Microsoft Surface 2

There are going to be three reactions to this header:

1. Are you fucking nuts? The iPad/Samsung/Nexus/whatever-Android-tab-you-desire is a waaaayyy better tablet than the Micro$oft’s (hur hur) shitty piece of shit.

2. Why the fuck didn’t you get the Surface Pro? The Pro is REAL Windows, unlike that that crappy limited Windows RT they pass off as an OS.

3. What the fuck? Isn’t that like a $10 million table or something?

Well, despite your feeling on this particular device, my Surface 2 has been my primary machine since I got it in late October. I absolutely love it. It does everything I want to do and it does everything I want to do very well. Yes, I have tried competing offerings. Yes, I have considered real laptops. Yes, I have checked out the Surface Pro. Yet despite the collective wisdom of the internet, I have decided that this device is perfect for me. Hell, even self-proclaimed Surface Geeks tend to prefer talking about the Pro and only begrudgingly talk about any RT version. Paul Thurott, the definitive and derisive Windows super fan, will typically talk shit about the Surface RT and Surface 2 and suggest that Microsoft retire it in favor of a low cost Atom-based standard Windows offering. Mary Jo Foley, the Windows enterprise expert, used a Surface RT and was constantly berated by fans and foes alike for her choice, despite the primary usage of the device being Notepad and Internet. She has since upgraded to a $1500 Acer Ultrabook for the same purpose, which seems like insane overkill.

The story of my Surface

So, suffice it to say, when I went looking to get a new laptop, I originally didn’t even consider the Surface 2. Around a year ago, I started considering replacing my laptop. My first laptop was a 15 inch HP that I paid $1,200 for because it had a low end graphics card that could barely run a game or two. I replaced that with a $1,200 Alienware M11x that was inevitably a big mistake. It was the first “netbook class” laptop (10-12 inches) that could also play games. It did, sorta, but it had a low-power Core2Duo chip that ran like shit unless I constantly ran it with the included overclock option. As a result, after a couple of years, that laptop was starting to run into some issues like overheating, a failing graphics chip, and general slowness. By this time, I had a desktop computer that was powerful enough to run games with no problem and an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3 for good measure. I was done with college, was working the okay-ish 9-5 job I’m working now, and had a writing hobby that I wanted to add a little steam to.

So I went looking around. I’m kind of a hardware and aesthetics geek, so I wanted something that looked decent, had a decent amount of power, and had good battery life, while being fairly portable. I went to Best Buys, I went to Frys, I went to various office stores, and I looked around at Newegg and Amazon. Since I have a degree in Creative writing, I didn’t (and still don’t) have much money to spend on such a tool, but I considered even around the $800 range. There were some nice options, but there were always compromises. The screen quality of most of these laptops was terrible. Many had awful battery life (most of them 4 hours, more expensive ones with 6), which was a deal breaker as I intended to visit a lot of coffee shops for long writing sessions with a local writing community, and did not want to lug around a power brick. Some were just massively heavy and annoying. The problem is that in order to get a laptop that runs fast, has great battery life, and a great screen, you have to buy an Ultrabook, which even 6 months ago would run you over a $1000. And I didn’t want to spend that much money.

And then I saw the Surface tablet. Gods how I wanted a Surface Pro 2. Ultrabook power in a tablet form factor. It was portable, powerful, and long lasting. But to get one, I’d be spending at least $900 on the tablet, $130 on the keyboard, and possibly another $100 on Office (as the Pro does not come with it). But the hardware was perfect. If you’ve never seen the display on a Surface, you should. It’s gorgeous. And the back of the tablet had that beautifully crafted magnesium casing. But it was not to be. And seeing the Surface Pro 2 at the same time as checking out other tablets truly destroyed the experience for me.

But then I re-evaluated my computing needs. What was I going to use this device for? I needed a capable internet browser. I needed some sort of word processor. I needed a good keyboard for writing. I wanted a beautiful screen because that’s the ONE GODDAMN THING YOU STARE AT ALL DAY LONG. Ahem. At the time, I was using Audacity to play around with music mixes every now and then, but it was kind of a passing fad that would never go anywhere because I wasn’t nearly talented enough to mix music or socially competent enough to become a DJ. I like taking pictures, but I don’t believe in spending hours of my time using Adobe programs to make my terrible pictures look slightly less terrible. I don’t videotape anything, nor do I ever plan on editing video.

And then there was Steam. My most used applications were: Internet, Word, and Steam. Games. Gods damn the games. I like playing games, but did I actually want to play them on this secondary device? Yeah, maybe. But should I?

And here was the rub. I started considering the Surface 2 for the first time ever. It was the closest thing to the perfect laptop that I’d seen. $500 for the tablet + $130 for the keyboard. Already came with Microsoft Office installed. Beautifully crafted, perfect screen, fast and fluid. I asked myself: did I want to sacrifice the aesthetic love-at-first-sight that I had fallen into for portable Steam? Did I want to pay another $400 to play Steam games on the go? It was tempting. But inevitably I got the Surface 2.

I was scared. I fully believed I would hate it within a month. I fully believed I would either want to throw it out the window or stick it on a shelf somewhere to collect dust. During that first month, I wrote a 50,000 word first draft of a book. For the next month, I watched Netflix movies, played Asphalt 8 with an Xbox controller attached, and used it as a remote control to send content from my desktop to the Xbox. In January, I started doing a 2nd draft edit of the book that I wrote in November and found that I did not need to print out the book and make edits in pen as I’d done with all my school essays and other written works. I got a $5 stylus from Target and edited the book while holding the Surface in portrait view, like a traditional writing tablet.

In short, I have been consistently amazed by how good this tablet is and I am now convinced that Apple was wrong with the iPad. This is what tablets should have been all along. And this is why:

Let’s Talk About ARMs

So, first of all, I want to explain something I kind of breezed past before. Many of you may not know why I had to sacrifice Steam for the Surface 2. You see, the Surface and Surface 2 (don’t confuse them with the Surface Pro line) run a version of Windows that is, for all intents and purposes, almost exactly the same as Windows 8. It looks the same. It functions the same. All the settings and file system stuff are in the same place. The desktop is still there. It has the start screen instead of the start menu. It works with touch (normal Windows 8 works with touch in the same way). It even has Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook pre-installed on it! There is only one difference between the software on the Surface 2 and the software on your laptop: The only programs you can install on it have to come from Microsoft’s app store. No, your 8-year old Bejeweled CD package will not go on it. Not a single piece of software that you previously installed on your Windows XP or Windows 7 PC will work on this guy.

But, before you freak out and go kill me or yourself, let me talk about why. This little 10.6 inch device does not have an Intel processor or an AMD processor. It has a chip inside it that is known as an ARM SOC. SOC means System On a Chip. That means literally what it sounds like it means. Everything that normally is stuck on a motherboard and thrown into a laptop is instead included in a single small low-power chip that runs inside the tablet. It is the same type of chip that runs your smartphone and all other tablets, including the iPad and most Android tablets. Why do these devices run this weird ARM thing? Because it’s small, it’s cheap, it runs on low power, and it’s much more powerful per watt than the processor in your laptop. The problem is that since it’s such a radically different system, no regular Windows programs will run on it (at least without a LOT of coding work and a significant performance penalty). This is why you can’t stick an iWork CD into your iPad and install it. But that is literally the only difference. Other than that, it looks and feels just like Windows.

Once again, this is why I can’t run Steam games on my Surface 2. I can run them if I bought the Pro for $400 more that had an Intel processor in it. But I didn’t want to spend the money. The fact is that it had Office, an internet browser, and an app store that I was familiar with since I have a Windows 8 based desktop.

Best tablet browser on the market

The first thing I hear when I talk about the Surface is “Isn’t that thing a bit too limited?” My response is always, “I dunno, is it? …Fucker?” Always add that last part, it helps to spread the internet vitriol that spreads anyway no matter how hard you try. Then, when they stop shouting at me, I like to ask: “What would you consider this thing? A laptop, or a tablet?” It’s an important question! Not because this thing somehow stands across the line between laptop and tablet, but because our perception of what a tablet should be has been shaped by devices that are essentially quite limited. Since the Surface looks and feels like a Windows computer, it has the distinct honor of being mistaken as a laptop most of the time. Think about it, would you consider an iPad a laptop or desktop? How about an Android tablet? No, of course not!

But ironically enough, people are not the only things that the Surface 2 fools. The Surface 2 also fools the internet.

So, here’s a serious question. What do you do with your tablet right now? Do you browse the web? Maybe a little? Do you browse Facebook with Safari or Chrome for Android? Of course not. Do you go to Netflix with your tablet internet browser? Of course not! Do you go to your bank website? No! Do you watch cat videos on YouTube from your internet browser? Hell no! All of those things are done with apps. You go to the Netflix app to watch Netflix. You go to the YouTube app to watch YouTube. You go to the Facebook app to check out Facebook.


Why do you do this?

When you used to use a laptop or desktop to do everything, did you go to an app, or did you go to your web browser?

Why don’t you go to your web browser now?

I’ll tell you why! Because mobile web browsers suck! They are and always have been incredibly limited. Netflix and Hulu won’t let you stream from Safari or Chrome for Android. Not even if you check that “Desktop mode” option. Facebook has ALWAYS sucked on mobile browsers. YouTube has never worked on the web browsers of Apple devices because no flash. YouTube worked on Android devices for a while (until Google killed flash support in Jelly Bean), but it ran like shit. Hell, even porn is difficult. Most porn on the internet is still shown using flash video, and unfortunately, that limits the amount of porn you can watch on your phone or tablet.

So what was one the first things I learned about the Surface. It has a goddamned full web browser. I can go to Internet Explorer on my TABLET, type in, and watch a goddamned Netflix movie in my browser. You may not care about that because you have your Netflix app (there’s a Netflix app in the Windows store too), but wait, there’s more benefits to a full web browser. When I go to, I don’t get some dumb watered down mobile site. It works and it works well. I can view Flash movies on YouTube with the standard browser. I can watch Hulu videos without paying for a subscription!

Seriously, try going to from iPad browser, sign in, and play a movie. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Try your Android tablet. I don’t care what size your tablet is, go ahead and try it. Yeah, that “desktop mode” only works so far, doesn’t it? How about bank sites? Does your bank have an app for your tablet? Does their website work well for your browser? I’ll bet it works on my Surface 2. Think about all the porn you’re missing because your device gets picked up as a “mobile device” and you get redirected you to some odd mobile version of their webpage that requires you to pay for everything? Yeah, not even desktop emulation works on that. But when you have a full desktop-class version of IE, you can surpass all that shit. Consider also that there’s a lot of TV content you can watch on the web without a subscription from the various TV station websites (like the BBC), but they require you to be watching it on a computer rather than a mobile device (the reason has to do with the legal restrictions with the content owners – it’s complicated and stupid, so don’t worry about it). The Surface and Surface 2 count as a computer when you’re using the desktop version of IE, not a tablet.

There is a bit of a caveat I have to disclaim. If you use the full screen “modern” version of IE, you’ll probably get some issues (Netflix will re-direct you to the Netflix app, for instance) because I think it’s technically considered a “mobile” browser. But I just want to make the point that this is the first tablet that truly gives you a different and better web experience then your phone does. You have the full web in front of you. Everything is there, not just the shitty cordoned off mobile version of the web.

File Manager

Here is one element that is personally important to me. It is the reason I almost considered an Android tablet and the reason I will never ever ever buy an iPad. I want a god’s damned file manager. Why do I want a file manager? Well, specifically because I like being able to find my writing projects, be able to store them on my device offline, and I also like to download things and throw them in the place that they belong. There are a lot more reasons, but I’m starting to get tired of explaining why I want something that should be obvious. Being able to control where your files are located and be able to access them easily seems like something that should be obvious, but it’s really not anymore. The thing is, through many years of using a computer, I seem to be one of the only people who actually got addicted to this:

And this:


And you know what? I’m even okay with this: (This is the “modern” more “touch-friendly” version of the file manager)

As much as I’m not a fan of the modern file manager, at least it’s not this:

I mean jeez. What the fuck is most of this shit? I know how Android file managers are. I had Android phones for 6 years. I used, demonstrated, and sold Android tablets to people for over 5 years. I understand them. But I’ve always despised them. Why does every Android browser app have its own download folder? Why are all the app system file folders scattered on the same root directory? Yes this file manager is usable. It’s functional, but it’s easy to get lost, it’s easy to lose files, and it’s hard to organize things. But at least it’s better than not having one at all.

I’m sure Steve Jobs meant well when he decided iOS should not have a file manager. Sure, it’s a way to simplify computing. File managers can be hard and complex. I get it. But you know what’s more complex? Getting a damn file from the internet onto your iPad. You may not understand this, but every single app on an iPad has its own separate file system and these file systems are not allowed to work together. There are a few file systems that do work across each other, but these are the file systems that are tied to iTunes. Namely: Music, Videos, and Podcasts. Documents? Yeah, fuck you. In order to access a file on your iPad, you have to open the app associated with it. Want to move it to another app? Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it won’t. You might have to re-download the file and changes be damned.

But you know what the best thing about the Windows file system is? I hinted at it earlier. You may have missed it. Give up yet? Alright, here’s a clue:

Hmm…that icon looks familiar. And it’s pinned to the start screen. What is that? Well, let’s open it up.

Does that say what I think it says? Yes. That is a network share. A glorious glorious network share. That is my desktop’s file system currently being accessed by my tablet over the network. I just had to enable file sharing in the network settings, long press on the TOWEROPOWER icon, and tap on “Pin to Start Screen” and I can access whatever music and videos I have over the network.

Also keep in mind, this works in the modern apps as well. You do have to select “Network”

Type in my network path (\TOWEROPOWERMusic in this case – keep in mind that it does prompt your with “example: \ComputerPath”) and I get this:

And then I can use the Devices charm to stream it from my desktop to my Xbox or Samsung smart TV. It just works! Can you do this on an Android tablet? Sure, but you usually have to get an app, possibly download some program on your computer that acts as a server, and then sync the two up, then open the app whenever you want to access something, etc. I’ve tried network file managers on other platforms, and they sorta work, but Android and iOS were not designed to work with file shares. They were meant to be used as internet devices that access all your information through cloud storage. But cloud storage isn’t cheap, especially when you’ve got 15 GB of music and tons of movie files. Call me old school, but I generally only use cloud storage for my writing projects and pictures.

The keyboard

Although the Surface 2 will work with any usb or Bluetooth keyboard you can throw at it, there are arguably two keyboards that you should be using with it. The Surface Touch keyboard and the Surface Type keyboard. Why? Because these two keyboards are designed to work on the Surface. The Surface keyboards have really strong magnets that connect to the really strong magnets on the Surface. The result is a thin and light keyboard that is attached to your Surface, folds over to cover the screen, and then folds backwards against the back of the tablet when you want it out of the way. When the keyboard is folded back against the tablet, the keyboard will not work, meaning there will be no accidental typing. The new versions of the keyboards also include backlight illumination, meaning the keyboard will light up when you’re working on it. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the magnets, they’re really friggin strong. They are so strong that I can even do this.

Which is pretty damn cool. I can shake it around and the keyboard stays on. But when I pull the tablet with a little bit of pressure, the keyboard pops right off.

Now, the reason I was dubious about this keyboard is because I’m a writer (or at least I fancy myself one). As a writer, I need a good keyboard. The conventional wisdom about keyboards is that the more space between keys, the better. The more travel a key has between the top of the key and the bottom of the switch, the better. Well, when Microsoft released the Type 2 keyboard with the Surface 2, it got thinner and gained LED backlights under the keyboard. As a result, key presses became shallow. In addition, the keyboard does not use the more mainstream island keyboard pattern (each key is a separate “island” with a bunch of space between it and the next one. Instead, the Type 2 keyboard uses large key caps with a small line of space between each key. Conventional wisdom states that this keyboard is going to be terrible. But, I decided to give it a shot, knowing that I could just toss it and use a conventional keyboard with the tablet.

Well, I was once again completely surprised. It seems that Microsoft built an amazing keyboard that works great with the tablet, saw the problems with conventional wisdom, and then said, “fuck it, we’re going with perfection, not what everyone else thinks is right.”

As I said above, I wrote a 50,000 page novel within 30 days. That’s a pretty rigorous test of the comfort of a keyboard. I found that I was actually more comfortable typing for long periods of time on this keyboard than I was with my desktop keyboard (a Logitech G510) or the raised Dell keyboard I use at work. Both of these other keyboards fit in with conventional wisdom. But look at the difference between my wrist when using the Surface keyboard (left) and my Logitech keyboard (right).

When using my Logitech keyboard there is definitely a bend in my wrist, but my wrist and forearm are parallel with the thinner Surface keyboard. It’s a slight difference, but it’s the difference between feeling carpel tunnel after 8 hours and feeling just fine. I’ve noticed this with every computer and laptop keyboard I’ve ever experienced. When the keyboard is raised above the surface it’s sitting on (or raised above your armrest), you will have to bend your wrist upwards in order to type on it. When Microsoft created a keyboard that is only a millimeter tall, they also created a keyboard that is much more ergonomic than EVERY OTHER LAPTOP KEYBOARD EVER. I think all those things combined make the admittedly expensive $130 price tag of the Type 2 keyboard worth it.

There’s also a Type and Type 2 keyboard, which are $80 and $120 respectably, but I think they’re weird and hard to get used to. The general idea with that keyboard is that the keys do no press down. The keys are just touch sensitive surfaces that you “tap” in order to make words happen. It’s a cool idea and I guess you could probably get used to it, but considering the minor price difference, I’d rather get the Type 2 keyboard.


This is the most under-rated feature of the Surface tablets. Do you know how annoying it is to multi-task on a tablet? I’ll spoil it for you if you don’t It’s not just annoying, it’s technically impossible. Every tablet ever made (until the Surface line) restricts their users to using one application at once. I guess it’s a decent way to try to fight the rising levels of ADHD in America, but this approach will invariably run into a simple flaw. Oftentimes, a single task will take multiple applications. You want to run a conference call with notes? Better print out those notes. Want to write a research paper? Guess you’ll be flipping from your essay to your internet research pages constantly, because you can’t have both on the same screen at the same time.

Out of the box, the Surface 2 has the ability to run two applications on the same screen at once.

You can also change how much of the screen is being shared between each app by dragging the black bar in-between to where you want it to go. Windows will adjust the app according to the aspect ratio it is being given (MetroRadio is a Pandora app on the left. Word/desktop is on the right.

But if you play around with the app size scaling (search for “Change app size” and you’ll find the option) and change this to smaller:

Then you’ll get a more condensed Start screen and the ability to run three apps size by size like I did throughout most of my 50,000 page NaNoWriMo project (an IRC chat app is on the right).

Doing this will absolutely NOT mess with your desktop scaling settings. Your desktop icons will still be large enough to use with touch, but the items on the Start screen and the text on your modern apps will be a bit smaller. But honestly, doing this makes modern apps look a bit cleaner and more elegant, makes the Start Screen a bit more useful, and also gives you the ability to multi-task like fuckin boss. No other tablet can do this. None. Why is that? I don’t know! Steve Jobs like minimalism and Google just had to emulate that philosophy. But damn it, multi-tasking is important and I don’t know why it’s okay for it to go away.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Mike, I can multi-task. It hit this button, swipe over to the other app, and I’m good to go.” Yeah, maybe. Until you need your other app again. When you’re working on an essay for school, do you Alt+Tab every time you’re going to your notes? If you do, you’re doing it wrong. Put that shit side by side. Being able to reference the thing you’re trying to do is important.

Even at work, where I’m generally just dealing with spreadsheets and internal Telnet systems, I like having the Telnet screen I’m working on sitting on top of the Excel spreadsheet I’m referencing. This is the only tablet I’ve seen that provides true multi-tasking. I know many of you will mention Samsung, but come on, really? That’s nothing like what this tablet is doing here.

It’s still a tablet, dummy – But a damn awesome one

So far, I’ve described what can basically be described as a Windows 8 laptop. Except that it’s still a tablet. What’s the best thing about a tablet like the iPad or Android tablets? They are portable, quick, and last all day with battery power. Well, the Surface 2 is definitely a tablet. I can still carry it like this:

And it’s pretty thin too.

And I can cover it with this magnetically locked cover (kinda like a smart cover, except that it’s a keyboard too). And I don’t have a clever way to demonstrate this, but the battery life does last around 8 to 10 hours for me. In fact, I wrote this entire article with just a single’s day’s charge (full charge only takes about 2 hours).

For all intents and purposes, this is a tablet. There are plenty of tablets that have keyboard attachments or wireless keyboard accessories. There are plenty of tablets that are thin and light. There are plenty of tablets with great or even better battery life. But this is the only tablet I’ve ever used that truly feels like it has more to offer me than a smartphone and yet isn’t as burdensome as a laptop.

But even still, Microsoft designed this tablet to be used for productivity. What’s one of the most valuable parts of a typical tablet protective case? A stand. Why? Well, when you’re using your keyboard to do some writing or spreadsheet work or whatever, you want to prop up your straight slab of metal. It’s hard to see what you’re typing if the screen is lying on flat on the table. Because of that need, you can also do this:

Of course this is great and all, and there’s tons of advertisements that show off how you can set this tablet up as a laptop and do some stuff on it. Cool. There’s tons of accessories that pair a keyboard with some sort of stand. But building a two stage stand into the tablet itself gives a few more options than just work. Check out what I was doing through most of December:

Yes, that’s a Logitech Xbox controller (Read: not official Microsoft controller) connected to a full sized USB-port while the keyboard is tucked behind so that the stand can hold it up. I can also use this method for setting up the tablet against my stomach when I’m watching movies in bed. I can also use this method to set up the Surface on my kitchen counter while I’m cooking up breakfast and packing lunch so I can catch up with the news of the day.

Oh and look at that screen. It’s glorious! It’s so beautiful. Oh and that USB port? Well, Windows RT holds drivers for pretty much every USB driver that comes with Windows, which is almost everything. I haven’t found a single device that doesn’t work. When I went to Seattle a couple of weekend’s ago, I had to hook up a family member’s old Photosmart printer to print out some flight confirmation stuff. I plugged it in, and it worked just fine.

Secure and consistent performance

There’s one last tablet benefit I haven’t mentioned, and it actually comes as a result of having its one limitation. Security and consistent performance.

What’s the first thing you think about when I mention Windows PC? Viruses? Spyware? Defragging? Registry Cleaners? Slowing down after a couple of years? Well, the iPad introduced the first full sized computing platform that was completely immune to such threats (Mac OS X can get viruses and can get slow do to fragmentation, but it doesn’t happen very often). The iPad used full flash storage for consistent and fluid performance. The iPad sandboxes apps, basically preventing apps from accessing system resources or installing malware. Due to the way apps are installed, there is no need for a registry, no need to clean up unnecessary files, and no slow down over a couple of years except for just general hardware issues.

Well, the Surface and Surface 2 have this as well (but not the Pro – the Pro is basically just a standard laptop in a thicker tablet form). All apps are sandboxed with limited access to user files, can only access certain system resources when allowed by Microsoft, and are banned from accessing system files that malicious software would want to access. All apps are tested and must be approved by Microsoft quality control engineers. All this is very similar to the Apple model, but Microsoft allows a bit more functionality and file access than Apple does. Apps are also installed in the same way as iPad apps, and while there is a registry for the necessity of running Windows and a few including programs, there is never any need to do any file cleanup, registry cleaning, or any of that crap. Also, since these tablets do come with flash storage, there is no need for defragmentation. Basically, I would expect that in three years, this tablet will be running just as it is now. And so far, the first generation Surface RT’s are proving that

The Surface 2 is what tablets should be

As I said above, tablets should straddle the middle ground between PCs and smartphones. For most tablets, they are simply smartphones with large high-resolution screens. The apps are the same. The functionality is the same. To me, if a tablet has the same capabilities as my smartphone, why would I care to get one? The bigger screen? Isn’t that what phablets are for?

Well, in any case, the Surface 2 is the only tablet I’ve run across that straddles the middle ground in the way that makes me happy. It gives me a full browser. It gives me productivity. It gives me the ability to use accessories with a full size USB port. It gives me a great and familiar file system. Yet, the Surface 2 also is portable, quick, consistent, secure, and with great battery life.

And this is why I’m declaring that the Surface 2 is good stuff. It’s really what a tablet should be. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. The fact is that tech reviewers still dismiss the tablet. However, I would keep in mind that when tech reviewers speak about a product, they are typically talking from a power user perspective that should really just stick to a solid laptop. The Windows Store also doesn’t have nearly as many apps as the rest of the platforms, but as I said above, a lot of apps on these other platforms are there to cover for the short comings of mobile browsers. I have never been lacking for apps on my Surface 2 (although I’m always looking for more great games), but mostly because the built in browser is fully featured and works great. Am I crazy for loving the Surface 2 and using it as my primary device? Maybe. But I have only recently gone back to my desktop to play Titanfall or other games. I don’t do anything else on my desktop anymore, especially now that I’m writing more often. Honestly though, most people would probably be well suited with any tablet or laptop. But the Surface 2 surprised the hell out of me and I would encourage others to give it a fair chance. But the Surface 2 surprised the hell out of me and I would encourage others to give it a fair chance.

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Surface 2 – 32GB Desktop Tablet, by Microsoft 10.6″

Microsoft Surface 2 64GB Tablet – Windows RT 8.1, 10.6″ 1920×1080 LCD Touchscreen, 64GB Storage, 2GB Memory, Front and Rear Camera (P4W-00001)

Mike Lohnash