BY IMTIAZ FAROOQ
With the news fresh out of New York concerning the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the somewhat wealthy amongst you who happen to own a Surface Pro 2 (don’t mock… they’re out there) might be looking at that excellent piece of hardware and thinking ‘hmm, I fancy that 12” monster with the i7 Haswell chip, ridiculous kickstand flexibility and freakishly accurate stylus with its cool note-taking feature’. Firstly, can I have some of your money to pay some bills and secondly, you might want to hang onto that Surface Pro 2 because it is not quite the old tat you might feel it is right about now.
Some time ago, I purchased my Surface Pro 2 and quickly became smitten with it. The productivity it offers me is something I have waxed lyrical about many a time and doesn’t need repeating again. I offered my initial impressions on the Pro 2, which can be found in the review section, but have held back on reviewing it because whatever needed to be said, has been said on many sites. The true test of modern technology is whether it can sustain that initial feeling of awesomeness and not feel dated after a short period of time.
HOW HAS IT AGED : HARDWARE
A question we ask our tech stuff eventually, and in the Surface Pro 2’s case, it’s aged very very well. Starting with its looks, it is still the iconic work of art I fell in love with last autumn. The kickstand improvements seem small but they add a tonne of functionality to the device. The Quad Core processor and 4GB of RAM were plenty back then and plenty now and with Windows 8.1, it’s like a brand new machine. The screen is where I could see a justification for upgrading to a Pro 3. 12 inches of screen is always better than 10.6 inches but during my time of usage, I wouldn’t like you being fooled by just numbers. The screen is perfect for long periods of typing in my opinion, so much so that I am writing this blog on the device right now! For movies, it’s just right without feeling like you need to have the screen a fair distance away to appreciate the picture. If I had one genuine gripe which has kind of worsened during my time with the Surface Pro 2, it’s the charger. The magnetic connector might be a cool thing but the fiddliness attached to what should be a simple process of charging a device gets on my nerves at times.
HOW HAS IT AGED: SOFTWARE
In one words, excellently. I briefly mentioned above how Windows 8.1 has breathed new life into my Pro 2. Windows 8.1 truly excels on this device, it is to Microsoft what Apple’s Mavericks is to their desktop and laptop machines. Windows 8.1 and the Pro 2 work in perfect harmony and the experience has been so great that I have ditched my iPad mini pretty much and gone full-time with the Pro 2. The other half of TekTalk, Mike, has rightly pointed out the usefulness of the iPad as more than consumption device but with the Pro 2, Microsoft has taken the best of content consumption and proper productivity and made an excellent bit of kit for people like me to enjoy.
So to conclude this entry on revisiting my initial thoughts on the Pro 2, I think it is a device that has aged well and continues to be a compelling purchase for anyone wanting the best of PC and Tablet without ANY compromises. Yes, Microsoft has revealed a very compelling successor with even more bells and whistles than the Pro 2 but seriously, you need to be very very tempted to essentially replace £1000 worth of equipment for a device which, for all is brilliance (and I know, it is really brilliant), will become outdated when the new lineup is revealed with the Broadwell chips in late 2014. If you are upgrading from the original Pro, definitely go for it. But like the Apple product cycle, upgrading once every two years is likely my advice going forward with this.