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The use of Microsoft's SkyDrive online storage service also helps. You can access your files from just about anywhere with an Internet connection. It also could come in handy if your tablet happens to be run over by a truck, as you can download everything back. Both new Surfaces come with 200 gigabytes on SkyDrive for two years, on top of the usual 7 gigabytes.
WHAT ABOUT THE APPS?
While the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 may excel in productivity, they don't have the style and fun of their competitors. The construction is rugged, which makes me less paranoid about letting my preschooler play with it. But they also seem bulkier and heavier than other tablets. Surprisingly, the Surface 2 weighs just a pound and half, the same as the year-old iPad, while the Surface Pro 2 is about a half pound heavier. See if Apple will announce lighter iPads Tuesday.
And while Microsoft Office might be great for someone who wants to write a dissertation or create a PowerPoint presentation on a train, the dueling touch screen and desktop functions of Windows 8.1 might seem maddening to people who just want to play "Angry Birds," watch a movie or surf the Internet in bed. In addition, Microsoft's app store doesn't have as much to offer yet as its Apple and Android counterparts. Facebook, Netflix and ESPN are there, but not the multitude of games and other apps that Apple and Android users take for granted.
On the upside, the new Surface models let you play Xbox games. In addition, the Pro 2 was designed with not just business people, but also gamers, in mind. The Pro 2 features speed and battery improvements over the previous versions. That extended battery life should come in hand for movies, too. Microsoft won't say how long the Surface Pro 2's battery lasts, but says it's a 75 percent improvement over the previous version. The Surface 2's battery offers 10 hours of video playback, which is more than enough power to let you binge-watch the entire seven-episode first season of "Breaking Bad." (continued...)
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