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January 6, 2014

Upgrading hardware on existing models

With the Surface Pro 2 getting a new CPU just two months after release, where is the line drawn between fairness to the consumer and advancement of technology?

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Last week, it was reported that the latest Surface Pro 2 tablets are shipping with a new CPU.

The upgrade is to a 1.9GHz Core i5 4300 from an Intel 1.6GHz Core i5 4200U processor, which was shipped with the device in its October release.

"I returned my Surface Pro 2 (v. 256GB) because of the poor performance after the failed 12.10.13 firmware update. I recall the SP2 I returned having a i5 4200U processor. To my surprise, when I checked the System Properties in the Control Panel on my replacement SP2, the processor was upgraded to a i5 4300U @ 1.9Ghz. – 2.5 Ghz," a Surface Pro 2 owner stated on Microsoft’s official support forum.

That’s great, to most people. But the hardware switch does bring up questions as to whether it is ethical on consumers to upgrade in such a drastic way barely two months into a product’s availability.

Many buyers have been left a little angry, with harsh words being said on forums.

Looking at comparison tables, the new CPU ranks at a 7.2 out of 10 against a 6.8 out of 10 for the Pro 2’s older CPU on one website.

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"Hey! Buy this insanely expensive device! Now… let us screw it up on you for an entire month or more to the point that it is half unusable… offer no real deadline for a fix… and watch us sell other folks fully functional units with better processors for the same price as you paid! Sorry guys! Your fault for trusting us!" said user MichaelCunningham on the Microsoft forum.

No real announcement was made my Microsoft about the upgrade, probably for fear of angering the Surface Pro 2’s already frustrated user base.

Did Microsoft plan to make the switch all along? Should the firm have just waited a few more month and brought out a new model, dubbed the Surface Pro 2S or something, or should users now expect hardware modifications with technology advancing at such a rapid pace?


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