New Generation Of Microsoft Surface Tablets Arrives On 22 October

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Microsoft Surface 2 and Microsoft Surface 2 Pro promise to increase productivity

Microsoft has unveiled two new tablets – the ARM-based Microsoft Surface 2 and the Intel-based Microsoft Surface 2 Pro – along with new type, touch and power covers and a new docking station, at an event in New York.

The second generation Surface tablets promise to enable owners to be more productive, and Microsoft says the Pro version is faster than almost any other tablet on the market today. It says the graphics capabilities have been improved by 60 percent, while overall performance has been boosted by 20 percent thanks to Intel’s Haswell technology.

Haswell also has an impact on the tablet’s battery life, which has improved by a significant 75 percent, allowing users to make use of the enhanced high definition display and speakers.

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The Surface 2 Pro is described as an evolution of the product, while the Surface 2, powered by Nvidia Tegra 4, promises to be a complete revamp. It has dropped the ‘RT’ part of its name, and claims to be lighter, faster and thinner than its predecessor, thanks to double speed Wi-Fi, 2-3 times the CPU power and a full 1080p high definition  display.

The device supports USB 3.0, has a 25 percent longer battery life and features improved front and rear cameras for Skype calls. The deal is sweetened even more by the inclusion of 12 months free international Wi-Fi for the VoIP service, which is also available to Surface Pro users. Also on board is 200 GB of Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage for two years.

Both tablets run Windows 8.1, which brings Microsoft Outlook 2013 to Windows RT for the first time, complementing the existing suite of Microsoft Office applications, and the 100,00 apps on the Windows Store, which Microsoft hopes will compensate for the absence of support for legacy Windows software on the Surface 2.

22nd October release

The new version of the operating system also supports the ability to view three apps at any one time, improving multitasking. Another feature for both tablets is the inclusion of a second kickstand setting, which Microsoft says will improve the viewing angle for tall people or those who like to use their tablet on their lap.

Pre-orders for the tablets start tomorrow, and they will hit shelves on 22 October. The Surface Pro costs £719, while the Surface 2 is £359. Improved Type and Touch covers will also be available, while a new Power Cover that extends the battery life of the Surface will be available from early 2014, as will a brand new docking station for those who use the Surface on their desk.

Microsoft has reportedly shipped 900,000 Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets since the latter launched in October last year, but Windows RT accounts for just 0.4 percent of the tablet market and Windows 8 Pro – 3.3 percent, according to IDC.

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Microsoft Surface 2