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Microsoft Unveils the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 Tablets

Category: Laptops / Tablets
Posted: 01:09PM

Near the beginning of last month, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed work was being done on a next-generation Microsoft Surface tablet. Nothing further was said at the time, but I guess Jen-Hsun's comments were true, since Microsoft has just unveiled the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Both tablets keep the same form factor as the first ones, just with plenty of internal upgrades (plus a two-stage kickstand on both). The Surface 2 uses an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, bumps the screen resolution from 1366x768 to 1920x1080, and has a bare metal back to set it apart from the Pro. It also has 25% more battery life than the older model and includes a USB 3.0 port. Windows RT 8.1 is running the show on it, and you'll notice it lost the "RT" from the Surface name.

As for the Surface Pro 2, it's running an Intel Core i5 1.6GHz Haswell processor, the same 10.6" 1920x1080 display as before (just with more improved color accuracy), and Windows Pro 8.1. Battery life on it has been improved by 75%, so that should make it more of an all-day tablet. Storage options are 64, 128, 256, and 512GB, with the two smaller options packing 4GB of RAM and the two larger at 8GB. 

Microsoft is tweaking the covers as well, with the Touch Cover 2 featuring higher sensitivity and gesture support, and the Type Cover 2 gets backlit keys. There's some new accessories too, like the Power Cover that includes a battery pack to improve battery life by 2.5 times over the original. The Surface Music Kit is a touch cover that forgoes a keyboard for a mixing deck. All the buttons on it are pressure sensitive, so the harder you press, the louder the music. Microsoft is also introducing a docking station that features three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, and an Ethernet port, plus the ability to output to TVs and monitors with 3840x2160 resolutions. However, the docking station is only for Surface Pro and Pro 2 tablets.

The Surface 2 starts at $449, with 32 and 64GB options available. The Surface Pro 2 begins at $899 for the 64GB model, with higher storage options at more expensive prices. Pre-orders for both tablets go live tomorrow, September 24, with an October 22 launch date for each.

Source: Microsoft and Ars Technica

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