Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review: a tablet that works best as a laptop
The new Surface Pro is more viable as a laptop replacement, but it hasn't made much progress as a standalone tablet. Ultimately, it's at its best in laptop mode, but it's still not always as comfortable to use as a proper Ultrabook.
- Attractive, well-built hardware
- Great display
- Fast performance, improved battery life
- More comfortable to use in the lap
- Still heavy as a standalone tablet
- Typing experience hasn't improved much
We could debate all day about whether the original Surface Pro was supposed to be more of a tablet, or a laptop with a detachable keyboard. Either way, we think we can agree on this: The original wasn't perfect in either role, not with its short battery life, heavy build and kickstand that wasn't designed to be used in the lap. Now, less than a year after it came out, we have the Surface Pro 2, which addresses many of the shortcomings we complained about on the original. In particular, it moves to a two-stage kickstand that sits less precariously on people's legs. A Haswell CPU, meanwhile, should take care of the battery life problem. Even the keyboard covers have received mild upgrades, though unfortunately, they're still not included in the $899 starting price. But does all of that add up to a real improvement?