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Microsoft refines its two-pronged approach to tablets

OK, let's be blunt; Microsoft’s first generation Surface tablets were a flop. The company took a $900 million charge on unsold inventory, and refurbished units have been dumped onto the market at rock bottom prices (pricing that some have said the units should have launched with in the first place).
However, the company is looking to right the wrongs of its first generation tablets with a reinvigorated second generation. Starting with Surface Pro 2, Microsoft has made the ClearType HD display is 46 percent more color accurate and added Dolby Pro 2 speakers for improved audio quality.
Under the hood, graphics performance has been improved by 50 percent, and overall performance has increased by 20 percent thanks to Haswell. In Microsoft's words, it's "faster than 95 percent of laptops today".


Surface 2 (L) and Surface Pro 2 (R)
The use of Intel's Haswell processor also means that Surface Pro 2 is quieter and cooler than the first generation. In addition, battery life has been improved by 75 percent.
Using the new Surface Power Cover (with its own integrated 30 Whr battery), battery life increases to 2.5 times that of the original Surface Pro.

Surface Pro 2 Docking Station

The kickstand has also been improved, and includes two positions this time around. The Surface Pro 2 will also be available with the Surface Docking Station. This will allow the tablet to output up to 3840x2160 to an external monitor and includes three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, and audio in/out.

Surface Type Cover 2
The new Type Cover 2 is available in pink, blue, purple, and black. The accessory itself is 1 mm thinner then the previous generation, making it nearly as thin as the first generation Touch Cover. And Microsoft was able to accomplish this while making the keys backlit.
Next up is Surface 2 (the RT moniker has been dropped), which is now available in a nice silver color. The device is thinner and lighter than the original Surface RT, and it's of course much faster thanks to its NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The Surface 2 now comes with a 1080p ClearType display and the onboard USB 2.0 port has been upgraded to USB 3.0. Surface 2 also gets a two-position kickstand and battery life has been increased by 25 percent.

Surface 2
Both the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 are built around Windows 8.1 (Windows 8.1 RT in the case of Surface 2).
When it comes to pricing, Surface 2 will start at $449 for the 32GB model. Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 and will be available in 64GB and 128GB versions (4GB of RAM) along with 256GB and 512GB versions (8GB of RAM).
Both tablets will launch on October 22.

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RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Jeffk464 on 9/23/2013 11:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
Tablets were suppose to be for light duty tasks just like smart phones, they shouldn't need a Haswell CPU. If I need laptop functionality I will use my laptop.

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By troysavary on 9/23/2013 11:56:20 AM , Rating: 5
The Pro is a laptop. And a tablet. Who says tablets have to just be fat phones? If I just wanted to do light duty stuff, I'll use a phone.

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Da W on 9/23/2013 12:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Plus: i caught my 2 years old kid jumping with both feet on my surface pro. Not a scrach to be found, glass is okay, still running like new. Try THAT with a nexus!

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2013 12:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
Plus: i caught my 2 years old kid jumping with both feet on my surface pro.

See? Even little kids hate these things!! :)

(for those who are uptight morons, the above was purely for comedic good-natured ribbing)

By fic2 on 9/23/2013 1:52:48 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2013 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 3
Or you can have a tablet that also is your desktop. Put it into a dock and hook up an external monitor and dual screen it. Then when you want to go, you have all your data and applications right there with you in a still powerful, portable container.

By xti on 9/23/2013 1:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
this x1000. i want a laptop that doesnt weigh 8 lbs or have a crappy resolution...and can reuse all my x86 stuff.

pro is a great idea and they are getting closer to where it needs to be.

By rsmech on 9/23/2013 8:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
The same logic would have left us with phones are just for talking and texting. I'm glad we didn't stop there. Phones will keep improving as should tablets.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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