Microsoft isn’t exactly surprising the world with it’s announcement of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 today, but that isn’t to say that the company has failed to follow up its first run at the iPad with some impressive updates.
As detailed at an event in New York City this morning, The Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 are exactly the upgrades Microsoft needed to release in order to keep its tablet line relevant.
The Surface 2 almost completely mirrors it’s predecessor. Gone is the black painted finished that made the old device feel drab next to the bright and cheery devices of other manufacturers. Microsoft has upgraded the device’s processor with an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, a 10.6-inch display capable of rendering 1080p video, a full-size USB 3.0 port and upgraded 3.5 megapixel front-facing and 5 megapixel rear facing cameras. User’s won’t have to readjust their viewing angle to comfortably look at the device either, Microsoft has added an extra setting for the device’s built-in kickstand. The device comes in two versions, one with 32GB of on-board storage, and another with 64GB of on-board storage. Pricing begins at $449 instead of the $499 of the original Surface RT.
The Surface Pro 2 also physically mirrors it’s predecessor, the Surface Pro. Microsoft has kept the entire device for the most part, adding a second setting for its kickstand, and including a new Intel Core i5 processor that gives it “60 percent more longer battery life”. The Surface Pro 2 will ship 4GB of RAM, plus either 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage starting at $899. Users can also order the device with as mush as 512GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM.
A new line up of accessories will join these devices on store shelves. That includes a Power Cover with a built-in battery for power users, an upgraded Type Cover with more color options and a backlit keyboard, a car charger, and a desktop dock for Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro users.
Pre-orders for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 begin tomorrow. Users who purchase either device will get one year of Skype landline calling, and 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years.