Microsoft today announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. They'll be available October 22 with Windows 8.1 RT on Surface 2 and Windows 8.1 64 bit (full Windows) on the Surface Pro 2. The Pro's base price is unchanged at $899 for the Core i5 with 4 gigs of RAM and a 128 gig SSD drive. However, it comes with an Intel Haswell fourth generation Core i5 CPU, and there will be options for 8 gigs of RAM and up to a 512 gig SSD (the maxed out model will cost $1,799). Microsoft promises up to 60% better battery life for the Pro 2 compared to the Pro. Once again, it comes with a Wacom digital pen, and happily drivers shouldn't be an issue since MS and Wacom released them for the first Pro.
The Surface 2 upgrades to a Tegra 4 CPU and it has a full HD 1920 x 1080 display. It will sell for $449. Surface 2 like the original Surface runs Windows RT. The first gen Surface will stay on the market for $349.
Accessories make the Pro cool, and Microsoft has been busy improving the magnetic clip-on keyboards. The $119 Touch Cover 2 has more sensors under the keys for better response, and it's now backlit. You'll get some new color options like purple too. The $129 Type Cover 2 is backlit as well and lastly there's a Surface Music Kit coming with a mixer style touch cover. Microsoft will also offer a dock for Surface Pro 2 that has several USB ports and Ethernet. Sadly, it won't be available until early 2014. A surprisingly thin and light (0.55 lb) Power Cover (keyboard with battery) is coming too.
MS Surface Pro 2 Specs:
Windows 8.1 Pro with one-month trial for new Microsoft Office 365 customers 10.81" x 6.81" x 0.53", 2 lbs VaporMg casing, Dark Titanium color Storage 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB Display 10.6" ClearType Full HD display, 1920 x 1080p, 16:9 (widescreen) 10-point multitouch Pen input and pen (included with purchase) Pen digitizer features 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity CPU Fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U (1.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.6 GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 4400 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM -- dual-channel LPDDR3 TPM 1.2 (Trusted Platform Module - for Bitlocker Encryption) Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 low energy technology Battery 42 W-h. 48W charger (including 5W USB for accessory charging) Cameras and A/V 720p HD front- and rear-facing cameras Stereo speakers with enhanced signal processing Ports: Full-size USB 3.0, MicroSDXC card slot, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
MS Surface 2 Specs:
10.81" x 6.79" x 0.35" Less than 1.49 lbs VaporMg- Magnesium (Silver) 32 GB; 64 GB storage 10.6" ClearType Full HD display, 1920 x 1080p, 16:9 (widescreen) 5-point multitouch NVIDIA Tegra 4 (T40) 1.7GHz quad core 2 GB of RAM Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 low energy technology Up to 10 hours of video playback, 7-15 days idle life 3.5MP front-facing camera, 5MP rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture Stereo speakers (digitally enhanced for fuller sound) Two microphones (with noise cancellation) Ports: Full-size USB 3.0, MicroSDXC card reader , Headset jack, HD video out port, Cover port Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer