Microsoft second-generation Surface tablets look an awful lot like the models released in 2012. But they have faster processors, more versatile kickstands, longer battery life, and other improvements.

The company is also offering new accessories including a a desktop dock, a keyboard case that also serves as an extra battery for your Surface tablet, and a backlit keyboard cover.

The two new tablets are available  for pre-order from the Microsoft Store, as are some of the accessories. The tablets should ship October 22nd, just a few days after Windows 8.1 launches.

surface pro 2

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

The new Surface Pro 2 is powered by an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, offering better performance and longer battery life than last year’s Ivy Bridge model. You should be able to get up to 7.5 hours of battery life from this tablet.

Microsoft says you can get 2.5 times the battery life of the original (possibly up to 12 hours) with the optional Power Cover (see below).

Overall performance has been improved by 20 percent, while graphics performance is 50 percent faster. The company says the speakers have also been improved.

Microsoft has also bumped the RAM for the highest priced models from 4GB to 8GB, which is not only a big step up from the last model… it also gives the Surface Pro 2 more memory than you get in a typical ultrabook. Not bad for a slate.

Entry level models with 64GB or 128GB of storage will still ship with 4GB of memory.

The tablet still has a 10.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display and a digital pen for pressure-sensitive writing and drawing. But the kickstand on the back has been updated to work in 2-positions.

The Surface Pro 2 has a starting price of $899 for a model with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Microsoft will offer models with up to 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

Microsoft Surface 2

Say goodbye to the Surface RT and say hello to the Surface 2. It still runs Windows RT, but Microsoft is (perhaps wisely) distancing this tablet from the name.

surface 2

The new model features a faster NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor and a higher-resolution display. The original Surface RT had a 1366 x 768 pixel screen, but the new Surface 2 has a 1920 x 1080 pixel display.

It’s also thinner and lighter than its predecessor, gets 25% longer battery life with up to 10 hours of run time, and it comes with new color options: You can get a silver version if you don’t like black.

Prices for the Surface 2 start at $449.

Surface Power Cover

Not happy with the battery life available from your Surface tablet? Microsoft is introducing a new optional cover which doesn’t just have a built-in keyboard, it also has a 30 Whr battery.

power cover

When the Power Cover is attached to your tablet, it’ll recharge the Surface battery, giving you around 2 hours of extra use.

The new cover is expected to be heavier than a typical keyboard cover though, at about 1.1 pounds. That’s about twice the weight of a Touch Cover.

The Power Cover will work with the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface 2 — but not the original Surface RT tablet. It will sell for about $200.

Surface Docking Station

Don’t think the tablet has enough ports? Microsoft is introducing a docking station with 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, audio jacks, and Ethernet.

Connecting the tablet to the dock should let you power an external display at resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 pixels.

surface dock

The docking station should work with the original Surface Pro as well as the new Surface Pro 2. It will not work with the Surface RT or Surface 2.

Surface Type Cover 2

Microsoft is also now offering keyboard covers. The Type Cover 2 is 1mm thinner than its predecessor — but it adds a backlight.

type cover 2

The Type Cover 2 comes in colors including purple, pink, black, and blue.

It’ll be available for pre-order September 24th for $130.

Other Goodies

Buy a new Surface tablet, and you’ll get 200GB of free Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage for two years, and free worldwide Skype calling and Skype WiFi for a year.

surface music kit

Microsoft is also introducing a new accessory called the Surface Music Kit, a backlit cover with touch-sensitive sliders, buttons, and other goodies for mixing music and playing DJ on the go. When you connect it to a Surface for the first time, a music production app will be installed automatically.

In 2014, Microsoft also plans to introduce a $60 wireless adapter for its keyboard cover accessories, letting you use them to type, swipe, or otherwise control a Surface even when the screen and keyboard aren’t attached. You can use the cover as a remote control for presentations this way. Other accessories include a $70 Arc Touch Mouse, and an upcoming car charger for Surface tablets which also has a spare USB port for simultaneously charging other devices.

via Engadget, The Verge, and WinSuperSite

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13 replies on “Microsoft introduces Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 tablets”

  1. Microcruft RetarTurd 2.0

    Because the OS gobbles up all the storage on the device, they give you free cloud storage for a short time, after which you get to pay them monthly.

    And the iFixit score remains just as horrible as Turd 1.0 by the looks of it.

  2. Does the Pro have a silo for the stylus now? That was my main issue with the first model.

  3. well, the 8GB/512 GB with a power cover and docking station would work out pretty well for me. Would be nice, but it would be mighty expensive…
    Still a great device, and could settle for 256 GB of storage and and 4 GB of RAM.

  4. Seems like a pretty good update. I’ve been using a Surface Pro since it was released and it’s been good. More battery life, better performance and the 2 position kickstand are all welcome. As for the Surface 2, I have an RT and it is also good for what it is. My personal opinion is that it’s the superior tablet OS compared to iOS and Android, however the thing that the RT is missing is the apps and that’a big deal. Assuming Microsoft doesn’t abandon RT and the Modern UI their only choice is to keep pushing ahead and try to get more developer support behind it.

    1. It’s one of the top offerings from ARM right now, along with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800, etc.

      Though, in a fan-less design expect the performance to be throttled a bit… So won’t be as good as what the Nvidia Shield demonstrated (it has a case fan), but it’ll still be close and definitely significantly better than the first Surface RT with the last gen Tegra 3…

  5. I was hoping for a Windows 8 Bay Trail Surface Mini (Mini Pro if they need to release an RT version). I hope the rumored announcement of the Mini to be after the larger models are true.

    1. Supposedly, the Mini will be the one released with Qualcomm Snapdragon for LTE option…

      While a Issue with Intel is their LTE chip is still a few months from being seen in actual products…

    2. That would be nice. If they make smaller tablets with both Windows RT and Windows 8, 8-inch models would do pretty well, especially if the RT version started somewhere between $199 and $249, and a Pro version with Windows 8 and a Bay Trail chip at $299.
      Reduce the price of an 8-inch model (especially if the screen is full HD), and they could sell in decent numbers if trhe Windows 8 app store gets more apps.

    3. I don’t mind losing LTE if that meant Bay Trail and Windows 8. I wouldn’t want LTE anyway because I don’t want to pay for the data. Tethering my phone for the rare occasion is good enough.

    4. Microcruft does “need” to release an RT version, cause they haven’t given up on the idea of plastering every inch of your way with tollbooths with this Zombie OS, where developers only write any app if Microsoft pays them to do it.

      Customers on the other hand have no “need” for an overpriced, hard to repair and impossible to upgrade Surface RT at all, especially not with the Asus T100 going on sale in 2 weeks.

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