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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 vs Surface Pro: Spec comparison

The original Microsoft Surface Pro for Windows 8 now has a successor – the Surface Pro 2. This revamped model which Microsoft unveiled last week comes in the same chassis, but has improved internal components, plus a set of new configurations with varying storage capacities within the Surface Pro 2 family.

We’ve compared the specs between the old and new Surface Pros, so you can figure out if you should buy the new one, buy the old one, or indeed just hold on to your old model.

On the outside, the Surface Pro and Pro 2 look very similar. Both measure 274.5 x 13.5 x 173mm (WxDxH) and are housed in a black painted magnesium chassis. Each system has a USB 3.0 port on the left edge, along with the volume rocker, and a headset jack. The right edge plays host to the system's mini-DisplayPort and magnetic connector for the AC adapter. The magnetic connector does double duty as a holder for the included Surface Pen stylus. Both also have a 10.6in 1080p 10-point IPS touchscreen.

Enough about the plentiful similarities, though. The first difference at launch is that the new Surface Pro 2 comes preloaded with Windows 8.1 Pro, an improved version of the OS.

This isn't too much of a big deal, mind you, because Surface Pro users can upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro for free. But the Surface Pro 2 also comes with the same two year, 200GB subscription to SkyDrive cloud storage as the Surface 2, while the Surface Pro came with just the 7GB that everyone can get for free.

Likewise, the new Surface Pro 2 comes with unlimited calling to international landlines via Skype and Skype-branded Wi-Fi for a full year. Skype on the original Surface Pro was just the usual Skype you can download from the Internet. The added services are a plus, even though Office is only included as a trial of Office 365 rather than a full version as on the Windows RT-powered Surface tablets.

The new Surface Pro 2 can be equipped with 64GB of SSD storage (at £719), 128GB of storage (£799), 256GB (£1,039), or 512GB (£1,439). This is a somewhat pricey compared with the older Surface Pro at 64GB (£639) or 128GB (£719) – note that the older Surface Pro’s price has been reduced from its original RRP.

The price increase is justified by the extra performance of the fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U with Intel HD Graphics 4400 in the Surface Pro 2. The older Surface Pro has a third-generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000. While powerful in its own right, the Surface Pro is expected to lag the Surface Pro 2 on most benchmark tests. In particular, Microsoft is claiming a 75 per cent improvement in battery life, which will theoretically give the Surface Pro 2 around nine hours of longevity compared to five hours on the older system. Add in the new Power Cover accessory, and you're going to get an anticipated 20+ hours on the new system.

If you liked the Surface Pro's form factor and construction, but needed a little more oomph and battery life, then the new Surface Pro 2 might prompt you to finally pull the trigger on that Microsoft tablet purchase.

For more on the Surface tablets, check out our closer look at Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and our piece on what the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 offer for businesses.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro

    Microsoft Surface Pro 2


    Screen size




    1,920 x 1080 pixels

    1,920 x 1080 pixels

    Pixel density

    208 PPI

    208 PPI




    Processor and battery


    Intel Core i5 (3rd-gen)

    Intel Core i5 (4th-gen)




    Clock speed




    5 hrs (as tested)


    Storage and memory

    Internal memory

    64 / 128GB

    64 / 128 / 256 / 512GB

    Card slot





    4 / 8GB



    Front: 720p

    Rear: 720p

    Front: 720p

    Rear: 720p






    274.5 x 173 x 13.5mm

    274.5 x 173 x 13.5mm




    Operating System

    Windows 8 Pro

    Windows 8.1 Pro


    £639 (64GB)

    £719 (128GB)

    £719 (64GB, 4GB RAM)

    £799 (128GB, 4GB RAM)

    £1,039 (256GB, 8GB RAM)

    £1,439 (512GB, 8GB RAM)

    UK Availability


    22 October