Surface 2 is 'a bargain' and a worthy iPad competitor, says NY Times review

by David Needle

December 4 2013

Microsoft got an early Christmas gift from the New York Times in the form of a very positive review of the Surface 2, Windows 8.1 tablet. 

Windows 8 tablets in general have struggled to gain significant market share, but NY Times reviewer Bob Tedeschi compares Microsoft’s Surface 2 favorably to the market leading iPad.

While noting both Android tablet and iPad users have a far greater selection of apps to choose from, the review gives Microsoft high marks for hardware design and at least an adequate selection of apps:

“The value proposition of the base Surface 2 seems about right. For around the price of an iPad, you get a tablet that’s great for watching movies, checking email, browsing the web and using most of the basic apps you’ll need.”

Furthermore, with Surface 2 Microsoft has addressed many of the criticisms reviewers had with the original Surface RT tablet.

With “the second iteration of the Surface, which went on sale in late October, most of those downers have been addressed. The new Surface includes Outlook, an upgraded battery, a kickstand with two viewing angles instead of just one and faster USB ports, and other goodies.”

Minus a few other criticisms, including the lack of a model with cellular connections, Tedeschi says the Surface 2 “is a bargain machine that packs a tremendous amount of value for the price.

“The software sparkles with thoughtful and innovative touches that will most likely find their way to competing platforms. When a website or page includes information that spills over onto another page, for instance, part of that page peeks out at you as you browse, so you know it’s only a swipe away.”

(Using or planning to buy a Windows 8 tablet? Sign up for the free TabTimes for Windows newsletter for news, reviews, apps, insights and advice)

Surface Pro is pricey

And while you get a wider selection of apps with the Surface Pro (the full range of Windows software), NYT notes you pay a much steeper price.

“Why buy the Surface 2 instead of the Surface Pro 2? The Surface Pro 2 is a $900 machine, not including the $130 keyboard, and at that price the detachable tablet would have to provide a great all-around experience to justify the cost.”

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