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Microsoft's new Surface tablets: do they stand a chance?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Microsoft's new Surface tablets: do they stand a chance?
Microsoft has just introduced us to the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and the tablets have gotten sleeker, lighter and thinner, with improved touch and type covers, but they remain pricey. The 10.6-inch Surface 2 price starts at $449 for the most basic models where it competes against the iPad, but with so many affordable devices out there, isn’t that a bit too steep?

The Surface Pro 2 puts the focus on ultimate productivity. It starts at $899 and goes up to as much as $1799 for a laptop-like model with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.

Both devices run on Windows 8.1, but the Surface 2 features the limited RT version with no legacy support.

Now, there’s a lot to like about the devices. The sturdy magnesium build, the kickstand, the improved hardware, cameras and all else sound great. At that price, though, are they really something that customers will want? That’s what we’re wondering after hearing the news - and that’s what we’re asking you. Let us know whether you think the new Surface tablets stand a chance and all your reasons.

Phonearena polls
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Microsoft's new Surface tablets: do they stand a chance?
52.29%
914 votes
(914 votes) Yes, lighter, thinner and more powerful, they are true productivity machines.
47.71%
834 votes
(834 votes) No, they seem overpriced and lack in apps.

1748 votes

28 Comments
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posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:02 6

1. sniper1087 (Posts: 368; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


Im not sure the surface 2 should be priced at 449, i would have said 349 and drop rt to 249, surface has great built quality and the keyboard is great but 149 for the keyboard, that is just no, unless 449 with type keyboard it wouldnt be so bad.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:26 1

8. Suo.Eno (Posts: 177; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


A $349 Surface 2 could easily still happen a couple of months down the road I'd assume.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:54

16. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


RT shouldn't exist and Surface Pro is too expensive. Just give the RT full windows and raise the price by $50 or something.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:03 2

2. boosook (Posts: 1009; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Thinner? Thinner than the previous versions, yes, but still too bulky when compared to all other tablets.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:15 10

6. timukh (Posts: 171; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


thats because of the full sized USB. So I dont think that's a flaw instead thats useful. U can plug in pendrives or external hard drives at ease!! thats a plus for me.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:48 2

12. boosook (Posts: 1009; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


All you need is a mini usb - usb adapter, which only costs $2 or someting like that. But the problem is that only a few people really want to do this. Everything is wireless now. I have the files on my PC and I can stream them to my TV via the tablet without having to phisically connect anything. You don't even need a tablet... just buy an Android HDMI key and connect it to your TV... tablet users do not bother with USB keys or HDMI cables anymore.
What Microsoft did not understand is that everything has changed! The way we use our devices has changed, the protocols have changed and the software tools have changed.
The Surface is still based on the old concept of a PC, where you needed USB ports and HDMI ports... that now are useless. But to have those useless port, the price you have to pay is a product that is much more bulky than a tablet. That's not what most users want.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:54 4

20. amasog (Posts: 133; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)


"What Microsoft did not understand is that everything has changed! The way we use our devices has changed, the protocols have changed and the software tools have changed."

what I don't understand is why u r saying usb ports r useless. if these r useless, pc makers now should remove these ports from their PCs. I also don't understand why you don't know that majority of the users still use usb device. imagine if ur only option to connect your printer to a PC is thru usb port.

I also don't understand why are u not using ur common sense, assuming u have it!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 14:10

21. boosook (Posts: 1009; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


A pc is a thing, a tablet is another! When I want to print from my tablet, I can do it wireless using google cloud print. Even with a pc, you don't need cables anymore, as you can use wireless printers, bluetooth keyboards and mice and so on. Files can be shared in you local network without usb keys, since even tv sets and bd players can connect to the network and access your shared folders via lan, or you can use dlna, mhl or other protocols to stream videos and music. If this is not enough, you can just use one of the million services like dropbox, google drive, copy.com and the like. Even external hard disks now have wireless and they automatically share files in your lan.
You still need usb ports, for scanners, fast external drives etc, but… not in a tablet!

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 19:50

24. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3548; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Not on your tablet, but on our tablet we want those options.. Just look at the results of the poll... You want to be limited, and we don't, but you shouldn't go around defining what a tablet should, or should not have.. It's called options, and to say that these options shouldn't be available on a tablet is pretty closed minded, and naive on your part...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:08 12

3. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


People underestimate how these windows tablets are used. Lack of apps really don't matter if you're looking for a tablet where it helps you with school and act as a laptop where the surface line really does the job. People bag on windows rt before using it based on reviews. It is a preference type of thing and you really can't go wrong with office on a tablet that is cheaper than the base model of the iPad. Just like how those windows commercials show, the surface tablets do have a lot of advantages over the iPad other than apps. I view the surface line more for work and note taking and the iPad as a toy. I have a surface pro myself and boy do I wish I could upgrade to the surface pro 2, but no need to upgrade since you really can't swap hard drives into a different tablet haha.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:36 5

10. Beijendorf (Posts: 315; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


You make an excellent point that the Surface-range is filling a niche that all other tablets are very lacking in, while also having the traditional tablet-role. One of the major advantages of the Surface RT/2 is the bundled Office.

That being said however, as far as students are concerned, the Surface is quite overpriced. Unless they drop the price it won't be the major hit they're hoping for. I'd personally rather buy a good ultrabook, or a hybrid like the Sony VAIO Tap 11 or HP Spectre 13 x2. The price isn't too far off, and they offer better designs, functionality and battery life.

Seeing this release, I dread the future of Nokia.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:16 4

18. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


You make a good point where you could just buy a good ultrabook with that price. There are options indeed, but after having my surface pro for 9 months, I feel like it is an ultrabook in a convenience of a tablet form. Of course, those ultrabooks you listed are better in terms of all of what you stated, but it all falls on what are your interests and if you want a tablet or an ultrabook/laptop. If anyone is looking for a tablet that is just like a laptop, the surface pro line is the best it could get. I have recommended it to all my friends who were looking for something light and portable with price not being too much of an issue and I have not gotten bashed about recommending it as of yet haha.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:08 3

4. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


over priced. They are not understanding the marketing trend.

One product range - NEXUS

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:23 8

7. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3012; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Nexus? Sure it's cheap and functional, but compared to the Surface Pro, Nexus is just a kid.
It's not for those who whine about tiny things.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:52 4

13. TylerGrunter (Posts: 922; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Only Nexus does not compete with Surface Pro, but with the Surface 2. And will probably win.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 13:22 7

19. volcano (Posts: 254; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


you can't compare surface build quality with NEXUS JUNK

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:10 1

5. gd761 (Posts: 107; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


Not with those Prices or with the RT Still in Production!
But, stranger things have happened.
I would NOT RECOMMEND to ANYONE the Microsoft Surface RT model EVER!!!!!!!!!
The Microsoft Surface Pro, if the Prices were Cheaper, then I Would Consider Recommending it, but NOT with the High Prices they are selling for right now.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:32 5

9. asulect (Posts: 131; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)


Microsoft believe themselves as a premium brand. Have you seen anything that microsoft sells to that does not have premium prices?

posted on 24 Sep 2013, 20:39

27. downphoenix (Posts: 2329; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


this is true, but why not make at least one budget device, a 7-8in surface, maybe with same specs as the original, sell that for about $300? I bet that would go over pretty well.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 11:47 1

11. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


iPad 5 will launch with iWork and iLife free. It will crush this lame tablet.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:18

14. danwatson (Posts: 102; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)


The Pro tablets do, although they are really too high priced at the moment. The regular Surface has a great chance once they get major apps from FB, Google, EA, and all the other big names. Tablets for most people are all about apps....quality apps. I remember when Android had almost nothing good...thankfully that has changed.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:24 2

15. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2189; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


The two options given in this poll are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I would say that in this case, they go hand-in-hand. Both are true.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 12:57 3

17. Knightmare64 (Posts: 29; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


Asus Transformer Book T100. 10.1-inch screen,1,366x768-pixel resolution,Intel HD Graphics,2GB of RAM,Atom Z3740 quad-core 1.33 GHz processor code-named Bay Trail. 32GB with Windows 8.1. NOT RT for $349.99.
Just saying...

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 15:54

22. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


I think the Surface Pro 2 has a chance, not sure about the Surface 2 though.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 18:29

23. 1113douglas (Posts: 191; Member since: 04 Jul 2013)


maybe against apple, but not samsung or sony or asus

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 21:00

25. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


The last time I checked, samsung was selling the 16GB wifi version of the galaxy Note 10.1 for $499 (where I live anyway), making it $50 more expensive than the Surface 2. Let's also not forget that the Note 10.1 has half the amount of storage, no MS Office suite, and most importantly, no software support beyond 18 months (something a lot of the android fanboys often forget).
I think people are smart enough to do their research before jumping onto the lowest common denominator, which of course is price.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 21:02

26. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


I like how phone arena puts forward a loaded (bias) question

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 09:15

28. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1085; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I think that Microsoft has to lower the price of the Surface pro 2 to really see them fly off the store shelves. the nice thing about it is that it's battery usage time and the new 2 stage kickstand and Windows 8.1 software improvements and new features make it a portable PC/tablet you can depend on to get the job done..The new windows on ARMS CPU's Surface 2
is the best bang for the buck production touch screen apps only Tablet r on the market
because it has a really good built in MS office suite and you can hook it up to thousands of devices through it's fast USB 3 connecter. no Android or Apple Ipad can equal it. but it needs more Apps and if Microsoft wants them to sell better they have to lower the price where you can
buy it and their best type cover for 400 to 450 dollars..

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