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Surface 2.5 Stealth Upgrade

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Microsoft seems to have made a slight CPU processor upgrade to the Surface Pro line. For now, people are calling it the Surface 2.5.

Microsoft didn’t make any big announcements about the upgraded hardware. In fact, they didn’t announce it at all as far as we can tell. People simply started noticing that new or replacement Surface Pro tablets coming from Microsoft in the past couple of days had a i5 4300U processor as opposed to the i5 4200U processor as before.

Along with the processor upgrade comes a clock speed increase to 1.9GHz (2.5GHz with Turbo-boost). The previous clock speed was 1.6GHz. In addition, The Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency was bumped from 1GHz to 1.1 GHz. That last change should make graphics just a bit smoother.

If you’re curious, you can see the technical specs on the two processors at these sites:

Surface 2.5: Why did Microsoft make the change?

When Microsoft was contacted for more information on the upgraded hardware, they said that they routinely makes incremental improvements over a products lifetime based on factors such as supply chain partnerships, parts availability and value for the customer.

If I had to guess as to why this change was made, it’s because Intel probably either was running out of U4200 processors or the U4300 processors were cheaper. That’s just my guess but, it makes sense with my understanding of supply chain management.

Surface 2.5: Should I exchange my Surface Pro 2 or wait to get one?

The performance gain will be slight. It’s probably not worth going through the hassle to exchange a Surface Pro 2 if you already have one. However, if you can wait a couple of weeks to order a new one, you may want to do so. There doesn’t seem to be any plans to increase the price as a result of the upgrade and a slight upgrade is still an upgrade.

If you have one of the new Surface 2.5 tablets or have any guesses/feedback as to why Microsoft made the change, please comment below and share with the community.





  1. I feel slighted since I have only had my Pro 2 256G for 18 days, but since I was so excited to find it when everyone was out of stock, and it is a minor upgrade, I can accept it.

    I do wonder about people looking for new ones, since there is nothing on the box that would tell you – you have to get into PC Info to see what processor is there. You can make an assumption that since everyone was out, new inventory should have the upgraded processor, but there is no way to know without being able to turn it on.

    • Those are some good points, Batitude. Thanks for sharing them.

      If you’re buying from the Microsoft store, they might be able to tell you which processor is in it, if that helps.

      To me the interesting thing is that Microsoft is making incremental upgrades as part of the product lifecycle. Like you, I got a SP2/256 and felt a twinge of disappointment at first but after I thought about it a while, I was OK with it because I’m so used to other manufacturers (I’m looking at you Apple) making little changes and marketing them as a whole new model. Don’t know if that trend will continue but, for now, I think it shows Microsoft trying to do the right thing.



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