Early this morning, Microsoft announced two new additions to the Surface family, the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro. These two new devices will be available in Australia and 21 other markets from October 22, 2013, that means thanks to the international timezones, we’ll be one of the first to get Surface 2 in Australia. The new models and select accessories will be sold through MicrosoftStore.com, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.
If you weren’t up in the early hours and missed the detail of what’s new, here’s a summary.
- Better Screen – Now featuring a Full HD 1080p widescreen display.
- Faster Speeds – Surface 2 includes NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor, which gives customers an increase in speed over the first generation of Surface.
- Longer battery life – Now up to 10 hours of battery life, a 25 percent improvement over Surface.
- Faster Ports – Comes equipped USB 3.0 for a 4x increase in data transfer speeds over USB 2.0.
- Thinner and Lighter – Surface 2 is thinner than Surface RT, measuring only 0.35 inches thin and weighing less than 1.49 lbs.
- Upgraded kickstand – The dual angle Kickstand makes it more comfortable for you to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk.
Surface Pro 2
- Faster Speeds and Improved Battery Life – Surface Pro 2 is powered by a fourth generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance.
- Up to 60 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro, meaning it lasts almost a whole work day.
- Upgraded kickstand – The dual-angle Kickstand makes it more comfortable for you to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk.
- More Storage and Memory – Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8GB of RAM, though quantities of the 512 GB version will initially be limited.
- With the Docking Station Surface Pro 2 can be the first device that is a tablet, a laptop and a high powered work station.
Customers purchasing either device will also receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype WiFi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years. As many on twitter pointed out, this dramatically alters the cost equation for Surface, making it a far better deal, storage for Microsoft at this point is virtually free.
The Surface 2 (the new Surface RT) will cost:
- Surface 2 32GB – AU$529 RRP
- Surface 2 64GB – AU$639 RRP
Local pricing (incl. GST) for the Surface Pro 2 is:
- Surface Pro 2 64GB + Surface pen – AU$1019 RRP
- Surface Pro 2 128GB + Surface pen – AU$1129 RRP
- Surface Pro 2 256GB + Surface pen – AU$1469 RRP
- Surface Pro 2 512GB + Surface pen – AU$2039 RRP
Wow, that top model is more than $2K, while you get 512GB SSD inside, it’s a big number, one that you could spend on a pretty serious Ultrabook. Today’s announcement was as much about new accessories as it was new Surface hardware. In fact Microsoft are releasing 7 new accessories:
Touch Cover 2. Thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover, measuring only 2.75 mm thin, Touch Cover 2 features backlit keys for even better readability. Touch Cover 2 is more rigid, registers keystrokes with greater accuracy and features updated sensors that support a variety of gestures across the entire keyboard. Touch Cover 2 has a recommended retail price of AU$139.99 (incl. GST). It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.
Type Cover 2. Type Cover 2 features the same super-thin, lightweight design of the original Type Cover, but it’s now backlit and will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Purple and Black in the coming months. It’s also more rigid, providing a better lap-typing experience, and is designed to be noticeably quieter when striking keys. Type Cover 2 will have a recommended retail price of AU$149.99 (incl. GST). It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.3
Docking Station for Surface Pro. The Docking Station for Surface Pro lets you quickly connect Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to desktop PC peripherals in a single step, taking you from laptop to desktop in an instant. While Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 is docked, it can connect with an external monitor, Ethernet, speakers and power supply. PC peripherals connect via its one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. The Docking Station for Surface Pro will have a recommended retail price of AU$229.99 (incl. GST) and has a projected release date of early 2014.
Car Charger with USB. Car Charger plugs into most cars’ power or lighter ports and charges Surface without the need for an additional adapter. It also features a USB port to allow simultaneous charging of a phone or other device. Car Charger will have a recommended retail price of AU$59.99 (incl. GST) and has a projected release date of early 2014.
Power Cover. Power Cover delivers the same great typing experience you get with Type Cover while extending the battery life of your Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by up to 50 percent to help you make it through that late-night meeting or the entire flight. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability in due course.
Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. This special-edition Arc Touch Mouse has been updated to match the look of Surface. Like other Arc Touch mice, it is designed for comfort and flattens for portability. It connects via Bluetooth 3.0, freeing Surface’s USB port for use by other devices. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability in due course.
Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers. The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover, letting you type from anywhere in the room using Bluetooth technology, so it is even easier to connect Surface to a TV or monitor4 and type from another location, such as the couch. Microsoft will announce Australian pricing and availability in due course.