest for the highest value savings. We're also expecting even more Surface Pro offers soon, courtesy of the upcoming Black Friday deals.

Looking for something a bit smaller? You'll want to take a look at the cutest member of the Surface family, the Surface Go – a smaller and cheaper version of the Surface Pro tablet. 

Important note: Most Surface Pro deals, especially the cheaper ones, do not come with the Type Cover keyboard attachment or Surface Pen. Retailer sites can be a bit misleading as they'll generally show the device with the keyboard, so be sure to check the full description. We've included a price comparison chart for the keyboard and pen below too if you need to pick them up separately. Most retailers have the option to add one to standalone deals too.

The best Surface Pro deals and prices

The best Surface Pro 8 prices

The best new Surface model in years

CPU: Quad-Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB-32GB LPDDR4x | Screen: 13-inch, 2880 x 1920 | Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD | Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect port, headphone/mic jack | Cameras: 10MP rear-facing autofocus camera (1080p full HD video); 5MP front-facing camera (1080p full HD video) | Mic: Dual far-field Studio Mics | Weight: 891g | Size: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches (287mm x 208mm x 9.3mm; W x D x H)

Faster processors

Gorgeous design

Bigger display

Expensive

Type Cover sold separately

The Surface Pro 8 is the biggest change to the Surface Pro lineup in years. With it comes some design improvements that we've wanted to see for a long time and a significant performance boost. It doesn't stray too far from Microsoft's core range of Windows tablets, but does feel like a new generation device to support the launch of Windows 11.

The aging design of the Microsoft tablet is now long gone, with a modernized look that sports thinner bezels, rounded edges and some of the fastest hardware that's ever been found in a Windows tablet. The ports have also changed, and while we're lamenting the loss of some legacy ports, Microsoft has finally got with the times with the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4.

But being the best Surface Pro in years comes at a significant cost: it's the most expensive device out there. The Surface Pro 8 starts at $1,099 / £999 / AU$1,649, which is much more expensive than it's been in the past. Compare that with the Surface Pro 7 which launched for $749 / £799 / AU$1,249 in 2019. That price increase does come with much-needed improvements, but it makes the tablet a harder sell. Add on to that the fact that the Surface Pro 8 still doesn't come with the Type Cover in the box and you're looking at a big investment all around.

It's tough, then. Still, this is the first time Microsoft has had a true competitor to the iPad Pro since Apple's flagship tablet got its major redesign. And that's an exciting reason to consider it for your next laptop purchase.

The best Surface Pro 7 prices

Great value last generation model

CPU: Intel Dual-Core i3; Quad-Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics; Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 4GB-16GB LPDDR4x | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1,824 | Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD | Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x Surface Connect port, microSDX card reader, headphone/mic jack | Cameras: 8MP rear-facing autofocus camera (1080p full HD video); 5MP front-facing camera (1080p full HD video) | Mic: Dual far-field Studio Mics | Weight: i3 / i5, 1.7 pounds (775g); i7, 1.74 pounds (790g) | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5mm; W x D x H)

Speedy processor

New and improved mics to improve Cortana's hearing 

USB-C port 

Battery potentially doesn't hold up against Pro 6

Design remains the same 

The tradition of slight spec bumps in each new Surface model continues with the Surface Pro 7. Such boosts in performance aren't about to go unnoticed, however. Quad-core i5 and i7 processors allow the Pro 7 to handle multitasking even with more demanding programs without so much as a whimper. That means snappier wake times over the sometimes lagging Pro 6. Plus, if you know you don't need to take advantage of these processing boosts, the basic i3 dual-core processor with 4GB of RAM is back to save you some pennies in cheaper Surface Pro deals.

Other than the USB-C port proudly sitting on the Pro 7, you won't be able to tell the models apart. There's still no Thunderbolt 3 in the picture though, which puts fantasies of speedy dual-screen sessions to bed. Remember, Surface Pro 7 deals don't necessarily come with the keyboard you'll see in its photography, though we are seeing more bundles offering the two together these days. 

If you're looking for an amazing tablet for precision multitasking and more than capable processing speeds then these Surface Pro 7 deals could be for you. If you have the Surface Pro 6 already (and you're not fussed about ports that don't carry Thunderbolt 3), it looks like you're most of the way there anyway. 

The best Surface Pro X deals

A bigger display on an experimental tablet

CPU: Microsoft SQ1 | Graphics: Microsoft Adreno 685 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB LPDDR4x | Screen: 13-inch, 2880 x 1,920 | Storage: 128GB - 512GB SSD | Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect port, Surface Keyboard connector port, 1x nano SIM | Cameras: 10MP rear-facing autofocus camera (1080p full HD and 4K video); 5MP front-facing camera (1080p full HD video) | Mic: Dual far-field Studio Mics | Weight: 1.7 pounds (774g) | Size: 11.3 in x 8.2 in x 0.28 in (287 mm x 208 mm x 7.3 mm)

Excellent design

Larger screen

Considerably more expensive

Apps struggle with ARM processor

The Surface Pro X launched just a month after the cheaper Surface Pro 7 and brings a larger display to the party in an experimental shift towards a new ARM processor developed by both Microsoft and Qualcomm. It's a good looking laptop for sure, with a gorgeous profile, slimline chassis and excellent display - however it's not going to suit the vast majority of consumer needs. 

Apps are still struggling to get to grips with the new processor which means things can run a little slow, and though you're picking up an extra USB-C port here, you're losing a headphone jack, USB-A port, and micro-SD card slot in the mix. That's a lot of functionality out the window, though you might make good use of the new 10MP 4K camera on the rear. 

All in all, we'd pick this up on sale if you're looking for more RAM than the conventional Surface Pro, and a bigger display for multi-tasking or streaming, but you'll find better Surface Pro deals on the smaller model above.

The best Surface Pro 6 prices

2018's entry might see the best upcoming discounts

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Ports: 1 x USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, microSDXC card reader (UHS-I), headphone/mic jack | Cameras: 8MP rear-facing, auto-focus camera (1080p HD); 5MP front-facing, 1080p HD camera | Weight: 1.7 pounds (771g) | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5mm; W x D x H)

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/deals/surface-pro-deals-bundles

Best cheap Microsoft Surface Pro deals for October 2021

After decades in the software game, Microsoft finally started making hardware under its own name — but we’re not talking about the Xbox. The Surface line of Windows tablets launched about ten years ago, and since then, the stable has grown to include an impressive variety of laptops and 2-in-1s as well (to say nothing of the Surface Duo, a unique folding smartphone). The Surface Pro tablets are still among our favorites, though, so if you’ve had your eyes on one of these, read on. We’ve got all the best Microsoft Surface Pro deals and bundles right here.

Want to see what other Surface bargains are out there? Check out these Microsoft Surface Laptop deals as well. And, if you just want a good tablet but you’re keeping your options open, then check out these iPad deals once you’re finished here.

Today’s Best Microsoft Surface Deals

  • Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse — $45, was $153
  • Microsoft Surface Duo 128GB (AT&T) — $415, was $699
  • Microsoft Surface Duo 256GB (AT&T) + Deco Gear Wireless Charging Power Bank — $469, was $499
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with Type Cover (Core i3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) — $599, was $959
  • Microsoft Surface Go 2 Type Cover Bundle — $609, was $669
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) — $700, was $900
  • Surface Pro 8 (11th Gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) + Xbox Series X Controller — $1,400

Need a complete Windows bundle? This package deal gets you the Surface Pro 7 with Type Cover keyboard -- a must-have addition that turns this tablet into one of our favorite 2-in-1s.more

Buy at Best Buy

Complete your mobile work setup with the Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse. Buy two for even cheaper, and you can have one for your home office and your travels.more

Buy at Walmart

Half phone, half tablet, the Surface Duo is a versatile device that can handle all your daily mobile needs. This one comes bundled with a 8,000mAh wireless power bank to keep you juiced on the go.more

Buy at Amazon

This Microsoft Surface Go 2 bundle gets you a high-end and compact tablet, keyboard accessory at a bargain. You can also add 15 months of Office 365 for the price of 12.more

Buy at Microsoft

The Surface Pro 7 didn't re-invent the wheel in terms of design, but it's a fantastic tablet nonetheless -- and it's really the only option if you want a Windows-powered alternative to the iPad.more

Buy at Best Buy

This value bundle includes the Surface Pro X with keyboard cover and 15 months of Microsoft 365 (for the price of 12!) -- in other words, everything you need for a remote or on-the-go workstation.more

Buy at Microsoft

If you're after the ultimate Surface tablet, this Surface Pro X with the SQ` CPU is it. It packs the latest hardware along with 4G LTE connectivity.more

Buy at Amazon

256GB also on sale

If you're an AT&T customer (or you're thinking of switching to this carrier), this is the best price we've seen on the unique Microsoft Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone.more

Buy at Amazon

Microsoft's Surface Arc is a sleek, wireless mouse that's a perfect companion for your computer. It has a foldable and unique arch-based design that is easy to carry and comfortable to use.more

Buy at Amazon

For graphical work and scrolling, the Surface Dial is a must-have add-on. Adjust volume, pan through maps, access programs and shortcuts, zoom in and out, and much, much more.more

Buy at Amazon

It's not a computer, but this pair of in-ear wireless Surface Earbuds is the perfect complement to your Surface tablet, laptop, or 2-in-1.more

Buy at Amazon

The Surface Pro X is the sleek new re-design of the Surface Pro that we've been hoping for, packing Microsoft's new SQ1 chipset and a larger 13-inch touchscreen.more

Buy at Amazon

Want the mobile and desktop experience without having to buy a keyboard separately? Then here's your chance: This Surface Pro 7 comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a Type Cover keyboard.more

Buy at Amazon

It's the last-gen SQ1 model, but we still love the Surface Pro X and this is an incredible value. This Amazon Renewed one packs good hardware and comes in like new condition with a 90-day guarantee.more

Buy at Amazon

If all you want is a cheap tablet that runs Windows, the Surface Go 2 is as good as it gets. You can also pair it with a Type Cover Keyboard and use it like a laptop. more

Buy at Walmart

The Surface tablets don't come with a stylus, but thankfully, the Surface Pen isn't too expensive -- especially when it's on sale.more

Buy at Amazon

The Microsoft Surface Pro X gave these 2-in-1s the facelift they needed, and this one comes packing solid hardware along with a keyboard case and stylus.more

Buy at Amazon

Microsoft's 2nd-gen Surface Go packs some updated hardware over its predecessor, yet it's still one of the cheapest ways into the Surface ecosystem. Grab it with the Type Cover at a discount.more

Buy at Microsoft

Turn your 13-inch Surface Pro X into a full-fledged 2-in-1 laptop (and give the screen some extra protection) with this discounted keyboard case.more

Buy at Amazon

If you already have a 10-inch Surface Go but lack a keyboard, then this specialized Type Cover is hard to pass up at this price.more

Buy at Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

A woman holding the newly announced Microsoft Surface Pro 8.

The newest model of the ever-popular Microsoft Surface was recently announced at a Microsoft event. The new Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is reportedly twice as fast as the previous model. Microsoft shrunk the bezels on the side of the screen (something we’ve been wanting for years now) to increase the display size to 13 inches, making it the largest Surface yet. A 120Hz refresh rate is an optional upgrade. They also removed the two traditional USB ports, leaving only two USB-C ports. They did keep the headphone jack, of course (wink wink, Apple).

The new Microsoft Surface Pro 8 retails at $1,099, the same price as a relatively upgraded Surface Pro 7. All in all, that’s essentially what the Surface 8 is: a nice upgrade on a classic. The Surface Pro 8 is available now, so keep your eyes peeled for Surface Pro deals on this fresh model.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

In 2019 we saw the release of the updated seventh iteration of the Microsoft Surface Pro along with the innovative Surface Pro X. For this refresh, Microsoft continued its conservative approach and decided not to tinker too much with a winning formula. It was a good strategy: The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 has everything we love about the Pro 6 with some subtle improvements like newer Intel Core CPUs and the welcome addition of a high-speed USB-C port.

Along with those relatively minor (but very nice) upgrades, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 still boasts that beautiful 3:2 PixelSense touchscreen and great build quality, and it also works beautifully with a Type Cover keyboard for pulling double duty as a 2-in-1 ultrabook laptop. One of our few gripes is that it still doesn’t come bundled with that keyboard cover, but Surface Pro deals and ongoing sales should help to alleviate that.

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Microsoft revealed two new Surface devices in 2019, launching the all-new Surface Pro X alongside the Surface Pro 7 refresh in late October and early November. The Pro 7 was just a small update of the mainline Surface Pro series, but the Microsoft Surface Pro X delivered the long-needed facelift that we’ve been waiting for: Most notably, Microsoft finally cut down those chunky bezels surrounding the display, which was one of our few persistent complaints with the regular Surface Pro models (including the newest Pro 7).

It’s not quite as fast as the Surface Pro 7 or Pro 8 in terms of specs, but the main trade-off here is that the Microsoft Surface Pro X is thinner and lighter. In fact, it’s the slimmest Surface yet at just 0.2 inches, and those leaner bezels allow for more screen real estate with a larger 13-inch 1920p PixelSense touchscreen (for an extra 0.7 inches). The Surface Pro X is the complete package, but it’s also the most expensive new member of the Surface family, so savvy shoppers would be wise to hunt around for the numerous deals during seasonal sale events.

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go Review

If we’ve whetted your appetite for these 2-in-1s but, for various reasons, you don’t want to dump a huge wad of cash for one of the Surface Pro models, then the Microsoft Surface Go is definitely worth a look. The 10-inch Surface Go is a more budget-minded alternative to the high-end Surface Pro lineup, packing a smaller display, simpler hardware, and Windows 10S (a pared-down version of the Windows 10 OS). We’re not going to claim it’s the best Surface that money can buy — it’s not — but for around 400 bucks, it’s very, very hard to look this cheap gift horse in the mouth.

The Surface Go is a great option for anyone looking for something a bit smaller than a Surface Pro or for shoppers who want something affordable (be it as a secondary 2-in-1 for travel or a device for basic web browsing and streaming), and the above Microsoft Surface deals make it even sweeter. Microsoft recently released the second-gen Surface Go, and while our review team felt that it was a bit too pricey at launch, it’s another option to consider if you want some hardware upgrades and can find a good deal.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors' Recommendations

Sours: https://www.digitaltrends.com/dtdeals/microsoft-surface-pro-deals-and-bundles/
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The best Microsoft Surface Pro deals in October 2021

It's the first week of October and the best Microsoft Surface Pro deals of the fall continue following Microsoft's Surface Event. Many of the best Surface Pro deals we're seeing right now slash dollars off Microsoft's premium 2-in-1 and accessories. 

For example, Best Buy continues to offer the Surface Pro 7 with Type Cover Keyboard for $599. That's $360 off its normal price and one of the best Surface Pro 7 deals available right now. 

Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1 tablets are powerful enough to replace your laptop. If you're on the hunt for a powerful tablet PC, the Surface Pro line has a device for you. The most current versatile Windows tablets available are the 13-inch Surface Pro X and 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7. Direct competitors to Apple's iPad Pro, Surface Pro tablet PCs range in price from $799 to $1,299. 

Luckily, many of the best Surface Pro deals we've seen chop a considerable amount of their usual prices. Here are the best Surface Pro deals you can get right now. 

Best Surface Pro deals right now

Best Surface Pro deals

Best Surface Pro X deals

Surface Pro X's strongest ARM

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Screen Size: 13-inches | Resolution: 2880 x 1920-pixels | CPU: SQ1/SQ2 | Front Camera: 5MP | Rear Camera: 10MP | Battery Life: Up to 15 hours (Rated)

Stunning 13-inch display

Sleek design

Excellent 5MP webcam

No 5G/Wi-Fi 6 

Pricey keyboard and stylus sold separately

Microsoft's Surface Pro X is a versatile Windows tablet PC. The optional keyboard (sold separately) makes it a capable 2-in-1 laptop. Starting at $1,299, the latest model Surface Pro X features a 13-inch (2880 x 1920) touchscreen, 3.1-GHz Microsoft SQ2 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. This device offers a significant performance over the first Surface Pro X with Microsoft's 2-GHz SQ1 8-core chop. 

As we note in our Surface Pro X SQ2 review, it boasts a gorgeous 13-inch display, sleek, premium design, and good battery life. Design-wise, the Surface Pro X has slimmer bezels and rounded corners compared to the Surface Pro 7. It retains the convenient kickstand of its sibling on the back. 

Best Surface Pro 7 deals

Surface Pro 7 with USB-C, 10th Gen CPU power

Storage: 128GB/256GB | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Screen Size: 12.3-inches | Resolution: 2736 x 1824-pixels | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3/Core i5 | Front Camera: 5MP | Rear Camera: 8MP | Battery Life: 8 hours

Bright, vivid display

Speedy overall performance

Premium metal design

Keyboard and stylus sold separately

With a starting price of $749, the Surface Pro 7 remains one of the most versatile Windows tablets out there. It has the same minimalist design as the Surface Pro 6. Just about the only difference is that it has a new USB-C port on the side. 

The base model packs a 12.3-inch (2736 x 1824) PixelSense display, a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Measuring 0.3 inches thin and weighing 1.7 pounds (2.4 pounds with the keyboard attached), the Surface Pro 7 is the same size as its predecessor, the Surface Pro 6. It's a tad thicker and heavier than its industry rival, the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro (0.2 inches, 1.4 pounds).

In our Surface Pro 7 review, we praised its premium design and bright, vivid display. The tablet's fast performance was also impressive and we gave the Surface Pro 7 a rating of 4 out of 5-stars. 

Best Surface Pro 6 deals

Surface Pro 6 2-in-1 to beat

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Screen Size: 12.3 inches | Resolution: 2736 x 1824-pixels | CPU : 8th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7 | Rear Camera: 8MP | Front Camera: 5MP | Battery: 9 hours

Fast performance

Superb battery life

Bright, color-rich display

Lacks USB-C connection

Although it may be showing its age, the Surface Pro 6 is still one of the best 2-in-1 laptops around. It configures into any of three modes: tablet, laptop or studio. Sturdy and stable, the Surface Pro 6 is as light and portable build as its successors.

With an entry level price tag of $799, the Surface Pro 6 has everything you could ever want in a tablet PC. The base model packs a 12.3-inch (2736 x 1824) display, Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD.

In our Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review, we loved its fast performance, long-lasting battery life, and colorful display. Although it lacks USB-C and Thunderbolt ports, we gave the Surface Pro 4.5 out of 5 stars for its overall fast performance.

Hilda Scott uses her combined passion for gadgets and bargain shopping to bring you the best prices on all things tech. She has a bachelor’s degree in film and media studies from Hunter College and 11 years of tech and entertainment journalism. Her work has been featured on Tom’s Guide, iTechPost, Examiner.com, Parlemag, Enstars, and Latin Times. When she's not scouting for the best deals, Hilda’s catching up on her favorite TV shows and pro-wrestling matches.  

Sours: https://www.laptopmag.com/news/microsoft-surface-pro-deals
Surface Go 2 vs Surface Pro 7: To Go or Pro?

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review: Better battery and performance, same thick body

Watch this: A very familiar-feeling Surface Pro

Just in time for Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system update, the company's flagship Surface tablet line is also getting a makeover. Or in the case of the $899 Surface Pro 2, it's more of a makeunder -- there's no flashy physical redesign, as with the thinner, lighter, higher-res Surface 2 (the updated Windows RT version that starts at $449).

Of course, you're probably here because the Surface 2, despite its myriad improvements, isn't a "real PC." Unlike that model's compromised Windows RT operating system, the Surface Pro 2 reviewed here runs the real-deal Windows 8.1, which includes full backwards compatibility with older Windows programs, not just the ones available in the Windows Store.

In addition to having the operating system edge on its non-Pro sibling, the Surface Pro 2 also packs some internal improvements compared to the first-generation Surface Pro. A new Intel fourth-generation Core i5 processor -- along with some internal system tweaking by Microsoft -- has delivered notably improved battery life. The Pro 2 lasted nearly 7 hours in our admittedly tough battery test, versus just 4.5 on the original. Still not MacBook Air territory, but it's a worthwhile leap. Sweetening the deal is the Surface's ingenious detachable keyboard cover (available in flat Touch and real-key Type versions, both now with a handy backlight), which remains miles ahead of anything else available for slate computing.

But a keyboard cover isn't included in the purchase price, even though it's frankly crazy to buy a Surface without one. That $120-$130 add-on makes the Surface Pro 2's $899 starting price feel illusory. Further, that $899 is only for a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD) version, less storage than you'll find in most similarly priced ultrabooks. For a more reasonable 128GB SSD version, it's $999, and when you add in a Type Cover, you're looking at an investment of over $1,100 just to get started with the Surface Pro 2.

The Surface Pro 2 is also entering a crowded market of Windows 8.1 PCs in all shapes and sizes that are either out now or coming soon. Among the closest competitor is Sony's comparably priced Sony Vaio Tap 11, which outshines the Surface Pro 2 in many ways -- it's thinner and lighter, despite having a slightly larger screen, and its included keyboard cover has a more traditional keyboard layout and a larger touch pad (that said, I like the magnetic clasp and wide kickstand of the Surface Pro 2 better).

In comparison, the still-chunky Surface Pro 2 is left feeling more like a Surface Pro 1.5, at least in terms of design. And yet, that may not be such a bad thing for Microsoft. The Surface Pro was intended from the beginning to show the way for PC makers to design and build better tablets, and it looks like that's actually starting to happen.


Microsoft Surface Pro 2MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)Sony Vaio Tap 11
Price$899$999$1,100
Display size/resolution10.6-inch, 1,920x1,080 touch screen11.6-inch, 1,766x768 screen11.1-inch, 1,920x1,080 touch screen
PC CPU1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U1.5GHz Intel Core i5-4210Y
PC memory4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz4GBDDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz
Graphics1,792MB Intel HD 44001,024MB Intel HD Graphics 50001,739MB Intel HD Graphics 4200
Storage64GB SSD hard drive128GB SSD hard drive128GB SSD hard drive
Optical driveNoneNoneNone
Networking802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0802.11a/c wireless, Bluetooth 4.0802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating systemWindows 8.1 (64-bit)OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.4Windows 8 (64-bit)

Design and features
The body of the Surface Pro 2 looks and feels almost exactly like the original version, and its measurements are the same. The body does have a couple of subtle changes, however. The logo branding on the back panel is different, reading "Surface" rather than "Microsoft," and the built-in kickstand now adjusts to two different angles, making the screen easier to see from different positions. The original one-size-fits-all kickstand made the screen hard to see and interact with unless you happened to be sitting at precisely the optimal angle.

At the same time as the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft is introducing another new product, the Surface 2. This is the updated Windows RT version of the original Microsoft Surface, and it features a slightly slimmer body, an updated Nvidia processor, and a higher-resolution screen than the original RT version of the Surface. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 share the same screen now, and it's been color-tuned for greater accuracy. While the Surface Pro 2 still comes in a slatelike "dark titanium" color, the Windows RT Surface 2 is now a lighter, silver color called magnesium. Overall, while I think the Surface Pro 2 is the more useful product, I wish it had gotten the same design love as the RT version.

The best part of the original Surface line was its optional snap-on keyboards, and both have been updated. The Touch Cover has flat keys that work, but they offer less tactile feedback than serious typists need, while the Type Cover has island-style keys that are shallow, but still very usable.

The $119.99 Touch Cover 2 is about one-third thinner than the original version, but at the same time, more rigid for easier typing. The old system of one sensor under each key has been replaced with a full array of sensors, allowing partial keystrokes to be counted more easily and accurately, and supporting a handful of gestures.

The $129.99 Type Cover 2, with its full separate-key keyboard, is thinner as well, and remains one of the things people like best about the Surface. Its magnetic connection is powerful enough that you don't have to worry about it coming loose, and, while the closely packed keys take a little getting used to, it's comfortable and accurate for long-form typing. The touch pad is small, but responsive -- and you're clearly meant to use the touch screen for much of your navigation.

Microsoft has also shown off a second kind of Type Cover that includes an integrated battery. Only slightly thicker than the standard Type Cover, this would allow the systems to run even longer by combining the internal battery and the secondary keyboard battery, an idea already used in a handful of Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrids. A $59 Bluetooth adapter for the keyboard covers (yes, it's an accessory for an accessory) will snap onto the top of the keyboard and allow you to use it remotely as a Bluetooth keyboard. In the not-sold-separately department, as with the original Surface Pro, you also get an active-stylus Surface Pen that magnetically attaches to the power connector for transport.

Again, both the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are backlit. Especially for a system intended for frequent travel, as a tablet is presumed to be, a backlit keyboard is practically required, as you can easily end up in a dimly lit coffee shop, airplane, or meeting room.

The only real regret here is that the keyboard covers are not included with the $899-and-up Surface Pro 2, and remain an expensive add-on.

By way of comparison, the keyboard cover included with the Sony Vaio Tap 11 doesn't attach via a magnetic hinge; instead its wireless connection allows you to move it anywhere nearby. It's certainly more flexible, but also lacks the more laptoplike feel of the Surface Pro's kickstand-plus-keyboard setup. The Vaio version has keys that are slightly smaller, set up island-style, with empty space between each key. The latter much more closely resembles current laptop keyboards, and feels marginally better to type on. However, it's thin, and in the lap it flexes a good deal even under moderate typing.

The Surface Pro 2 has a 10.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, which is what we'd expect from a laptop or tablet in this price range. That's a major point of differentiation from lower-cost Intel Atom tablets, which usually have lower 1,366x768-pixel-resolution screens. Microsoft says the Surface Pro 2 has an "optically bonded ClearType Full HD display," and an ambient light sensor can adjust the screen brightness automatically. Compared with the very similar Sony Vaio Tap 11, the Surface Pro 2's screen was brighter and crisper, with excellent off-axis viewing angles.

Audio is decent for such a small system, but the small physical size of the chassis restricts how much air a speaker can actually move. For Skype or other camera usage, both the front and rear cameras are 720p, and take advantage of the improvements to the default Windows camera app in the recent Windows 8.1.

Connections, performance, and battery
With a body as thick as an ultrabook, one might reasonably expect more ports and connections from the Surface Pro 2. The single USB 3.0 port feels skimpy, and it's accompanied by Mini DisplayPort and a microSD card slot, which means you'll likely need adapters to use those.

However, there is a silver lining. A dedicated Surface Pro dock was sorely missing from the original Surface launch. Now, making the Surface 2 more viable for business use, Microsoft is adding a docking station. This $199.99 add-on sits under the Surface Pro 2 and includes USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, a Mini DisplayPort connection, and audio in/out jacks.


Microsoft Surface Pro 2
VideoMini DisplayPort
AudioStereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack
Data1 USB 3.0, microSD card reader
Networking802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Optical driveNone

The Surface Pro 2 starts (as the original Pro did) at $899, but the RAM can be upgraded from 4GB to 8GB, and the internal storage can be upgraded up to a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), with a full 8GB/512GB configuration costing $1,799. Our review system was the base $899 model.

The Surface Pro 2 slightly outperformed the previous version in most of our benchmark tests, and was faster than the Sony Vaio Tap 11, which uses an even lower-power Core i5 Y-series chip, as opposed to the U-series in the Surface Pro. With its almost-laptop feel, thanks to the kickstand and keyboard cover, the robust Surface Pro 2 feels like you can throw any mainstream workload at it, from Photoshop to HD video playback to office tasks, and have it feel just as zippy as the bigger laptop probably sitting on your desk right now. The main barrier to all-day productivity is probably going to be the smaller screen size.

The biggest difference between the original Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 2 is the latter's upgrade to Intel's fourth-generation Core i-series CPUs, sometimes known by the code name Haswell. These new chips offer only modest boosts to system performance, but are important because they offer serious battery life improvement.

Microsoft has further said that its own internal optimizations also contribute to better battery life. However credit should be assigned, the results were pleasing, with the Surface Pro 2 running for 6 hours and 55 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. The original Surface Pro ran for only about 4 hours and 30 minutes in the same test, and its middling battery life was one of the main knocks against it.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)
212

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

441

Microsoft Surface Pro

458

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

627

Sony Vaio Tap 11

686

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Microsoft Surface Pro
265

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

275

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

314

Sony Vaio Tap 11

327

MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)

330

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)
82

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

119

Microsoft Surface Pro

124

Sony Vaio Tap 11

165

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

166

HandBrake MMT (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Microsoft Surface Pro 2
475

MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)

534

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

741

Sony Vaio Tap 11

982

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

MacBook Air 11-inch (June 2013)
637

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

415

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

311

Sony Vaio Tap 11

309

Microsoft Surface Pro

271

Conclusion
The Surface Pro 2 feels like a modestly improved sequel to what we had seen before, rather than a true 2.0 version of Microsoft's flagship tablet. Anyone shopping for a new Windows 8 system right now should rightly demand Intel's fourth-gen CPUs, available since June, if only for the increased battery life and power efficiency. The Pro 2 gives you that, and the new second angle on the kickstand does make it more convenient to use in your lap. The biggest disappointment is that it's still got that first-gen hardware look, while Sony has managed to shave its competing Tap 11 system down to a thinner, lighter package.

With no major new features or design changes, the Surface Pro 2 still relies heavily on its accessories to stand out as the market leader. But, with only a few new slate-style Core i5 tablets coming out (most competing models are hybrids that spend much of their time in clamshell-laptop mode), Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 manages to maintain a strong position in its small corner of the market.

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/microsoft-surface-pro-2-review/

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