Microsoft Surface 2 vs Microsoft Surface RT

22 October 2013

The Microsoft Surface 2 has replaced the Surface RT as the flagship tablet for Windows RT. Running on Windows 8.1 RT and boasting a resolution of 1080p, the Surface 2 has many upgrades over its predecessor like battery life and camera improvements.

In terms of physical design not much has changed outside of the new silver look. The dimensions are almost identical, except for the .5mm reduction in profile.

One particularly positive change is the new two-position kickstand, which effectively allows you to use the Surface comfortably on your lap, or anywhere else that isn’t a solid, flat surface like a table.

Unfortunately the original problem of available storage has carried over. With the Surface RT a 32GB model offered only 15GB of space for the user and the 64GB had just 44GB free. The 64GB version seems to have been taken off of Microsoft's site, leaving only the 32GB RT for purchase.

There’s been some minor improvements in the area of available storage with the Surface 2, but it will still only offer 17GB and 46GB respectively for its 32GB and 64GB models.

Surface 2 Surface 2 Surface RT Surface RT
OS Windows RT 8.1 Windows RT
(Upgradeable free)
Dimensions 10.81 x 6.79 x 8.89mm 10.81 x 6.77 x 9.4mm
Weight 676g 680g
CPU NVIDIA Tegra 4, 1.7GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, 1.3GHz quad-core
Storage 32GB / 64GB 32GB
Available Storage 17GB / 46GB 15GB
Front Camera 3.5MP 1.2MP
Rear Camera 5MP 1.2MP
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11 a/b/g/n
USB 3.0 2.0
Active Battery Life 8 hours 10 hours
RRP US$449 / $549 US$349

Obviously the Surface 2 was always going to be faster in terms of processing. We’re also fans of the inclusion of USB 3.0 for faster data transfer and charging. We’d have liked to see Wi-Fi 802.11ac make a show here, too, but it wasn’t to be.

Which should I get?

We'd go with the Surface 2. For the extra $100 you get a much more useful kickstand, a faster tablet, thinner profile and better cameras. The improved battery life is also something that will definitely come in handy.

On top of that, if you want a 64GB model it looks like you'll have to grab a Surface 2 if you want one from the Microsoft Store. As for the extra 2GB of space in the 32GB model... well at least it's something. We'd still like to see a little more available storage come next year's Surface 3.



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