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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 corduroygt on 9/23/2013 12:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Pro isn't priced that bad, since it's a ultrabook alternative, and is comparably priced to other ultrabooks with similar specs. However, the RT 2 is crazy expensive for a tablet with no apps.

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2013 12:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
What turns me off about the Pro is I'm buying a PC I cannot upgrade or repair. It's like those disposable all-in-ones.

At least on an Ultrabook/laptop I can upgrade the memory. I can also upgrade to an SSD. It would have been nice if they at least provided a user upgradable mSATA slot for an SSD. Maybe they couldn't due to size constraints, but I doubt they even considered it. Want better internals? Buy a Surface Pro 3.

Also it goes without saying the battery is locked inside the Surface Pro too. Something that was trivially easy to correct on a laptop/ultrabook, is now a major issue with the Surface Pro: a bad or failing battery.

The Pro is a disposable PC. I realize most people don't care though, and that I'm in the minority.

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By troysavary on 9/23/2013 2:37:28 PM , Rating: 1
Most Ultrabook cannot be upgraded as well. They trade those features for thin and light. They usually have memory soldered to the mobo rather than using SODIMMS. That is admittedly the biggest flaw of the tablet and ultrabook form factor.

Of course, if you were not being such an Android fan, you'd be able to admit that Android tablets have the exact same drawback.

RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2013 3:07:36 PM , Rating: 1
Of course, if you were not being such an Android fan, you'd be able to admit that Android tablets have the exact same drawback.

Where am I not "admitting" that? I was talking about the Surface Pro. PRO! Of course you can't upgrade your tablet! Wtf?

I don't know any $900 Android tablets. Maybe you do?

Jesus man, do you have to bring up Android or Google in every goddamn post?

By troysavary on 9/23/2013 5:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
You don't want to hear me bring up Android, stay the fuck out of posts not about Android. But you have to come into every Apple, Windows, and Blackberry thread bashing each of those OS carrying your Android battle standard. You list so called weaknesses that you completely ignore when the same issue happens in the Android camp. Why do you think so many of your posts end up -1. I apparently am not the only one here who thinks you are an idiot.

By Mint on 9/24/2013 9:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
How many high end ultrabooks have replaceable battery/RAM/SSD? Not the Macbook Air, Acer S7, Asus Zenbook...

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