On the 22nd of October the second generation Surface devices, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, will become available in more than 20 markets.
Of course that means the tech press has had access to these devices for review purposes and those reviews are starting to appear on tech sites across the web.
My tradition has always been to put together a collection of links to all those reviews and that is what this post is for.
However, come Tuesday we can all go out and try the second gen devices for ourselves. These reviews are great for a snapshot but ultimately the devices performance and value will be based on how it meets your needs.
Note: Everything in italics are quotes from the reviews.
Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 Review Roundup
- Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 (Wired) – Rating 7/10; Very good, but not quite great
- Microsoft Surface 2 review (The Verge) – Rating 7.1; Jack of all trades, Master of none
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review (The Verge) – Rating 7.8; The body of a tablet, the soul of a laptop. Microsoft understands the compromises, but hasn’t fixed them yet.
- Microsoft Surface 2: First Impressions and Photos (Windows Supersite) – Already a huge improvement over Surface RT
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2: First Impressions and Photos (Windows Supersite) – Surface 2 is mostly about better battery life
- Microsoft Surface 2 Accessories: First Impressions and Photos (Windows Supersite) – Something new, something … purple?
- Microsoft Surface 2: The Tablet World’s Powerful, Odd Duckling (Mashable) – If you love Microsoft, Windows and, especially all things Windows 8, this is your ultimate do everything tablet. However, if you want a mobile device that is unabashedly a tablet, this is probably not the tablet you were looking for.
- Surface Pro 2 Is a Workhorse PC Like No Other (Mashable) – This is a tablet with the heart of a PC and its brain in the cloud. For a serious workhorse machine that you can really take anywhere, it’s hard to beat.
- Microsoft Surface 2 review: a second chance for Windows RT? (Engadget) – Microsoft has already proven that it can build better hardware than just about any other Windows OEM. Indeed, the Surface 2 is a top-notch product. It’s thin and well-built, with a nice display, improved webcam and a generous amount of storage. Still, recommending the Surface becomes harder when there are other Windows tablets that cost less and run full Windows.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review- a tablet that works best as a laptop (Engadget) – In the meantime, the new Pro is much improved, but it’s still at its best in notebook mode. Indeed, whoever buys this needs to want a tablet and laptop in more or less equal measure. Because if what you really want is a laptop you can occasionally use as a tablet, you’re still better off with a convertible Ultrabook.
- Field Testing Microsoft’s New Surface 2, And Surface Pro 2 Tablet Hybrids (TechCrunch) – All told, Microsoft has a far stronger lineup of tablets in play, and a vastly improved operating system to support them. If it can’t turn that into a sales improvement over its first generation’s rocky year, it can’t become an OEM, period. But with smart advertising (lots), and proper expectations, the company may do well.
- Microsoft Surface 2 review: The tablet that needs to convince the world it deserves to exist (The Next Web) – With the updated hardware, higher resolution screen, improved cameras and update to Windows 8.1 making the whole experience slicker and more functional, most of those original complaints have now been rectified and from a value for money perspective, the lower capacity variant is certainly within the realms of being a contender for other similar tablets.
- Surface Pro 2 Review: More Convincing as a Laptop than a Tablet (The Next Web) – The Surface Pro 2 wants to be everything to you. It wants to be your tablet, and it wants to be your every day laptop too. But it’s far more convincing at one of those things than the other.
- Microsoft Surface 2 Review (AnandTech) – Surface 2 is a big step forward compared to Surface RT. The chassis looks awesome, the device is significantly quicker and battery life is appreciably better. The new display is much better than its predecessor. Unfortunately, Surface 2 faces the same struggles as its predecessor – primarily around the limited use of Windows RT. You’ll still get a better third party app experience on Android or iOS. The good news is that Microsoft’s first party apps are much better with 8.1.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review (AnandTech) – Surface Pro 2 is a good improvement over its predecessor. The platform is quicker, quieter and boasts longer battery life as well. The new kickstand is awesome, as are the new touch/type covers, and the new display is a big step in the right direction. Surface Pro 2 isn’t the perfect notebook and it isn’t the perfect tablet. It’s a compromise in between. Each generation, that compromise becomes smaller.
- Microsoft’s Surface 2 gets down to business (ZD Net) – Make no mistake about it, the Surface 2 is a dramatic upgrade over its predecessor, but it’s not likely to lure iPad devotees back to the Microsoft fold. The Surface 2’s form factor and fixed kickstand make it awkward to use in portrait mode, suggesting that it will always be a PC that can double as a tablet when the need arises.
- Surface Pro 2 Review- A Little Bit Better, But So Much the Same (Gizmodo) – The Surface Pro 2, like the Surface Pro before it, aspires to be All Things to All People. But you are not All People. You are A Person, and there are a wealth of options out there that can and probably do fit your exact needs more specifically. Surface may still very well be the future. That just doesn’t do you much good today.
- Surface 2 Review- One Step Forward, Two Steps Behind (Gizmodo) – Should You Buy It? Probably not. The better screen, better camera, and better processor help make the Surface 2 a much more compelling tablet than the Surface RT, but it’s not quite as compelling as the competition while still costing more.
- A weekend with Microsoft’s Surface 2: Nice improvements, but not a giant leap (GeekWire) – For basic tasks like web browsing and watching videos, it was tough at times to tell the Surface RT and Surface 2 apart when using them in the living room this weekend. The weight difference is tiny, and you don’t notice the battery life improvement until you get to the outer range of usage time.
That will keep you busy for a few hours and I will add to the list as other reviews hit the web over the coming days.