Last week, Microsoft announced the impending release of the Surface RT 2. Sadly, nobody cares. However, at the same time they did announce the release of the Surface Pro 2 which is an entirely different proposition.
Quick reminder on what it is. The Surface Pro is a high performance notebook in a tablet’s skin. It had a rocky start with supply issues in North America which lead to a delay in its global roll out. When it did finally get released, a decent model with all the bells and whistles of was easily clearing £1000. This was a bit too much for most to swallow, as the machine could last less than 4 hours when used in the field.
Surface Pro 2 – Specs
The unit itself is still the same size as before, (W) 275mm x (H) 173mm x (D) 13.5mm and weights 900g. Not the thinnest or lightest tablet on the block, but this does need to be tempered with the fact that it isn’t a tablet. The only device current able to compete with it would be the Sony Vaio Tap 11, but haven’t really looked into that device to see whether the two are truly comparable at this stage.
Storage has now been split into two camps; you can get either a 64GB hard drive (for heaven’s sake don’t as you will use up that amount of storage just with the OS, Office and the recovery partition), or a 128GB hard drive with 4GB of RAM or you can go big with a 256GB or 512GB hard drive with 8GB RAM.
The Processor is Intel’s 4th Generation Core i5, known as Haswell. It is no slouch and has the added benefit of a 20% performance improvement over its predecessor while improving battery life by 75%. This means that the battery will last 7-15 days when idle according to the press release. This is of course meaningless, what it means in the real world is that you should now scrape 6 hours of mobile use, which while low, does bring it in line with many ultra-books that it is hoping to usurp.
In terms of ports, it comes with only one USB 3.0 port. It has a microSDXC card reader, for no apparent reason, a headset port and a mini display port that enables you to output to a monitor. In the box will be a power supply and stylus.
Surface Pro 2 – Price
Pre orders are available and the prices are broken down as such:
- The 64GB model is £719.00
- The 128GB model is £799.00
- The 256GB model is £1039.00
- The 512GB model is £1439.00
It is safe to say that this is still not a cheap choice, you can get business grade ultra-portable notebooks with more power for the same price, but you are investing in the form factor.
Accessories to consider are the Type Cover 2 keyboard which will add £109.99 to the bottom line as well as a docking station that is pending pricing as is the Power Cover keyboard that has a battery in it to boost the life of the device. Expect that latter two to be eye wateringly expensive.
Surface Pro 2 – Release Date
Deliveries will commence on 22nd October in the UK
It is fair to say that the Surface Pro isn’t for everyone. It is always been hideously expensive for what it is and the next generation continues with that trend. That said, Virtual It is going to be rolling them out to their Account Managers and Projects staff so check back soon for a full review of what it is like to live with.