It appears that despite heavy losses sustained in its maiden tablet venture, Microsoft is not giving up on its Surface yet. At an event in New York, Microsoft announced that the next iteration of the Surface, called Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will become available to consumers in over 22 countries on October 22nd. We take a quick look at what you can expect with these two Windows tablets, their pricing and availability details.
Microsoft Surface 2
Surface 2 is definitely an improvement over its predecessor in terms of speed, weight and thinness factors. It features a 10.6 inch 1080p Full HD display and runs on Nvidia Tegra 4 ARM-based processor. Microsoft claims that the battery can give up to 10 hours of video playback. The device will feature a 3.5MP front camera, optimized for Skype video calls and a 5MP lens on the rear. It also comes with USB 3.0. The device will finally feature a Surface logo so you can show it off to everyone!
Surface 2 runs on Windows 8.1 RT and comes with Office 2013 RT including Outlook 2013 RT. The Surface 2 certainly appears to be a productivity engine by allowing you to smoothly run 4 apps simultaneously.
Preorder and Availability
The pre-orders for Surface 2 open on September 24 but the tablets, as mentioned earlier will become available only a month later, on October 22nd in countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other markets will follow later.
The Surface 2 is priced at $449 for the 32GB model, while the 64GB model will cost you $549.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
The Surface Pro 2 is powered by the latest Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, and betters its predecessor, the Surface Pro, with a 20 percent improvement in speed and 50 percent improvement in graphics, not to mention some superior sound effects thanks to its integration with Dolby. It runs on Windows 8.1.
The screen is a ClearType HD display, but there is a 46 percent improvement in color accuracy. The battery is also much improved, 75 per cent up, and the kickstand now allows two positions. Finally the Surface Pro 2 comes with 4GB/8GB memory configs and 256GB and 512GB configs.
The 64GB version of the Surface Pro 2 will be available for $899.
Surface 2 Accessories
The new and improved tablets come with some fresh new accessories; a Surface Docking station, new Type Covers colors, more responsive Touch Covers, Surface Power Cover, a Car Charger with USB and an Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition that uses Bluetooth.
The Surface Docking Station turns your tablet into a PC with options to connect your external monitor, Ethernet, speakers, full-size keyboard, printer and other peripherals. It comes with three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 slot, a mini DisplayPort, Ethernet port, 3.5mm audio In and Out and power.
The Surface Remix Project
Microsoft is also planning to announce a new purpose-built music kit that clicks into Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2 and works with a new music remix app. More details will be available on October 22nd when it releases. You can find more information about this project at SurfaceRemixProject.com.
Preorders for both devices will begin at 8 a.m. EDT Sept. 24 here.