While Australians only got Surface Pro in June, it’s now September and Microsoft are on stage announcing Surface2. The Surface 2 will come in 2 varieties, just like the first model, except there’s a name change. The Surface 2 is the RT version, but drops the RT branding, while the big brother is the Surface Pro 2. This is a much cleaner naming convention to market, lets just hope consumers know what they’re getting with the ARM version.
Speaking of processors, the new Surface Pro 2 will feature the new 4th generation Intel processor, the haswell which delivers better performance (around 20%) with far better battery consumption. In our review of the Surface Pro, we got around the 5 hour mark, so this should yield around 75% improvement and get you through a full work day.
Thankfully the Surface 2 addresses one of my biggest complaints, the angle of the kickstand, you now get 2 settings one of which will suit my taller height perfectly.
There’s also a new Surface Power Cover which houses a similar design to the type keyboard, but includes a 30wh battery to get even more time out of your device. Great for long haul flights.
Microsoft’s event is clearly about accessories as much as it is about new hardware. They have also announced a new dock, which makes sense if you really are going to be productive between work and home on a regular basis. The Surface Docking Station features 3x USB2.0, 1xUSB3.0, Mini Display Port, Ethernet, Audio in and out and of course power. The most impressive part by far is the ability to power two monitors, up to a resolution of 3840×2160. Yep, Surface Pro 2 can power 4K’s worth of pixels.
During the announcement, Panos suggested a scenario where movie makers could use the Surface Pro 2 on location to process 6K raw data. While you could, I’m sure they have more horses available in desktop machines.
The Type Covers are also getting an update, the Type Cover 2 will feature backlighting, a very welcome change. They feature a motion sensor so they automatically conserve power when not in use, smart. That doesn’t however solve the issue of not know where your fingers are tapping, that’s why I’ll continue to recommend the type keyboard.
Oh yeah, the Surface Pro 2 will also come in silver. On a more important note, as expected, Microsoft confirmed the Surface 2 will ship with Windows 8.1. No surprises there.
Thanks to The Verge for the images as Microsoft aren’t streaming this event.
The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available on the 22nd October (or 23rd Aussie time). Pre-orders start tomorrow, or today, depending where in the world you are, it’s the 24/9.
Surface Pro 2: US$899, Surface 2: US$449. Surface Pro 2 comes in a variety of configurations. 64GB storage and 4GB RAM, 128GB storage and 4GB RAM, and also 256GB of storage with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage with 8GB of RAM.
Microsoft will continue to run out existing Surface RT stock at US$349.