Get started with Surface 2 during Microsoft party

Formalized last month by Microsoft , the Surface 2 succeeds the much criticized Surface RT, testedhere . However, we had to wait until October 22 to be able to order. To celebrate the release of its new touch tablets, Microsoft invited a few bloggers and journalists to a special and colorful evening last night. I was entitled to my invitation and so I took the opportunity to have fun for a few tens of minutes with the Surface 2.

As everyone knows, the Surface range revolves around two models, two ranges: the Surface RT and Surface 2, under Windows RT , and the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, under Windows 8 . The difference between the two? The former can only run applications available on the Windows Store, unlike the latter which support all software.

Get Started With Surface 2 During Microsoft Party

Microsoft's Surface 2 seen from the front.

Technical specifications

If the two tablets look like two drops of water, they do not share the same data sheet. The Surface 2 thus embeds a 10.6-inch screen capable of displaying a Full HD 1080p type definition (1920 × 1080, 5-point multipoint), an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor , 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of storage space depending on the model chosen . Behind, we are also entitled to WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0, a 5 megapixel camera located on the back of the hull and a second 3.5 megapixel front camera for video conferencing.

The connection is quite complete since it is possible to count on a USB 3.0 port , a microSD card reader , a headphone jack and a video output capable of broadcasting a stream in high definition. I switch to the accelerometer, the gyroscope, the magnetometer and the ambient light sensor, which can be found in most mobile terminals on the market anyway.

In terms of dimensions, the Surface 2 is quite compact (274.5 x 173 x 8.89 mm) and rather light (676 grams). Dimensions quite close to the iPad Retina. The autonomy of the slate, for its part, is estimated at 10 hours.

Get Started With Surface 2 During Microsoft Party 1

The foot of the Surface 2, able to take two positions.

Design & Ergonomics

Let's be clear, the Surface 2 is very close to the Surface RT. Similar lines, identical finishes, the resemblances are striking. With some minimal differences in its dimensions and weight.

There is however a great novelty, which affects the foot integrated into the chassis. It can actually take two positions , unlike the previous model. Very concretely, it will therefore be possible to use the Surface 2 on a desk or even on our knees in laptop mode. Afterwards, of course, I would have preferred Microsoft to go a little further, but it might be for the next version, who knows.

For the rest, and we must admit that the Surface 2 is not ugly to look at, with very “premium” and extremely neat finishes. Tastes and colors cannot be discussed, that's for sure, but if you liked the first model, then you should be won over by this new version, especially since the white suits it very well . Otherwise, in terms of ergonomics, we will find on the right side a first speaker, the headphone jack and the two buttons dedicated to the volume control. The power button, for its part, is on the top edge. Finally, on the right side, we have the second speaker, the video output, the USB 3.0 port and the connector to charge the device.

Get Started With Surface 2 During Microsoft Party 2

Surface 2 folded up.

First impressions

It is very difficult to get an idea of a product in a few minutes, but I admit that I was rather won over by the Surface 2. It is elegant, beautiful to look at and the arrival of high-definition is really an asset. not insignificant.

But what about the limitations affecting the operating system. They are annoying, it's true, but you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the Surface 2 was designed as a tablet , unlike the Surface Pro 2 which is more of the touchscreen ultra-portable computer. In addition, the Windows Store is quite complete and Windows 8.1 integrates several very interesting applications such as a guide for cooking and wine or a tool entirely dedicated to health and fitness. The presence of the Office suite should also make life easier for professionals.

More generally, the Surface 2 is really very premium, as much as the Surface Pro 2 and this is normal since they both share the same lines. I have had the opportunity to see a lot of hybrid machines running Windows 8, or even Windows 8.1, and none of them come close to Microsoft's tablet, at least in terms of design. .

There remains the question of price. At 439 € for the basic model without Cover, it still hurts quite a bit. Especially since the Cover is not provided for this price. If you opt for the Touch Cover 2, you will have to add 119.99 € to the painful one, or 129.99 € for the Type Cover 2. Which gives us a total of 558.99 € or 568.99 €. Once again, the price positioning of the device does not seem adequate to me, Microsoft obviously has not learned from the mistakes made with the Surface RT.

Get Started With Surface 2 During Microsoft Party 3

The Surface 2 in the foreground, followed by the Surface Pro 2.