During Microsoft’s Surface press event today in New York City, the devices and services giant unveiled the Surface 2, powered by Windows 8.1 RT, and Surface Pro 2, powered by Windows 8.1.
Microsoft’s Panos Panay opened the event and revealed that the company has been working hard on the second generation of Surface products for around 18 months. He also added that the Surface Pro has been one of the best products Microsoft has ever built.
The Surface Pro 2 features a ClearType HD display, adding 46% more color accuracy to the screen compared to the first generation. Microsoft has also added Dolby to the Surface 2, enhancing the device’s speakers. Microsoft has also increased the graphics performance by 50%!
“Surface Pro 2 is literally faster than 95 percent of laptops today,” Panay adds. The Surface Pro 2 also features “better angles” when it comes to the built-in kickstand. “This is the evolution of the kickstand. This is something that will change this product in ways that you cannot expect,” he adds. This allows for more “lapability.”
The Surface Pro 2 has seen an increase in speed by 20%, according to Microsoft. Microsoft has added Intel’s Haswell chipset to the Surface Pro 2, adding a much better battery life. In fact, battery life has been improved by 75% compared to the first generation!
“Surface Pro 2 is literally faster than 95 percent of laptops today.”
The Surface Pro 2 operates cooler, quieter, and was designed around battery life. “A year ago we launched this product with Windows 8. We’re launching with 8.1. The power of 8.1 comes to life in full in this product,” Panay adds.
“Last year we launched this product with 10,000 apps. This year I stand up in front of you and there’s 100,000 apps in the Windows Store right now. That’s critical,” he adds. He also mentioned that more apps were on the way, including Flipboard and Facebook.
The Surface 2 will be available in 32GB and 64GB configurations and will start at $449. Starting at $899, Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4GB of RAM, as well as 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8GB of RAM.
Microsoft also unveiled the Touch Cover 2, Type Cover 2, Power Cover, Docking Station for Surface Pro, Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers, Car Charger with USB and Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition accessories for the new Surface devices.
Consumers can pre-order the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 on September 24th at Microsoft Stores and BestBuy.
According to Microsoft, both devices along with accessories will launch at Microsoft retail stores and select retailers in 22 initial markets including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S. on Oct. 22.
China will see the device in early November. Additional markets will be announced in the coming months.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface 2