I had the opportunity to test out the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 last semester, and I thought I’d share some of my observations. For those of you who don’t know, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is a tablet/laptop hybrid device. With the attachable keyboard and mouse if you’d like, the Surface works well as a regular laptop running Windows 8.1. Without the keyboard, it works as a tablet, taking advantage of the Windows touchscreen and stylus capabilities.
After working with it for a few weeks, here is what I have discovered:
- Battery life is a lot better and far more efficient than the regular laptops. (We’d often have to put the laptops back in the cart during lunch to give it enough power for the next period.)
- Fablab Modelmaker works great, especially with the touchscreen.
- It has a 10 point multi touch screen, meaning the touch screen is more accurate so photo editing with the stylus is great.
- If you sign in with a Microsoft account, all of your settings are applied to the device.
- It's not as light as a regular tablet but more portable and lighter than a regular laptop.
- Boots up a lot faster.
- Micro SD card slot for storage expansion, two 720p camera front and back, microphone, USB 3.0 port, stereo speakers and Bluetooth.
- The stylus works very well, but can be easily misplaced and stolen. There's no really good place to store them at the moment.
- No DVD drive. Installing older software becomes a bit more challenging.
- Only 1 USB Port.
- The Surface’s keyboard cover doesn't act as a way to lock the computer screen the way an iPad smart cover can.
- Sometimes the Surface wakes from sleep if the keys or buttons are pressed. If it turns on in its case, it can get really hot and could overheat. It seems safer to shut down completely rather than trust sleep mode.
- A case with an additional space for the stylus would be helpful.
- The Surface Pro 2 includes one USB port. With a USB hub, additional devices can be connected.
- I take good care of the technology in my classroom, and a screen protector is probably a good idea for those devices. Amazon has the 3 pack SUPERSHIELDZ High Definition Clear Screen Protector for Surface Pro 2 for 2.98 + 3.99 shipping.
- An external DVD drive in case you need to install older software or play disk-based media.
Has anyone else had any experience with the Surface tablets? Let us know in the comments!