On Friday afternoon, Best Buy began offering the 128GB Microsoft Surface Pro 2 for $999 with free shipping. The price tag may be high, but we believe this is a great deal for what we consider the greatest product of 2013.
The Surface Pro 2 hasn't been without its problems. Microsoft recently spread a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 firmware upgrade that drained battery life, made Sleep mode useless, and made the unit frustrating to use. Our solution was to do a fresh recovery. Now, our Surface Pro 2 works like a charm. And you know what? Even with this inconvenience, we still believe the Surface Pro 2 outshines every other device this year.
In February, Microsoft released the original Surface Pro and even though it had its faults, the device was the very first tablet that could also be used as a high-powered laptop. Some people considered it a laptop that could be used as a tablet. Others believed it was imperfect as both. One of the biggest complaints was the battery life, which didn't even last some users four hours.
Surface Pro critics wagged their tongues when Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 2 in September. After all, it looks just like the first Surface Pro. However, the inside is different as the updated device runs a Haswell processor that can push up to seven hours of battery life. That's quite remarkable for a device as powerful as the Surface Pro 2.
Microsoft realized that there are a group of people who want a tablet which can run tablet apps as well as desktop apps. The iPad Air is a great device and new Android tablets have improved. But they can't do everything. In fact, they usually feel like incomplete computers.
The Type Cover 2 makes the Surface Pro 2 even more useful: It is very lightweight, has perfect sized keys, and easily attaches to the Surface Pro device. Unlike the first Type Cover, the new one has backlit keys for use in dark situations. It costs $129 extra, but is easily worth the price.
The Surface Pro 2 also makes an outstanding media device. Its 1080p HD screen is stunning and displays colors accurately. Best of all, it has surround sound speakers with a decent amount of bass. Watching clips from Netflix or Hulu Plus is a pure pleasure on the Surface Pro 2.
There are some minor things we don't like about the Surface Pro 2. The trackpad on the Type Cover isn't very accurate and is too sensitive. Instead, we use the Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition. The unit is also too heavy at 2 pounds. We understand the Surface Pro 2 is more of a laptop device than a tablet, but Dell has made Windows 8.1 tablets that weigh less. We are happy to learn that the upcoming Surface Pro 3 will be a more manageable 1.5 pounds.
There have been a lot of great products released in 2013. However, none of them set the standard for the future of computing devices as much as the Surface Pro 2 does. Microsoft's comeback is now complete.