Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 Tablet: A Look Under the Hood
Microsoft officials spill more technical details about the improvements they've made to its business-oriented Windows 8.1 tablet, Surface Pro 2.Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet, which launched shortly after Windows 8.1 Oct. 22, sports major upgrades according to Ed Giaimo, senior director of product development for Surface Pro 2, and Steven Bathiche, distinguished scientist at the software maker's Surface unit. The company offered a look at what makes the Surface Pro 2, beyond what the official specifications reveal. In a Nov. 13 blog post, Microsoft shared "what we did to make a great product even better and deliver all the performance that you expect from a high-end laptop with Surface Pro 2." While Surface Pro 2 reviews have been mixed, most praise the tablet's performance, particularly its ability to run desktop-grade software with ease and deliver a responsive experience. After clearing a challenging setup, eWEEK's Wayne Rash said in his Surface Pro 2 review that when outfitted with a Touch Cover, Microsoft's slate was "a lot like using an Ultrabook, but even more portable." "It weighs less than 2 pounds, which is equivalent to the lightest Ultrabooks, and the HD screen is clear and easy to read. ... Overall, I found the Surface Pro 2 to be far better for doing real work than my iPad, and because it will run nearly any Windows application, there's a huge selection to choose from," he wrote.
It's no accident that the Surface Pro 2 performs like an Ultrabook. "In order to replace a laptop, Surface Pro 2 is furiously fast; 10 to 20 percent faster than the original Surface Pro, depending upon the amount of RAM available," stated Giaimo and Bathiche. In terms of graphics performance, an Intel HD4400 GPU pushes pixels "50 percent faster than the original Surface Pro," they boasted. "This performance improvement is across the board and especially apparent in graphics-intensive apps."