Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Microsoft Surface 2

Product Review

I had the privilege to try out the newly launch Microsoft Surface 2. This is a step up from the previous Surface RT with better display and processor, quicker and better battery life.

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Made of magnesium alloy and toughened glass, the Surface 2 uses a 1.7 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset with 2GB of RAM. For the full specifications of Surface 2, you can click on this link.

Together with Surface 2, comes the updated versions of the Surface’s cover accessories like, the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2. Both covers are slightly thinner than its predecessors and now include a “dynamic” backlight system. The Touch Cover 2 has over 1092 sensors on it compared to just 80 on the original Touch Cover.

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Doesn’t it look sleek to have the Surface 2 in your office? Simple and powerful!

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Alright, enough of the tech stuff, I’m just a simple dad happy to have a new toy for my kids to try out. Like it or not, our world is no longer the same with all these introduction of smart phones and tablets. Our kids are not like us when we are just contented to know how to catch spider or play zero-point. The kids nowadays want to know more and are encouraged to explore more.

With modern technology, learning has become more interactive and fun. Like recently we were teaching Joey on Maths, and it was quite a frustrating experience as we were trying to explain simple equations with our level of knowledge (you will understand what I mean if you have a child this age). I almost gave up even though Maths has always been my best subject in school.

With iMath app, the learning became easier for Joey. At least there is no angry parent breathing down her neck. With a timer to beat as she solves the questions, immediately her learning curve increased. She was able to think faster and did the calculations much faster than having me by her side. I totally lost to an app, but all for the good of my child, I admit defeat.


For Jayne, she tried out the GS Preschool Games, an interactive gaming-education app. It was very interesting especially when the instructions on how to play and learn were spoken out instead of reading. This forces Jayne to learn a different skill – listening skill. Also given her a task to concentrate and listen well, if not she will not get her answers right.


Again there were some timer games like this “Spot the Differences” game. I really like such timer games, as it trains the child to think fast, but at the same time when the timer is up, it doesn’t end the game, giving the child still the chance to complete the task. Excellent design!


All work and no play make both Joey & Jayne a dull pair.

Joey plays the Supermarket Mania 2.


While Jayne tries the Ice Cream Truck game.


It’s not just all for the kids, adults can fully enjoy the Surface 2 too. There is a fantastic app suitable for people who likes to cook. Under the Bing Food and Drink app, you can browse hundreds of recipes and even keep a collection of your own favourites to share with others.

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The cool part about this app is the “Hands-Free Mode”, as seen on the photo below. This mode allows users to wave their presumably dirty hands in front of the Surface 2’s camera to turn the pages in a virtual recipe book. This is definitely better than some other “voice command” app I have seen before, which is useless once you are in a noisy place.


For the sports enthusiastic like me, or for those who are health-conscious, there is the Bing Health & Fitness app. This app helps you to take care of your fitness and your nutritional, health and wellness needs. It tracks your calories, workout trends, and basic health parameters like weight. Even for children, there is a section for them to explore on the human body in 3D.


Last but not the least, one thing I like personally on this Surface 2 is the convenience for bloggers like me. I can blog anytime I want with the Type Cover 2. After I have taken all my photos for a certain event, all I need to do is to download the photos and save it on OneDrive (cloud storage device) which offers up to 3GB free space for photo storage. OneDrive is supported on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Plug in the photos, open up the blog page access on Words, and I can blog on the go. Simple and nice!


Microsoft Surface 2 is not available at both 32GB and 64GB, retailing at S$618 and S$748 respectively. The covers comes separately at S$183 for Type Cover 2 and S$168 for Touch Cover 2.

Hope you find this review useful and by all means, check out the tablet at the various major store to understand more for yourself.

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