Microsoft announced two new tablets today, called the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Both keep the same overall look of the previous generation, but the company boosted the performance of the two tablets all around. Microsoft’s Surface 2 is the newest entry-level Surface slate, and the company says it’s “the most productive tablet ever built.”
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 that its speakers are better this time around, thanks to them being powered by Dolby. Overall performance has been increased by 20%, with graphics and battery seeing the biggest boosts of 50% and 75%, respectively.
Microsoft is talking up these new tablets heavily, saying that “the Surface Pro 2 is faster — literally — than 95 percent of laptops on the market today. It’s a full PC.”
While the overall design of the Surface Pro has remained the same, the kickstand received a nice upgrade. It now features two stages instead of just one. The kickstand can sit at 22 degrees, which is “perfect for those 5’8″ shorties,” but you can also adjust the kickstand to a second angle that is better suited for taller folks.
The Surface Pro 2 is aimed at the power users of the world, and Microsoft will even be offering a docking station that 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.
The Surface 2 is the Surface Pro 2’s little brother, but Microsoft is also aiming the entry-level device towards productive folks. It features the full HD 1920×1080 display of the new Surface Pro 2 (up from 1366×768 with the first generation), and Microsoft doubled the bus speed for the WiFi and memory, as well as increased the CPU speeds “dramatically,” with “3 to 4 times” the speed of the first generation. The Surface 2 also now includes USB 3.0, 25% more battery life, and the same kickstand as the new Surface Pro 2.
Surface 2 owners will get the “best of Skype for one year, which means you’ll get free international calling and free WiFi. Microsoft is also giving owners free 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. Exact specifications of the two tablets weren’t disclosed, other than that they’re both running Intel’s new Haswell chips and sport Windows 8.1, but both Surface devices will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow, with an official launch date set for October 22. The Surface Pro 2 will start at $899, while the Surface 2 will start at $449.