Hands on: Gigantic Microsoft Surface 2 review

24th Oct 2013 | 14:27

Hands on: Gigantic Microsoft Surface 2 review

But is it big enough?

With the general public champing at the bit for larger-screen devices, Microsoft is out to prove it's on trend.

On the same week that the Surface 2 is hitting stores, no time has been wasted in pushing out a super-sized version of the Windows RT 8.1 device and we were among the first to get our hands on it.

Design

On the standard Surface 2, Microsoft is telling us loud and clear that it's all about maximising productivity and portability in equal measure. While you'll still be getting the full Surface 2 experience in the larger variant, we found the whole portability thing had taken a bit of a step down.

Surface 2

Sure, it's got the same sleek look and feel of its smaller sibling, but using it on the tube, for example, could prove to be difficult given space limitations. It's a niggling thing but worth bearing in mind if you dislike being over encumbered on your commute.

That said, the size is no detriment to the look of the thing. That colourful Windows RT 8.1 OS appears just as vibrant on the impressive 323-inch by 102-inch screen, especially when you're standing on the space bar.

Surface 2

Playing with the keyboard, we found that our fingers weren't as efficient as using our feet. You'll certainly be investing more time if you choose to stay with your hands. For example, writing a tweet took several minutes before we gave up and let the reality of what we'd just done sink in.

But the bigger trackpad will be a godsend for many, with heaps more space to glide over. You can even lie down on it if you get tired.

We tried to pick up the large Surface 2 up but security quickly stepped in and dragged us away. It certainly wasn't light though, and for anyone willing to overlook the size, the weight could be the real dealbreaker here.

Surface 2

Features

Everything on the standard Surface 2 is present when you go large. This means you'll still be enjoying the whiz of that Tegra 4 processor and taking advantage of the included Microsoft Office suite.

Oddly, there's no USB port on the bigger Surface 2, so your giant USB sticks are no good here.

There's no word on whether the Pro will also be going super-sized but keep your ears to the ground. In terms of colours, only the purple Type Cover is available right now but we see no reason why that won't change in the future.

Surface 2

We liked

The behemoth Surface 2 keeps the same thin, industrial build we like on the regular sized variant. But now we've got the added space to really make the most of Windows 8.1 RT.

Those with struggling eyesight will especially appreciate the extra few inches and the bigger keys are great news for those who hate fiddling on the standard Type Cover. This is a device for those who liked to get noticed.

We disliked

Keyboard prone to footprints. Still no LTE option.

Early verdict

After spending some time with the enlarged Surface, we're hankering for more play time. Microsoft is staying quiet on what sort of price this might arrive at but we suspect it won't be coming in cheap. We might even bring you a full review when we work out a way of getting it into the office. Suggestions welcome.

Surface 2 Super-sized Surface 2 Microsoft Windows 8.1 RT Windows 8.1 tabletscarousel-en-gb tabletscarousel-en-us tabletscarousel-en-au
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