Yesterday was a busy day in the world of tech and the one thing I did not get out to do was visit the local stores carrying the 2nd Gen Surface devices so I could check them out.  I was really looking forward to seeing Surface 2 specifically because I was curious about the new VapoMg casing and its feel and texture. Of course seeing how the dual position kickstand works and seeing the new 1080p HD screen were on my list.

I started off by working the phones to learn that my local Staples and Office Depot stores had zero 2nd Gen Surfaces in their physical stock. Disappointing to say the least but not for me seeing the devices but because that means customers who want to see them or might encounter them will not get that opportunity. Reminds me of last years mess when the 1st Gen Surface gear hit retail stores – it was not pretty.

So my next stop was my local Best Buy and the results were much better. The first thing I saw as I walked in was an end cap 1st Gen Surface display:


Just Surface and its accessories which, when you compare it to last years retail debut, is leaps and bounds above the display options as last year they were just shoved in between other tablets and left without power, etc.

As I walked around this display I see that the Microsoft Store in Best Buy was up and running:


They had started this construction several weeks ago so it was nice to see it in person and to just see all of the Windows based devices flashing that familiar Windows 8 Start Screen.

One of the head tables along the front of the Windows area was purely dedicated to Surface:


What a huge difference to see Microsoft’s flagship Windows hardware prominently on display.

However, the only disappointment was there were no 2nd Gen Surface devices out on display.  I spoke with the in store Windows Consultant and he acknowledged they had plenty of the 2nd Gen devices in stock but had not received their display models. I guess in retail those are separate or something from your selling stock.

Anyway, after talking with him for a few minutes he got clearance from his manager to pull one of the Surface 2’s so I could take a closer look at it.

I spent all of about 10 minutes with the Surface 2 but here is what I can share from those initial observations:

  • The silver VaporMg case looks superb. It has a satin feeling texture to it and with that it will certainly be resistant to fingerprints and the oils from our hands which show up easily on the Surface VaporMg case.
  • The dual position kickstand is very sturdy in the 24 degree position. I was concerned about that holding up but it took me a good amount of pressure to force it past that point to the 40 degree spot.
  • Although I have not had many issues with the power connector on Surface the one on Surface 2 is very easy to slide in place. Having the power light ringing the top of the connector instead of a pinpoint of light on the top end is so much easier to see.
  • The SD slot has been moved down from the spot it was in on the 1st Gen Surfaces. You no longer need to unplug the device to access that slot which could be blocked at times by the power connector.
  • The 1920 x 1080 full 1080p HD screen is spectacular.  Don’t get me wrong, the Surface’s HD display was great, but this is a nice addition to the Surface 2.
  • Fast – what a difference when browsing the Start Screen or running apps. The responsiveness of Surface 2 in comparison to Surface is distinctly noticeable so the processor upgrade is solid.

I can confirm that the Desktop Tile is missing from the new devices. I pointed this out to the Best Buy Windows Consultant as he had not heard that or the news that Surface RT was just known as Surface now.

Admittedly, I was disappointed that the new devices were not already on the display table to check out but to walk into Best Buy and see all that floor space dedicated to Microsoft Windows devices was a very nice change of pace for a retail experience.