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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 retrospooty on 9/23/2013 4:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
"You cannot price tablets as cheaply as the Kindle and Nexus tablets because both of those are sold either at cost or at a loss to lock people into an ecosystem, either for advertising or a content store. MS has no interest in selling a loss leader tablet"

Are you completely incapable of seeing logic? Reclaimer is right, WTF. Do you think MS doesn't benefit from people using Windows? They make money from MS office, Exchange CAL's server CAL's, other apps and many other ways. Google is just selling better products that people actually want to buy. That is it and that is all.


RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By troysavary on 9/23/2013 4:56:19 PM , Rating: 1
Fuck, you two are stupid. If MS used predatory pricing to sell their tablets, the EU would be all over them. I'm done with this conversation. You guys are so far up Google's ass it is pointless speaking to you. Carry on with your two man circle jerk.


RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 5:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever man... All I am saying is that people arent interested in buying MS's tablets. You want to blame it all over the place except on MS.

Good luck with that logic.


RE: Microsoft you cannot charge premium prices!
By Luticus on 9/24/2013 1:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take a surface 2 pro any day! Performance of a gaming PC in a tablet format at a decent price, plus amazing battery life as compared to any other full featured tablet...

Now if we're talking a surface 2 (RT) I agree, I'm not ever going to buy one for the same reason I'm not touching android or IOS tablets. I want a PC in the tablet form factor, NOT an up-scaled cell phone.


By invidious on 9/24/2013 4:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
+6

Most of the arguing in this thread is due to people not distinguishing which version of the surface 2 they are talking about. Everyone who is advocating the sufrace 2 is ambiguously talking about the pro version and assuming that everyone realizes such. It is pretty obvious to me but clearly not to everyone.

Comparing Surface 2 PRO to the iPad in terms of price is just wrong. There is no Apple product that competes with the Surface 2 Pro so there is no point in drawing comparisons to Apple. But if you really must, you should be comparing it to a macbook or macbook air.

In absolute terms the Surface 2 Pro is a really cool machine. I would love to have one. But lets wait for some 3rd party reviews and benchmarks before we all light our hair on fire and run around screaming like lunatics.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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