Surface RT & 2
Original Surface RT w/Type Cover owner here, and I've got my Surface 2 on order. In my opinion, the original RT was perfect for students and business use, whilst the new Surface 2 is ideal for a broader range of consumers as well.
All throughout University I'd just bought cheap Atom processor netbooks around the £150-200 with a version of Office supplied by my Uni. I liked doing it this way because they were light, they were cheap, they were expendable, and because I ultimately didn't see the point in buying a top spec laptop anyway. I had a proper gaming desktop I'd built myself at home I could use for intensive applications and games, and any laptop I bought would always fall short/seem inferior to it, so I just stuck with something basic that I could use for work, browsing and movies whilst on the move. I wanted a tablet, but wanted it to check these boxes as well. I very nearly purchased an Asus Transformer Prime with Keyboard Dock before I saw the Surface release statement.
Pros of the old RT were:
*Free Office. There's no comparable productivity suite out there as far as I'm concerned, and 2013 has Touch and Keyboard input modes that makes it ideal for the RT. Big factor for me over the Pro in fact.
*Great Software with update. Windows 8.1 syncs with my desktop, HTPC, work station and even my Lumia 920 to an extent. Native apps, like Mail and PDF reader, make good use of screen space. Bing News is great, as is the Recipes and Fitness apps. Bing search is still a bit rubbish, but there's option to easily switch default search engine to Google.
*IE11 is all the browser I need. Fast, well optimised for the Surface and obviates the need for many apps.
*Level of customisation on home screen. Live tiles.
*Portability. Lighter, thinner and slicker than a netbook.
*Multi-Tasking. I use snap screen all the time.
*Hand gestures are better than any other OS on the market. It's possible to do everything with quick swipes and pulls.
*Good battery life, no virus concerns.
*Expandable storage is great. You can get micro-SD cards for next to nothing, same with USBs. USB port full size too!) is also a massive plus for compatability.
*Good screen. Resolution was a bit sub par for the price point, but cleartype HD rectified it somewhat. It's a good screen quality.
*Kickstand is genuinely handy.
*Looks and feels good. They're pretty durable as well - I used a £1.99 netbook carrying case to protect it in my bag and, after over a year's ownership and regular use, there's not a scratch on it.
*Type Cover is very slick.
*Genuinely useable as a netbook (if perhaps not full laptop) replacement, and tablet. A very good hybrid device which makes better sense of Windows 8.1.
*Too expensive at release. Tablet should have been £320, not £399, and Type Cover around £60 tops. The Type Cover in particular was a bit of a joke. I felt pretty cheated when the price on them plummeted 6months after release, as it meant the 2nd hand value on mine fell too so I had to wait a while to get the Surface 2. I still bought the RT at the first chance as it had everything I wanted, but it was certainly too pricey.
*Type Cover key travel is a bit hit and miss. It's a good productivity unit still, but I wouldn't want to spend all day typing on one.
*A small amount of lag when typing sometimes.
*Inability to install programs not in the App Store can be a little irritating at times, but not often. There are payoffs which make it worthwhile - most notably battery life, virus protection and, hopefully, as the App Store increases more of these programs will be integrated via the Store.
*Lack of a USB charger, or ability to charge from a separate battery. I always carry a spare power point for my phone, but can't re juice my tablet without a power socket. This limits its range and needs to be addressed.
*Camera isn't fantastic. I'm not bothered about the rear camera so much, but Skyping could be better.
What did the RT need? It needed a better (Full HD screen), a better processor, a better camera and Miracast. The Surface 2 has the lot. Now I look forward to wirelessly using my 40" Toshiba as a second screen for work and movies, in full 1080p.
Hopefully, the new Type Cover 2 is better too in terms of actual typing experience. I'll hold off on buying one for now as the advantages don't seem big enough to upgrade.
So, who is the Surface 2 for? For anyone who doesn't want to shell out for a low/mid-tier laptop and tablet, and who doesn't want to carry both around. Especially for anyone who will be using it for a fair amount work as well as play, so students and in business. Who isn't it for? Young children, the elderly, brand lovers and people who are seriously nuts about their apps/games. Also not suitable for power users who work on the move - they'll need a Pro, or an expensive laptop.