Worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface 2' started by MSurfaceWA, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. MSurfaceWA

    MSurfaceWA New Member

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    I tried looking around but didn't see this topic so sorry if its been asked before. I am a Surface RT user and have been very happy with it. With 8.1, its starting to show some aches and pains with speed and fluidity, especially when using Outlook, but overall its still a great functional tablet. The battery life is excellent and I don't find the screen resolution limiting.

    Now that the Surface 2 has been out a while, I wanted to get feedback from people who have owned both if its worth the upgrade? With the unit being lighter, thinner, running a faster process and a more graphic intensive screen, are people really getting better or equal battery life? How handy has it been to have the 2 stage kickstand? I don't use the tablet for reading, my main uses is really internet and email, plus movies for flights. Any feedback from those who have owned both would be greatly appreciated. With Microsoft selling the original RT for $299 brand new, I doubt I will get much for my used model so I really want to know if people think the upgrades are worth the investment of $449.

    Thanks,
    WA
     
  2. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    I have owned both.

    Here is one of the older threads about this topic: http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/...7-who-s-upgrading-surface-rt-surface-2-a.html

    My original reasoning for upgraded have held true over actual usage and I have no regrets (I also much prefer the silver color, a lot less fingerprint prone):
    And another thread: http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/microsoft-surface-2/6163-buying-surface-2-a.html
     
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  3. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I would say that the Surface 2 is 30-40% better in overall performance over the original...I sold my original for $125...(actually sold 3).
     
  4. MSurfaceWA

    MSurfaceWA New Member

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    Thanks for the links, I did check those out. In them was some talk about why people were upgrading, and their plan to upgrade, but I wasn't really able to see any real comparison between Surface RT and Surface 2 comparisons. I am really wondering about battery life with the higher res screen, as well as the difference in speed. Wondering if people have some more hands on experiences they would like to share between the two.
     
  5. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Like Jeff says, the actual speed difference in usage is significant (running multiple apps, scrolling lag, etc.). Besides some of the graphical benchmarking you find on Youtube comparing the RT/2, it's difficult to give exact measurements.

    I did a battery test on my own Surface 2 but not for the Surface RT when I owned that, so I can't make direct comparisons there.
     
  6. WillysJeepMan

    WillysJeepMan Member

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    2 days ago I traded my RT in to get a Surface 2. Battery life so far appears to be worse than the RT. I'm going to give it a few days to settle in before drawing a definitive conclusion. I used to get about 9+ hours on the RT, I suspect I'll get about 8 with the 2.

    I was quite pleased with the RT's screen. The S2's higher res screen is a nice addition, adds a little more crispness to things.

    The most noticeable difference is in the performance. I tweaked my RT to the max for performance. Out of the box, the S2 is significantly faster than that. My standard for performance of a tablet is my iPad 4 running iOS 6.1.3. The RT (even with tweaks) fell far short. The S2 is virtually identical, performance-wise, to my iPad 4 on iOS 6.1.3, and a tad QUICKER than the iPad 4 after upgrading to 7.1.

    Performance improvements seem to be more noticeable with some apps versus others. I like to play the Microsoft Solitaire Collection once in a while, and on the RT it was a stuttering laggy mess. With the S2, smooth as butter. Responsiveness throughout the system is very welcomed... and provides a greater overall experience. I wasn't expecting the improved performance to impact the usage experience as much as it is.

    Next on my list of tests is to see how the S2 performs with an HDTV attached as a 2nd monitor. I used that configuration frequently with the RT. That was terrific, I'm hoping that it will be even better with the S2.
     
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  7. MSurfaceWA

    MSurfaceWA New Member

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    WillysJeepMan, thanks for the in-depth response! Even though it is early, you have somewhat confirmed my suspicions that it would be difficult for a thinner lighter unit with a higher resolution screen to yield better battery life. I have tried to find specs on the Surface 2 battery (the RT is rated at 31.5 watt-hours) but haven't had any luck. I'm all for thinner and lighter, but not at the expense of battery life.

    Please report back with anything else you see, I appreciate it!
     
  8. Omni

    Omni Active Member

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    Ive owned both and I can barely tell any difference between the two on battery life. They do take sometime to settle down though.
     
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  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I can get up to 16 hours on the Surface 2 with s single charge, but that depends on what I'm doing. If I'm using it for VOIP Conference calls and productivity I typically get 8.5-11 hours...same type of work on the RT would yield 5.5-7.5 hours...

    I've been at the office working with both devices since 6:30 AM PDT and now at 2:30 PM my Surface 2 is sitting at 31%, it has been in a few meetings and a couple of conference calls. I needed to plug in my Pro 2 at noon as it was sitting at 17%, but I was doing some very large pivots in Excel today.
     
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  10. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    If the S2 has all the updates properly installed, something a little bit tricky and only fully achievable now that MS has corrected many issues introduced with previous updates, the battery live seems to me at the same level than what I had in my ex Surface RT. Also the reliability has been improved a lot from the one right after the release date. The Surface RT updated to 8.1 was extremely slow compared to the Surface 2. And both were very unreliable in the first few months of updates to 8.1.

    But going back to your original question, the Surface 2 is everything that the Surface RT should have been. Probably that's the best way to explain it. If you feel good using your RT, you will find the 2 extremely fast. Even when it's just around 30 to 40% faster.
     
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  11. WillysJeepMan

    WillysJeepMan Member

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    My experience has been that the Surface 2 is still a bit less stable than the RT (OS-wise). Having recently traded my RT in for a Surface 2 about 2 weeks ago, I bypassed all of the headaches with driver and update bugs... but I'm still experiencing the occasional inability for the device to fully awake from sleep... requiring a power off/power on. I also experienced a display driver crash when running a 2nd monitor. Neither of those I experienced in 6+ months of RT ownership.
     
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  12. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    You see, that's the major issue with the Surface 2 and overall with Windows 8.1 RT, reliability. My Surface RT was extremely stable. But after the upgrade reliability went down a lot up to the point that two weeks after the upgrade I decided to trade in at Best Buy for the Surface 2. The Surface 2 has been virtually a nightmare in the past few months. Drivers issues one after another. The worse reliability I have seen in the last 10 years of me working as an IT Professional.

    It took me more than 8 refreshes and 1 refresh from a USB drive to get all the last drivers installed. And please, do not ask me how. If I have to do it again I doubt that I'll be able to get again to the point and level of reliability I'm now in my Surface 2. Here is the thread that I followed My Tegra 4 drivers won't update - Microsoft Community

    It may be luck, even when I do not believe too much in such thing, but I have not experienced any issues awakening the Surface or any display crashes.

    Screenshot (26).png

    Still not perfect but a lot better, Skydrive is the one crashing now together with other Apps but the OS seems to be a lot better.
     

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