As we all expected, today Microsoft announced the second generation of Surface tablets: Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2. There are plenty of things we need talk about so I’ll try to wrap up for you and not forget anything. Both tablets are faster, come with an improved battery life and kickstand, but that’s not all.
Surface Pro 2
I’ll start with Surface Pro 2 or as Microsoft likes to say the “true laptop replacement”, which is true knowing what it features inside. The first generation of Surface Pro had an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, so it was quite fast at that time.With Surface Pro 2, Microsoft wanted to go even further and put the fourth generation of Intel Core i5 Haswell Processor, which is faster, but the most important thing is that it offers a way better battery life. Compared with Surface Pro, the new Surface Pro 2 will offer up to 75 percent longer battery life. In terms of performance Panos Panay, Microsoft’s VP of Surface, says the new Surface Pro 2 is faster than 95 percent of laptops and that graphics performance has increased with 50 percent. During the keynote Microsoft also told us that the new Surface Pro 2 will run quieter and cooler than the previous generation of Surface.
Another major improvement of the Surface Pro 2 tablet is the improved kickstand, which now has two positions: the regular 22 degree angle position and the new 55 degree angle position. This should mean that now you can confortably use a Surface tablet in your lap. Besides this, the Surface Pro 2 1080p display was also improved and now has 46 percent greater color accuracy. Also let’s not forget about the new Dolby speakers with should improve a lot the audio quality.
Other than that, Surface Pro 2 will feature the same connectivity options: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, Full-size USB 3.0, MicroSDXC card slot, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort and Cover port.
Pre-orders for Surface Pro 2 tablet start on September 24 and orders will start to be shipped from October 22nd. Prices are pretty much the same, but now there are more storage options(256/512GB also available): the Surface Pro 2 is priced at $899 for the 64GB version with 4 GB of RAM and rises up to $1,799 for the 512GB version with 8GB of RAM. All versions of Surface Pro 2 will come with the regular Surface Pen digitizer. Here’s Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 first commercial.
Surface 2 was a very expected update of the Surface for Windows RT version, released last year by Microsoft. Last year’s version was strange in a lot of ways, including slowness, but some say this was because of the processor – Nvidia Tegra 3. This year Microsoft made a clever move, by dropping the “RT” name from the tablet and now the second generation of Surface RT tablet is simply called Surface 2.Surface 2 comes with an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, an improved 1080p display and the similar two stage kickstand Surface Pro 2 has. It’s thinner, lighter and faster, as Microsoft likes to say. This new processor offers up to 25 percent more battery life which means Surface 2 should offer up to 10 hours of video playback. Both cameras have been improved and both are now capable of capturing 1080p video even in low-light performance. The front facing now having 3.5 megapixel and the rear camera has 5 megapixel. Microsoft also upgraded the full-size USB port to the 3.0 version
As we can see in the picture, besides the black edition, Surface 2 will also come in a Silver edition. It will ship with Windows 8.1 RT version and will cost $449 (32GB) or $549 (64GB).
Microsoft also released a video about the new Surface 2 tablet.
Surprisingly, Microsoft also came up with a good addition of new accessories. Of course the most expected one, were the second generation of Touch and Type snap-in keyboard covers. Both Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are now backlit, which is pretty awesome, because you can finally see the keyboard while using you Surface tablet during the night.
Touch Cover 2 is smaller and thinner than last year’s version and it now supports touch gestures across the entire keyboard surface thanks to over one thousand touch-sensitive zones (Touch Cover only had 80 zones). It comes in one color(black) just like the first generation and will cost $119.99.
Microsoft also announced another version of snap-in keyboard cover, called Power Cover. Power Cover is actually a thicker Touch Cover keyboard which also comes with an integrated battery that will give up to 50 percent more battery life. Power Cover will be available from 2014 in a Black version and will cost $199.99.
Besides three different kind of snap-in keyboard covers, Microsoft also announced a docking station(available only for Surface Pro line), a wireless adapter and a USB car charger.
Microsoft says that people living in 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 and China will first be able to pre-order from September 24 and receive on October 22nd the second generation of Surface tablets and some nice accessories.