I have been using the Surface 2 for over almost 2 weeks now, and I admit that I miss my iPad less and less. Although I doubted about switching to the iPad Air, which is by all means a terrible beast in the good sense of the meaning, I decided to take the dive off the Apple cliff towards Microsoft territory.
The Surface 2 has a superb screen. Who can complain about 1920 x 1080 pixels? But it is not just the resolution that counts. Colors are bright, Blacks are truly black, Whites are very white. To my eyes: a perfect display with very easy to adjust screen brightness that works better for me in low light and cry bright conditions than my old iPad. To top it all, the Surface 2 is very resistant to fingerprints.
The Apps can run next to each other, and I frequently check my mail while having the browser open right next to each other. I can not stress enough how convenient that is. I am already so much used to it, that my old iPad feels strange to work with.
The Microsoft Apps are easy to use and fast to work with. The mail App can display all my e-mail accounts, both work and private, and shows my calendar for these (except for Google, but that seems to be Google’s fault). You’ll also get the OneNote App, which I consider better than the OneNote 2013. To top it all off, you’ll also get the full Outlook 2013 and MS Office 2013 in the desktop. The characters on the desktop mode seem small at first, but you’ll quickly get used to them.
The Type Cover 2 had backlit keys, and is one of the best computer keyboard I ever worked on. Light, responsive, illuminated. Very, very good! Buy it!
It has a full USB 3 port. This makes it very easy to connect your own camera to this device and transfer your pictures.
The App store is sadly lacking in Apps. If you have children, and they have access to the Apple AppStore of Google Play, they will be extremely disappointed. The number of games as well as the type of games is lightyears behind Apple and Google. Surely it will come, but for now: bad!
Besides games, I have not found a suitable replacement for iThoughts and GoodReader.
Being a photography person, I was extremely disappointed about the camera, especially the back facing camera. Official specs are not that bad: one can obtain very good results with a 5 megapixel. I used to have a Canon Powershot G1 with 3 megapixel, and some of my best photos ever were taken with this canon. But Microsoft, you really blew this one! The focus is fixed (meaning: at infinity), which makes the camera impossible to use for a copy of a document, since there is no auto focus. Images are blurry. Very, very blurry. So I have to admit that this is, by far, the worse camera I ever owned.
It hangs. Really! Sometimes, the Surface 2 just stops responding. It happens only every few days, and I notice it when I can no longer type anything into the web browser app, or it doesn’t accept my finger any more, but hey: every few days is just too much. My iPad first gen had this phenomenon maybe once a year… not twice a week. Quick fix: hold the on/off button for some time, and then press it again: the reboot will almost always show the typical Microsoft updates, and after a rather short time (sometimes mere seconds, sometimes the updates take minutes), everything is normal again.
Everything considered, I am a happy user of the Surface 2. But Microsoft, please please please fix the camera and hanging issues.