Microsoft has launched a new line of Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro in a New York event on September 23. Along with the two colorful tablets come a slew of new covers and other accessories, all of which have been designed to enhance the functionality of the Windows tablet experience. Both new slates have 10.6 inch screens, solid hardware under their hood, along with lighter, slimmer bodies.
Surface 2 Pro
First, let's talk about the more expensive and superior tablet of the two, the Surface 2 Pro. We loved the slate's magnesium build, which allows it to feel extremely sturdy. Hold it and you'll agree that its a rugged and solid slate. It uses an Intel Core i5-4200 "Haswell" CPU running at 1.6 GHz and users can choose between 4GB and 8GB of RAM. A Microsoft executive claimed that the device can run for up to 5 hours on a single charge, as opposed to the 2.5 hour battery life of its predecessor. Talking about internal storage, the slate comes in 128GB and 256GB variants.
And for software, it runs Windows 8.1 out of the box. The Surface Pro 2 has variants priced between $899 (56,376.29) and $1,799 (1,12,815.29). You can get it with 4GB of RAM with 64GB/128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with either256GB/512GB of storage.
This slate uses a Tegra 4 SoC from Nvidia, which allows the Surface 2 to be faster and slimmer than the last year's Surface RT. It even delivers 25 percent more battery life than its predecessor. The Tegra 4 has a 1.9GHz, quad-core, ARM Cortex-A15 CPU along with an additional "battery saver" core, plus 72 custom GPU cores from Nvidia. Among many new things in the slate, there's support for 4K video and more. Microsoft is even boasting a 50 percent boost in graphics performance when compared to the Surface RT. For imaging, there's a 3.5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The 32GB Surface 2 will cost $449 (Rs. 28,156.79), and a 64GB model available for $549 (34,427.79).
Talking about software, the Surface 2 will ship with Windows RT 8.1. Apart from Outlook RT and all four Office apps, there was also a demonstration of Halo on the Surface 2.
Fortunately, Microsoft has addressed one of the biggest flaws that users had with the original tablet: the built-in kickstand, which was painful to use when propped on one's lap. How's the new one different?The new kickstand has a secondary position slopes a little more, making it some what more comfortable to type on. More about the kickstand in our next review.
Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro users will get a year's free Skype calls to landlines in more than 60 countries apart from free Skype Wi-Fi access. Microsoft appears to be even more generous this year since it is also throwing in a 200GB allowance of SkyDrive storage for two years.
Pre-orders of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 begin at on September 24th. From October 22nd they will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. They will arrive in other markets soon afterwards.
How is the Surface 2 Pro different from the Surface 2? It is the better performer of the two.