When it comes to Game Streaming, equipment matters. The device that you stream to is your gaming interface. It becomes a window into the worlds that you want to play in. Choosing the right device can be the difference between a great Gaming Streaming experience and an awful one.
I’m on a personal quest to find the perfect streaming device. I was an early adopter of both the Nvidia Shield Portable and the Steam Link. When Valve released SteamOS, I coupled together every extra computer part that I could find to build a system. I’ve paired every modern smartphone that I’ve owned to some sort of controller. It would be fair to say that I’m driven to find the perfect Game Streaming accessory.
A few months ago, I started reading about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. It caught my attention because of it’s portability and specifications. I was also intrigued by the accessories available for it. Ideally, a good streaming device should have a 1080p display, dual-band Wifi, Ethernet, controller compatibility, keyboard & mouse support, video-out, good battery, and enough power to run smoothly. The Surface Pro 2 checks all of these boxes.
You might be wondering why I’m talking about the Surface Pro 2 in 2018. There are several models of Surface Pro that are newer and more powerful. The Surface Pro 2 has a few things going for it that the newer models lack. The 10″ size means that it’s compatible with tablet controllers like the iPega PG-9023. The larger Surface Pro models won’t fit. The Dock that’s available for the Surface Pro 2 is also superior to the “dock” that is sold for the more modern models. Lastly, the Pen for the Surface Pro 2 is a true Wacom Stylus that is more responsive and precise than the newer N-Trig Pens. On paper, the Surface Pro 2 seems to be the perfect Gaming Streaming device. It was time to put it to the test.
In terms of streaming, the Surface Pro 2 has great networking. The Dual-Band Intel Wifi card handles Game Streaming without breaking a sweat. The Bluetooth card worked well with every peripheral that we tested. The Surface Pro 2 does not have internal Ethernet. It does support Ethernet Adapters through USB or through the Surface Dock.
The Display on the Surface Pro 2 is bright and vibrant. It has a native resolution of 1080p that makes content look sharp. The Touchscreen is responsive and supports multi touch gestures. The original Surface Pro 2 pen is fine, but we opted to use a Fujitsu T5000 stylus. This stylus is very similar to the Surface Pro Pen. It’s also a Wacom Stylus, and it has additional buttons compared to the Surface Pro Pen. The T5000 is plug & play, and it works without installing any additional software. The extra buttons on the T5000 can be mapped to almost anything through the Windows 10 control panel. We found this feature to be especially handy for gaming. It was nice to be able to map keyboard commands to these buttons for games like Age of Empires and Civilization V.
When you combine the Surface Pro 2 with the Surface Pro dock, the experience is a bit like using a Nintendo Switch. You can literally start a gaming session on the Surface Pro 2 itself, and then pick it up and dock it into a TV to continue playing on the couch. We found it to be an excellent streaming device to connect to your TV. This honestly became one of our favorite ways of playing games.
The flexibility that the Surface Pro 2 offers to a Gamer is truly impressive. You can play on the device itself, or you can play it through a TV. The Touchscreen can be used to control quite a few games. It can be connected to a Surface Keyboard Cover for games that need physical buttons. The Surface Pro 2 ended up being compatible with virtually every controller that we tested. It really frees you to play your way.
We have tested Game Streaming on many computers and devices. None have offered the experience of the Surface Pro 2. To date, it is our favorite Game Streaming accessory. It works well with Parsec, Rainway, LiquidSky, Snoost, Moonlight, and Remotr. If you follow us on our YouTube channel, you’ll find that we use it in almost every one of our videos. This may seem like an overly optimistic review, but we can’t get enough of the Surface Pro 2 as a Game Streaming accessory.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.