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Windows on ARMMicrosoft has plenty riding on its second-generation Windows RT tablet, the Surface 2. Its first iteration, the Surface RT, not only met with a fair amount of critical scorn, but sold so poorly that Microsoft was forced to take a $900 million write-off on unsold inventory -- an action that some observers believe contributed to Steve Ballmer's resignation.

So the revamped Surface 2 carries a great weight of expectations on its thin, 1.49-lb. frame. Does it live up to those expectations and -- more importantly -- is it something you should buy? Read on to find the verdict, both for Microsoft and for you.

Well-built new frame and kickstand

At first glance, the Surface 2 bears a great deal of similarity to the original Surface RT. Both have 10.6-in. screens set in a black surrounding frame; both devices have rounded corners and kickstands. But take more than a moment to look, and you'll see that Microsoft has made some improvements.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT