Surface 2

Surface 2 is a Surface-series Windows RT hybrid tablet computer created by Microsoft. It was unveiled on September 23, 2013, and released on October 22, 2013 and is the successor to the original Surface. As of January 2015, Microsoft no longer manufactures Surface 2, but will provide security updates for the device until 2023.[5] Microsoft's next attempt at a Windows-on-ARM tablet would be the Surface Pro X, released in 2019, six years after the Surface 2.

Surface 2
Microsoft Surface 2 running Windows 8 (12907561955).jpg
Surface 2 with Type Cover running Windows RT 8.1
TypeHybrid tablet
Release dateOctober 22, 2013 (2013-10-22)
DiscontinuedJanuary 27, 2015 (2015-01-27)[1]
Operating systemWindows RT 8.1
System on a chipNvidia Tegra 4
CPU1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 quad core with power saving 5th core
Memory2 GB
Storage32 GB (18 GB available) or 64 GB (47 GB available) internal storage[2] and a microSD card reader (Cards up to 64GB)
Display10.6 inches (27 cm) 1920×1080 px(208 ppi) ClearType HD screen with 16:9 aspect ratio
Graphics72 GeForce graphics cores (24 vertex shaders + 48 pixel shaders)[3]
SoundDolby Digital Plus stereo speakers[4]
Input5-point multi-touch screen, dual microphones for noise cancellation, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor, GPS (with cellular model)
CameraFront: 3.5 MP, 1080p HD
Rear: 5 MP, 1080p HD
Connectivity2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, full-size USB 3.0, HD Video Out (micro HDMI), 4G LTE (with cellular model)
Online servicesWindows Store, OneDrive, Xbox Music, Xbox Games, Xbox Video
Dimensions10.81 inches (27.5 cm) (width)
6.81 inches (17.3 cm) (height)
0.35 inches (8.9 mm) (depth)
Mass1.49 pounds (680 g)
SuccessorSurface 3


Pre-orders for the Surface 2 were opened on September 24, 2013, and the device was released on October 22, 2013. As value-added services, the Surface 2 includes 200 GB of additional OneDrive storage for 2 years, 1 year of free Skype calls to landlines, and access to Skype WiFi hotspots.[6]

In January 2015, after its stock sold out on Microsoft Store online, Microsoft confirmed that it had discontinued further production of Surface 2.[1] After Surface 2, the Nokia Lumia 2520 was the only remaining Windows RT device on the market, before that being discontinued as well just a week later.



Back of the Surface 2 showing the kick stand.
Ports provided by the Surface 2 on the right side.

Made of magnesium alloy and toughened glass, the outer shell of Surface 2 maintains a similar design to its predecessor, but in a "bare metal" silver color scheme with a black bezel. Surface 2 is also slightly thinner and lighter than the previous model. Surface 2 uses a 1.7 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset with 2 GB of RAM; Microsoft claimed that the new chipset and other improvements to its internal hardware made the Surface 2 three to four times faster than the original Surface, and that it had 10 hours of battery life playing videos. Unlike the original Surface (which used a 1366 x 768 display), the Surface 2 uses a 1080p display, the same as in Surface Pro 2. This display is claimed to have almost 50% better color than the previous version, as well as the lowest reflectivity among competing tablets. The device also includes a full-size USB 3.0 port, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage, and a MicroSD slot. The Surface 2 ships with Windows RT 8.1.[7][8][9][10]

The 4G LTE model of Surface 2 was launched on March 18, 2014, and comes as a 64 GB model only.[11] AT&T is the Microsoft cellular partner and Surface 2 4G LTE comes with AT&T "All Access" app pre-installed but the device actually ships unlocked. The 4G models also come with GPS, Assisted GPS, and GLONASS. The Surface 2 includes what Microsoft calls a silver-magnesium color that is more scratch resistant compared to the original Surface.


The Surface 2 ships with Windows RT 8.1 and Office 2013 RT, unlike the original Surface which launched with Office 2013 RT Beta (but which later received the final release version). Other bundled apps include Mail, Calendar, People (contacts), Bing apps including Food and Drink, Health and Fitness, Weather, Travel, Stocks, and Sports. These apps were later renamed to be MSN apps. Just like its predecessor, desktop apps other than those already bundled with the OS are forbidden to run on the Surface 2, so the device, unlike its successor, Surface 3, cannot be classified as a 2-in-1 PC.

A notable change from the Surface to the Surface 2 is the hiding of the desktop tile from the Start Screen. [12]


Detail of the front of the device with the Type Cover accessory attached.

Updated versions of the Surface's cover accessories are available for the Surface 2; the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are slightly thinner than the previous versions and now include a "dynamic" backlight system. The Touch Cover 2 has over 1,092 sensors on it compared to just 80 on the original Touch Cover.[13] The keyswitch length of the Type Cover 2 have been reduced from 2.5 mm to 1.5 mm. A new Power Cover accessory was also available to add 30 Wh additional battery capacity to the device. Accompanying the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 was a wireless adapter that allows them to be connected up to 30 feet away via Bluetooth. An updated kickstand can now be tilted at a 55-degree angle alongside the original 22-degree angle. During its unveiling, Microsoft also showcased the Music Cover; a variation of the Touch Cover that serves as a DJ mixer with playback controls, a 16-button sampler, and three sliders. While mainstream public release has been announced, it will be distributed to musicians through the Surface Remix Project campaign.[10][14]


Initial reviews of the Surface 2 have been mixed. Reviewers have generally been positive about the device's hardware and improvements when compared to the original Surface. However, the Surface 2 was often criticized for a lack of support for traditional Windows desktop programs and the low number of high quality apps available from the Windows Store.[15][16]

In a financial report from Microsoft in second quarter 2014, revenue more than doubled from $400 million in the first quarter, to $893 million. However, Microsoft still lost $39 million since the development costs had equaled to around $932 million. But skeptics acknowledged that the growth was there despite still losing money on the Surface brand.[17]

Overheating issueEdit

The Surface 2 has been reported to have some overheating issues. Microsoft delivered an update to try to fix the issue.[18]


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  1. ^ a b Hachman, Mark (January 27, 2015). "Microsoft has stopped making the Surface 2 tablet, spelling trouble for Windows RT". PCWorld. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "Surface storage". Microsoft. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Walrath, Josh (February 25, 2013). "NVIDIA Details Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i Graphics". PC Perspective. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "Surface 2". Microsoft. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Microsoft Support Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Savov, Vlad (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft announces Surface 2, 'the most productive tablet ever built'". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Evans, Dean (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft Surface RT vs Surface 2". TechRadar. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Wollman, Dana (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft announces the Surface 2, the follow-up to the original Surface RT; coming October 22nd for $449". Engadget. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  9. ^ Bright, Peter (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft's hardware, round 2: Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2". Ars Technica. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Hachman, Mark (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 benchmarks and hands-on". PCWorld. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Wollman, Dana (March 17, 2014). "Microsoft intros an LTE version of the Surface 2, arrives tomorrow for $679". Engadget. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Microsoft downplays 'RT' and hides the desktop on its Surface tablets". Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  13. ^ Yam, Marcus (September 25, 2013). "Surface Touch Cover 2: Thinner and Sensitive Under Pressure". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Gorman, Michael (September 23, 2013). "Microsoft reveals Surface Music Cover, gives DJs and producers more musical tools". Engadget. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (October 21, 2013). "Surface 2 review: Microsoft makes progress but can't escape Windows RT". The Guardian. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  16. ^ Franklin, Eric (October 20, 2013). "Microsoft Surface 2 review: Quality tablet suffering from a lack of app support". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  17. ^ Keizer, Gregg (January 23, 2014). "Microsoft lost money on each Surface sold last quarter". Computerworld. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  18. ^ Parrish, Kevin (November 26, 2013). "Microsoft Responds to Surface 2 Overheating Issue". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved April 5, 2015.

External linksEdit

Official website

Preceded by
Surface 2
2nd generation
Succeeded by
Surface 3