Microsoft Announces Two New Surface Tablets

You have to give Microsoft kudos for tenacity as it announced two new Surface models — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, which will be available October 22.

 

You have to give Microsoft kudos for tenacity as it announced two new Surface models — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, which will be available October 22.

 

Despite a less-than-stellar sales performance of the original Surface Tablets, Microsoft is sticking with its offerings, although there is no updated version of the troubled Surface RT.

 

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are said to have ‘significant updates’ that will address some of the aforementioned issues, including improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand, now with dual angles, so it’s more comfortable for users to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk. There are also improvements to the operating systems.

 

People purchasing either device will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype wifi at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.

 

Surface 2 is said to offer all the entertainment and gaming capabilities you expect from a tablet, along with the ability to get work done. Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, which is said to help increase battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback. The 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p video for shows and movies, and its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 for up to four times faster file transfers. Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both capable of capturing 1080p video and featuring improved low-light performance, making face-to-face conversations with your favourite people crisp and clear. Even with these and other upgrades, Surface 2 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

 

Surface 2 will ship with Windows RT 8.1, which is claimed to bring improvements in key areas such as personalisation, search, multitasking, built-in apps, the Windows Store experience and cloud connectivity. The new Xbox Music allows you to stream millions of songs for free, and an updated Video app and great games from the Windows Store such as “Halo: Spartan Assault” will ensure that you never run out of ways to play. When it’s time to get serious, Surface 2 is pre-loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 RT — including Outlook RT; simply click in a Touch or Type Cover and get to work.

 

Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface Pro and, like its predecessor, capable of running virtually all Windows software including the full Microsoft Office suite, as well as apps from the Windows Store. Surface Pro 2 offers the portability and simplicity of a tablet when you want it and the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it. It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 60 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro.
 

Today’s announcement also includes seven new accessories:

  • Touch Cover 2. Said to be thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover, measuring 2.75 mm thin. It features backlit keys forbetter readability. It is more rigid, registers keystrokes with good accuracy and features updated sensors that support a variety of gestures across the entire keyboard. Touch Cover 2 has a recommended retail price of $139.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24.
  • Type Cover 2. Type Cover 2 features the same super-thin, lightweight design of the original Type Cover, but it’s now backlit and will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Purple and Black in the coming months. It’s also more rigid, providing a better lap-typing experience, and is designed to be noticeably quieter when striking keys. Type Cover 2 will have a recommended retail price of $149.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept 24.
  • Docking Station for Surface Pro. The Docking Station for Surface Pro lets you quickly connect Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to desktop PC peripherals in a single step, taking you from laptop to desktop in an instant. While Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 is docked, it can connect with an external monitor, Ethernet, speakers and power supply. PC peripherals connect via its one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. The Docking Station for Surface Pro will have a recommended retail price of $229.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
  • Car Charger with USB. Car Charger plugs into most cars’ power or lighter ports and charges Surface without the need for an additional adapter. It also features a USB port to allow simultaneous charging of a phone or other device. Car Charger will have a recommended retail price of $59.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
  • Power Cover. Power Cover delivers the same typing experience you get with Type Cover while extending the battery life of your Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by up to 50 percent to help you make it through that late-night meeting or the entire flight. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability at a later date.
  • Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. This special-edition Arc Touch Mouse has been updated to match the look of Surface. Like other Arc Touch mice, it is designed for comfort and flattens for portability. It connects via Bluetooth 3.0, freeing Surface’s USB port for use by other devices. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability in due course.
  • Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers. The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover, letting you type from anywhere in the room using Bluetooth technology, so it is even easier to connect Surface to a TV or monitor and type from another location, such as the couch. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability in due course.

RRP
Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations. Starts at $529
Surface Pro 2 is available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations. Starts at $1,019

 

Leave a Reply