Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets officially announced

Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets officially announced

Microsoft has announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, featuring updated spec sheets, improved battery life, new accessories, and version 8.1 of Windows RT and Windows 8.

The new arrivals were announced this afternoon as expected, with pre-orders set to open tomorrow ahead of the tablet duo's actual availability on October 22.

Starting with the flagship Surface Pro 2, and on the physical side of things there's not much change – the display is unchanged, and it's the same size and weight. There is a newly reimagined Kickstand 2 for dual-angle support, while a full docking station is on the way with USB ports that'll turn the Surface Pro 2 into not far short of a Microsoft-branded laptop.

The major difference on the inside is the move to Intel's fourth-generation Haswell Core i5 processor, which together with the jump from 4GB to 8GB of RAM (on the models with higher storage anyway) delivers the dual benefit of improved performance and better battery life – as much as 60% better from the same 4200mAh call (Microsoft's own figures).

That aside, Windows 8.1 is touted as another plus over the original, but that's more just a question of timing, as 8.1 will be available as a free download on the original Surface Pro too.

There are four Surface Pro 2 models to choose from – the 4GB RAM option with 64GB or 128GB of storage, and the 8GB RAM models in 256GB and 512GB configurations.

The 10.6in display remains unchanged.

Prices start at £719, which is £80 more than the reduced price of the original with the same storage.

As for the lesser Surface 2, which replaces the current Surface RT, the changes are more across the board. The tablet itself is thinner and lighter (though in both cases only slightly), while Microsoft has moved to a 10.6in full HD panel from the current 1366 x 768 effort – a welcome improvement.

The processor has been bumped from a Tegra 3 to a 1.7GHz Tegra 4, while memory remains at 2GB. That should still mean improved graphics and a boost from around 7.5 hours of battery life to around 10 hours.

Prices will start at £359 for the 32GB model, with the 64GB going for £439 – again, £80 more than the originals currently cost.

All new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 models will come with 200GB of free Skydrive storage for two years as well as a year of free international Skype calls and Wi-Fi hotspot access.

Read more about: Windows 8Microsoft Surface 2Microsoft Surface Pro 2

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4 comments

barrybarryk  Sep. 23, 2013 at 21:11

I think the pro 2 will do a lot better this time if the battery life claims they're making turn out to be even remotely true and the dock appears in a timely fashion. I'm thinking about getting one myself but not until I've tried it with the power cover and dock, I can wait until next year before dropping ~£1k on a new work "laptop"

hwangeruk  Sep. 24, 2013 at 00:35

46% better colour accuracy
DOLBY
Faster than 95% of existing notebooks today
GPU faster 50%
Overall system/CPU 20% faster
2 stage kickstand
Battery
Haswell=20% improvement in battery,
but they made it 75% battery improvement *massive*
Runs cooler
Runs quieter
Power cover keyboard adds 2x battery life - all day use
Touch keyboards have backlight
Backlight turns off in 9 seconds to save battery *cool*
New docking station (no need to remove cover)
Lowest reflectivity in industry on bonded screen

* Switch accounts in Surface 2 (and Pro), try that on an iPad ;)

Xbox joypad. Demo shown playing Halo Spartan, and still using Office ;)

Front camera (unique lens) when lights dim, Camera auto adjusts
Surface team + Skype team made this magic happen, looks impressive

Stelph  Sep. 24, 2013 at 09:40

I think the pro 2 will do a lot better this time if the battery life claims they're making turn out to be even remotely true and the dock appears in a timely fashion.

It not massively convinced it will, I dont think it was the battery that people wre unsure about last time, it was more a combination of the lack of apps that concerned the more tech minded people out there, and the price for your average person. iPads still have a stranglehold on peoples perception of what a tablet is, budget android tablets have been the only other device that have been able to sneak into the market.

Im not sure why MS are doing exactly the same approach with the surface 2 (lets face it, these are only minor updates) as they did with the original and are expecting a different response from the public?

barrybarryk  Sep. 24, 2013 at 11:52

Pro 2 not Surface 2. The iPad isn't remotely comparable and 'apps' are a non-issue. The inability to last more than 5 hours without a charge and lack of a dock were major problems.

The Surface 2 (RT) can sod off. RT just won't sell

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