With Microsoft focusing its attention on the bigger, newer and more expensive Surface Pro 3, it is easy to lose sight of its second flagship tablet on sale, Surface 2. It may not run Windows 8.1 Pro or tote a PC-grade processor, like Surface Pro 3, but it is nonetheless an interesting option for folks who wish to join the Windows RT 8.1 camp.
Unlike most other tablets out there, its build quality is solid, is designed with multitasking in mind, ships with a version of Microsoft Office, and was designed to work well with a keyboard and mouse. And, after a $100 discount (around £60), the Surface 2 experience is now more affordable than ever.
The $100 discount sees the entry-level Surface 2, with its 32 GB of internal storage, available for as little as $349 (around £211). That is good value for money. Add $119.99 or $129.99 for a Touch Cover 2 or Type Cover 2, respectively, and it becomes an unpretentious laptop replacement for much less than $500.
Read more: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review
Microsoft offers a similar discount in other markets where it officially sells Surface 2. Here in the UK, for instance, the slate starts at £259 (£100 less compared to the usual £359 asking price), while in Canada it kicks off at CAD399 (the usual asking price is CAD499, making it CAD100 cheaper).
Considering that students will start heading back to school and university over the next few weeks, the discount is probably no accident.
Surface 2 specs include: 10.6in ClearType display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p; 1.7 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor; 2 GB of RAM; 5-megapixel back-facing camera with 1080p video recording; 3.5-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video recording; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy); stereo speakers; dual microphones; USB 3.0 port; microSDXC card reader; HD video out port; sensors: accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope and magnetometer, and Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft quotes up to 12 hours of battery life or 10 hours of video playback.
The slate comes in at 10.81 x 6.79 x 0.35 inches and weighs less than 1.49 pounds. For the money, it also gives you 200 GB of OneDrive storage for two years and unlimited Skype minutes and Wi-Fi for one year.