January 2, 2014 9:45 pm
Imagine that you received a Surface Pro 2 from a loved one over the holidays. Now let’s say said they allowed you to open your gift early, because you just couldn’t wait, and you happened to download the recently recalled software update, which happened to bork your new tablet/PC hybrid. You’d probably be pretty bummed out, but still excited to use your new tech toy once the patch is released.
How would you feel if I told you that your Surface Pro 2 is already out of date?
The Verge is reporting that by late December, no more than two months after launch, Microsoft started shipping Surface Pro 2 tablets with updated Intel processors. The new Surface Pro 2 model features an Intel i5-4300u processor clocked at 1.9GHz, compared to the launch units i5-4200u chip at 1.6GHz. The new chipset also includes Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology, which allows for improved software security.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the switch in a statement to The Verge:
“Microsoft routinely makes small changes to internal components over the lifetime of a product, based on numerous factors including supply chain partnerships, availability, and value for our customers. With any change to hardware or software, we work to ensure that the product experience remains excellent.”
Microsoft did not confirm, however, if unaware holiday shoppers who paid the same price for an inferior unit could return the tablet for the updated model.
While Apple has made similar iterative hardware changes to iPads over the years, I’m hard pressed to ever remember a change coming so quickly after launch, and during the holiday season, no less, when a large number of devices would be sold. This stuff happens all the time in the PC space, but as I’ve written recently, Microsoft will not succeed by acting like a PC company in a post-PC world. Consumers don’t like feeling as though they’ve been ripped off, and they certainly don’t like feeling as though they made the wrong purchasing decision over the holidays. I’m sure only a few Surface Pro 2 buyers will notice the bait-and-switch, saving Microsoft from public outcry, but that doesn’t make it any less of a shame.