As expected, Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for its new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. These are Microsoft’s successors to the original Surface RT and Surface Pro, and start at $449 and $899, respectively. They’re available to order now on Microsoft’s website, with the Surface 2 coming in 32GB and 64GB flavors, while the Surface Pro 2 can pack in as much as 512GB of storage (but that option will set you back a cool $1,799).
Both tablets keep the same overall look of the previous generation, but the company boosted the performance of the two tablets all around. The Surface 2 is the newest entry-level Surface slate, and the company says it’s “the most productive tablet ever built,” with a 25% battery life increase. The tablet is the replacement to the Surface RT, but it’ll still come with the Windows RT operating system.
As for the Surface Pro 2, it’s receiving a huge spec boost. Microsoft says that the display now has almost 50% greater color accuracy and overall performance has been increased by 20%, with graphics and battery seeing the biggest boosts of 50% and 75%, respectively. The speakers are a lot better this time around as well, thanks to Dolby integration.
Microsoft is talking up its new flagship tablet greatly, saying that “the Surface Pro 2 is faster — literally — than 95 percent of laptops on the market today. It’s a full PC.” We’ll leave that up to users to decide once the tablets launch to the public on October 22, but we don’t disagree with Microsoft when they say that the Surface Pro 2 is a full-on computer, as it runs a full version of Windows 8.1, and the keyboard add-ons can give the slate some serious productivity boosts for users.
The docking station is just one of the new accessories that Surface Pro 2 users can take advantage of. It includes three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, Audio In, Audio Out and Power. The docking station also gives the Surface Pro 2 some extra power, with the ability to boost the resolution to 3840×2160.
When you buy either tablet, you’ll also get the “best of Skype for one year,” which means you’ll get free international calling and free WiFi, as well as receiving a free 200GB of SkyDrive storage that will last for two years.