At an event held in New York yesterday, Microsoft announced a twofold follow-up to its flagship range of Windows tablets entitled Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. The tablets, which are slated to hit the market October 22nd, will take advantage of Intel’s new Haswell processor thereby boosting battery life by 75%. Panos Panay, the company’s Vice President of Surface, has explained the device as a high-end PC under the portable hood of a tablet.
“We improved the performance on this product by 20 percent. If you thought it was fast before, it is lightning fast now,” Panay stated. “This is power. This thing’s a beast [and will incorporate] the full power of a PC.”
In the vein of Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C, the latest edition of Microsoft’s tablet will be available in two distinct SKUs; with pricing beginning at $449 (£359) and $899 (£719) for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, respectively. The standard Surface 2 will be available with two memory options, either 32GB or 64GB, while the technically superior Surface Pro 2 will have a wider selection of choice, particularly 64GB ($899/£719), 128GB ($999/£799), 265GB ($1,299/£1,039) all the way up to 512GB ($1,799/£1,439).
In terms of the technical minutia, the Surface 2 & Pro 2 will feature USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0 and two 720p cameras to name but a few. Crucially, the company has addressed the much-maligned kickstand for the tablet, which will now allow for two different angles – specifically, a 55 degree angle in addition to the familiar 22 degree position. Both SKUs will use Windows 8.1 OS and feature 10.6-inch displays with the ability to render 1080p video. Not only that, the Surface 2 is, according to Panay, faster than 95% of laptops and the graphical performance has witnessed a 50% enhancement over its predecessor.
In addition to the announcement, Microsoft detailed a series of accessories for the tablet range including a new docking station, a Power Cover keyboard – which has a built-in battery that allows the Surface Pro 2 to last twice as long as the original Windows tablet. The company also stated that the device is now available to pre-order through Microsoft’s online store and bricks-and-mortar outlets.