Microsoft is back with the second version of its Windows 8 tablet and you'd be hard pressed to tell the Surface Pro 2 apart from the original. Starting at £719 it costs the same, too.
At 13.5 mm thick and nearly 1kg in weight it's a compact Ultrabook laptop but a chunky and unwieldy tablet.
A two-stage kick stand is the only new design feature and certainly helps with using the Surface Pro 2 on your lap and on flat surfaces if you'll excuse the pun. However, with no slimming down, this is still a device which in not suited to handheld use.
Surface Pro 2: build quality
Although the Surface Pro 2 is a bit of a beast, we can't really knock it on build-quality. The weight feels reassuring and the device is well put together and superbly finished.
While the Surface Pro 2 looks the same on the outside, it has one of Intel's latest Haswell chip inside. Benchmarks prove that it's a powerful computing device able to compete with the latest Ultrabooks.
Battery life of nearly 6 hours looping video over Wi-Fi is good but nowhere near the 75 percent improvement Microsoft touts.
It's perfectly feasible to do proper work on the Surface Pro 2 since it's running full Windows 8.1 Pro.
With a relatively small screen and attachable keyboard covers, things can get quickly get fiddly and awkward, especially if you don't use a mouse. Picking up and using the digital pen stylus is not overly efficient.
The Surface Pro 2 ships with the stylus included but no Type or Touch cover.
Surface Pro 2: not a tablet?
As much as Microsoft wants it to be, the Surface Pro 2 is not really a tablet. It's simply too big and heavy to use comfortably with one hand. If using it as a tablet is important you might be better off spending the money on two separate devices.
Especially when we tell you the 64GB model only has 27GB available. To get a 256GB or more, you'll have to spend over a grand and value starts to seriously dwindle.
If the tablet side of things is less of a big deal, you should consider a convertible which offers a better laptop experience.
With or without the docking station accessory, the Surface Pro 2 could serve as desktop replacement with its full-size USB port and Mini DisplayPort. Using it as a laptop, tablet and a desktop computer makes the most sense, but there are niggles and compromises in all modes.
With only a minimal upgrade and the same fussy form factor, the Surface Pro 2 will only suit a small amount of users. The high price to gain a decent amount of storage means you're likely to be better off with a convertible or a separate laptop and tablet. We award 3 and a half stars. See also: Top 8 best Windows 8 tablets: the best Windows 8 tablets you can buy in 2013.