My Experience (SP2 256/8) one week in)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by T-Bob, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. T-Bob

    T-Bob New Member

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    As usual, your mileage may vary and blah blah blah, but I wanted to share my thoughts after 1 week of owning what is turning out be one of the best purchases I have ever made.

    Why the SP2 256/8?
    My goal was to replace an android tablet and a work laptop. I have been waiting for a machine that could actually do this.

    I considered the Yoga2 i5 or i7 as a value alternative and ruled them out after reading the reviews of the color performance and the wifi issues, as well as after actually playing with an SP2 at the Amazon test center, aka Best Buy.

    My laptop is a Dell Latitude 6430u with 16GB of RAM. I am a heavy RAM user so I knew I needed to get the 8GB version of the SP2, hence the 256 model. I will say now that if you don't use RAM heavily in your daily gaming/computing then the 256 is overkill. You could easily live with the 128 or the 64 and add MicroSD or a dock with a USB drive. I drive 2 monitors through an Anker USB 3.0 Docking Station. One is a 23" running at 1900 x 1080 and the other is a 19" at 1360 x 768. I cannot live without multiple monitors. I do too much design and editing between projects and documents.

    I purchased from Microsoft Online Store and had no issues at all in the process. They did tell me the unit was back ordered until Dec 15th but it shipped last week. They had the Blue keyboard and not the purple. Purple would show dirt less and would be a better choice (again IMO).

    Did it work?
    Well, my IT guy and my boss both now want one, and that is nice, but the answer is YES. I use it all day on battery only and it makes it well over 8 hours. I am able to do everything I do on my laptop easily and just as efficiently.

    I hooked the SP2 to the same USB cable I use for my laptop and it worked as if it had always been connected. It drives both monitors plus its own display if needed without a hiccup, PLUS an external HDD, a USB keyboard, and a Logitech Mouse.

    What about playtime?
    I cannot fault the SP2 too much here. It streams my Subsonic library, runs iTunes, plays all of my movies and connects to iheartradio and Tunein without a hitch. As far as games, I am not the biggest gamer in the world, but I have a Minecraft and Tankionline habit and it plays both as well as the laptop ever did with one exception. I have noticed that the Surface 2 Keyboard lags a bit while playing Tanki. I think it is the poor design of the arrow keys, which are not full sized and I have issues using them to drive the tank and only hitting one.

    Surprises?
    I was shocked at how easy this was to setup. Bear in mind I have two PCs on Windows 8.1 already (Work Laptop and Home PC). Just by entering the same Windows ID all of my tiles and programs were already there when it launched. I have also been surprised at how much i LOVE LOVE LOVE the stylus. It s the best stylus I have ever used or seen. it makes tablet mode a pleasure. I find that for just hopping on to check e-mail or the internet it is fast and amazingly easy.

    Any advice?
    If you need a device that can become a daily workhorse and handle anything you throw at at while also being portable and offering a convenient tablet mode, this is the device you have been waiting for (IMO).

    If you buy it, update it fully and make the backup image first then immediately register at Microsoft and decide if you want the extended warranty (I did- despite Clark Howard and others always saying these are a waste of money I feel more secure knowing that i have coverage for 2 years including accidental damage)- see forums for steps to follow for each of these items.

    I let it update itself and I have not seen any flicker or any of the other issues some have reported in the forums. i have not installed any of the alternate INTEL display drivers.

    I did receive the OLD charger- the one with the single LED on the end versus the illuminated ring. I do not think there is any other difference in the chargers other than the ends.

    I do find that the Stylus is easily knocked off the magnetic holder and plan to add a $3 pen loop as someone in these forums originally suggested.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
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  2. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Great use case review. :)
     
  3. b52hbuff

    b52hbuff New Member

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    My understanding from another thread is that the charger with the LED ring is for the Surface 2 (new name for RT, and not the same as the Pro 2). The Pro2 charger has a charging LED in the top of the plug that attaches to the Surface. My current understanding is that the LED indicates presence of power. It doesn't show charge state (e.g. by changing color or flash pattern once device is fully charged).

    What case are you using? I decided to go for the Nixon case. It has a front storage pocket that is great for holding the stylus.
     
  4. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    This is true about the old/new chargers. Only the Surface 2 was updated, possibly because the chassis was updated as well (though I can't directly compare the charging ports and chargers between Surface RT/2 now). The lack of charge state indication is correct; the new Surface 2 charger has a ring, but it doesn't change color, and the old ones certainly never did. I suppose that might be in the next iteration of product.
     
  5. T-Bob

    T-Bob New Member

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    I grabbed the incipio Nylon one since I carry everything in a Backpack anyway.


     
  6. polbit

    polbit Member

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    I found the HP Netbook case with the front pocket to be a perfect fit, and it's under $10 on Amazon (or $20 at BB...)

    Having said that, I got my wife to make me few variants on a sawing machine :) I think the latest model will be a winner - slim, semi-rigid cloth slipcase from the side, with a discrete sawn in elastic on the end so it won't fall out, a pen pocket, and a small front bottom pocket to fit a wedge mouse and external HD.
     
  7. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    I'm so happy with sp2 8/256.

    With SP1 4/128, I was always stressed about
    1. Running out battery
    2. Running out of disk space
    3. Running out of memory
    4. Device falling off of my lap
    5. Losing the stylus

    With SP2 all but #5 are fixed. It's such a better machine.
     
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  8. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Active Member

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    Great review, I love mine. I also have the 256/8 SP2. It has replaced my iPad 4 and a MacBook Pro. Now I just have this and a Windows 8 desktop. It all works great, and the Type Cover 2 is way better than my attempts to use Bluetooth keyboards with the iPad.

    I also agree with you on the stylus. I have never had one actually work well before, and I have had some tablet PC's in my day. This is the first one that actually works, and works well.
     
  9. Dane

    Dane Member

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    I too replaced my macbook pro and ipad 4. I'm starting off with the touch cover 2 to see if I can manage (type cover 2's all sold out at the moment it seems...and I hate the mushy feeling of the keys when the cover is flipped back).
     
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  10. olimjj

    olimjj Active Member

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    You can always reverse the keyboard before you flip it back.;)
     
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  11. davidjordanc

    davidjordanc New Member

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    Hey, I'm planning on getting a Surface Pro 2 after Christmas, I was wondering about the memory and whether I would actually benefit from the extra 4GBs of RAM, I'm only really getting it to take notes down and do use office, surf the internet and maybe some light gaming, as well as using it with my Xbox One with the Smartglass. I would assume it would be overkill and probably a waste of an extra £300.

    Just a little advise would be great.

    Thanks :)
     
  12. LuckyL

    LuckyL Member

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    I got the 4/128 model simply because it's impossible to get your hands on the 8GB models in EMEA, plus there was a 10% discount available and I had to act fast. I have not run out of steam and I have a similar usage scenario to yours, plus designing and printing models on my 3D printer.
    I was a little worried about 128GB disk space but I use a microSD card, a NAS and the Surface comes with 200GB SkyDrive.
     

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