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Microsoft announces Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro

Microsoft announces Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro tablets show that it has been listening to its critics, but has it does enough to convince people to part with their cash?

Microsoft has officially unveiled its second-generation tablet products, Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, while confirming that it is committed to the concept for at least another generation.

At an unveiling event in New York late last night, Microsoft formally unveiled the rumoured replacements for its Surface line of tablets - and it's an evolution, rather than a revolution. Available, as before, in full-fat Windows 8.1 and ARM-compatible Windows RT 8.1 flavours, the new tablets are available to pre-order now with formal availability scheduled for the 22nd of October.

Externally, the biggest change in the tablets' appearance comes courtesy of a silver magnesium body for the Surface 2, which features Nvidia's Tegra 4 quad-core processor and a claimed battery life of ten hours. The Surface Pro 2, meanwhile, uses a Haswell-based Intel Core i5 chip to run a full-fat Windows 8.1 installation, and while it doesn't get the eye-catching silver finish of its cheaper ARM-based equivalent it does boast an impressive 75 per cent boost to battery life - one of the biggest complaints levied against the original Surface Pro.

The Surface 2 includes a refined Full HD display, previously limited to the Surface Pro model, and a full-size USB 3.0 port. Both cameras have been upgraded, the front-facing unit to 3.5 megapixels and the rear-facing unit to five megapixels with both offering 1080p capture, and the overall size and wieght has been reduced. Microsoft has confirmed plans to launch 32GB and 64GB models, neither of which will include a cover as standard.

The Surface 2 Pro, billed by Microsoft as a 'true laptop replacement,' will be available in 64GB and 128GB models with 4GB of RAM, or 256GB and 512GB models with 8GB of RAM.

Both models include a redesigned integrated kickstand, claimed to be more well-suited to use on your lap and now featuring two different positions, along with the option of either Touch Cover 2 or Type Cover 2 accessories - both of which, impressively, now include backlit keys.

Other accessories unveiled at the event include the Power Cover, which has a real laptop-style keyboard and integrated battery - take a bow, Asus Transformer family, for your clear inspiration here - and for the Surface 2 Pro a desktop docking station, which includes external monitor connectivity, wired Ethernet, integrated speakers, built-in PSU, one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. A somewhat stranger accessory is the Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers, which connects to any Touch Cover or Type Cover and turns it into a Bluetooth-connected keyboard - allowing you to work away from the main body of the tablet, should that be something you desire to do.

Previous Surface tablets have proved poor sellers for Microsoft, being blamed for a massive hole in the company's balance sheet thanks to a sudden price drop which resulted in a $900 million write-down. While it certainly seems to have listened to critics, the company is still going to have to work hard to convince the world as to the benefits of its Windows RT platform and of the logic in buying a Windows 8.1 tablet compared to a cheaper touch-enabled laptop.

Pricing for the Surface 2 starts at £359, while the Surface 2 Pro starts at £719. The Touch Cover 2 is priced at £99.99, the Type Cover 2 at £109.99. The dock and power cover, meanwhile, aren't due to arrive until early 2014 and do not yet have UK pricing set. More details are available on the official website.

31 Comments

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rocknroll237 24th September 2013, 17:15 Quote
The price difference between the standard model and the Pro model is huge!

You could buy 2 normal models for pretty much the same price as the Pro model. Can they really justify this gigantic price difference?
Gareth Halfacree 24th September 2013, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroll237
The price difference between the standard model and the Pro model is huge! You could buy 2 normal models for pretty much the same price as the Pro model. Can they really justify this gigantic price difference?
Given that the Surface 2 (and, indeed, the Surface RT) fails to run *any* of your existing software, and the Surface 2 Pro (and, again, the Surface Pro) is basically a laptop with an optional keyboard and has full support for any and all of your existing software: yes. Now, as to whether either device is priced right, well... that's going to be for the market to decide.
Snips 24th September 2013, 17:23 Quote
The Surface2 Pro could be argued as good, if not better than most ultrabooks which come in roughly the same price.

I'm already a convert regardless but will have to hold off on this one for now as I need to upgrade my desktop first.

The updates to Surface2 RT sound very well thought out and positive.
Nexxo 24th September 2013, 17:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroll237
The price difference between the standard model and the Pro model is huge!

You could buy 2 normal models for pretty much the same price as the Pro model. Can they really justify this gigantic price difference?

Given that the Surface Pro 2 is basically the technological equivalent of an 11" Macbook Air (£850,--) with touch screen and Wacom digitiser pen, yeah, they really can justify this price difference.

£359,-- for the entry level Surface 2 is pretty decent. Should bundle the touchcover with it, though.

The Surface branding is interesting. What are the bets that soon Microsoft will release a Surface smartphone?
rollo 24th September 2013, 17:37 Quote
So for those of us in the uk will we be able to buy an order the surface pro 2 on October 22nd or is this a USA only release?
Snips 24th September 2013, 17:41 Quote
Official site is UK dude and states shipped 21st October.
.
Nexxo 24th September 2013, 17:44 Quote
The UK site appears to be updating. You can pre-order the Surface 2 and there is a link to pre-order the Surface Pro 2, but it still redirects to the Surface family page.
faugusztin 24th September 2013, 17:57 Quote
And the rest of the world won't see any of these again, as usual with MS. :(
Snips 24th September 2013, 18:00 Quote
If you click through the pre-order stages it comes to the page that says it will be shipped on the 21st.

Is that right faugusztin? what happens when you click on the official Microsoft page for your country?
faugusztin 24th September 2013, 18:04 Quote
There is no Surface on local Microsoft page. Surface is only in 21 countries - to Microsoft, Europe ends at Germany/Austria/Italy line.
Snips 24th September 2013, 18:15 Quote
Wow unlucky dude. Technically the Wall hadn't come down when they formed the company, give it a little time to adjust to the new Europe ;)
azazel1024 24th September 2013, 21:00 Quote
The Surface 2, meh.

The Asus T100 seems a heck of a lot more attractive. Full fat Windows 8.1 also, for $100 less and an included keyboard dock. Yes it isn't as high a screen resolution, but the processor in it is probably roughly the same speed in similar types of applications (possibly slightly faster as Baytrail seems like it is actually very good).

As for the pro 2, it looks nice, but I wasn't likely to buy the first one at the original price, at $100 more I am that much less likely to buy it even with the improvements.

If you told me it snagged all of those improvements AND it included a keyboard dock for the price, THEN maybe you'd sell me on it. Otherwise (minus the digitizer), I am probably going to get more out of a full ultrabook at roughly the same price and in this case, screen size is probably one of the better selling points for the ultrabook. Going up to those kinds of specs and price I want a machine that is very good for content creation and also probably heavier weight gaming. Something with a 10 odd inch screen isn't going to be as good at that as an 11.6 let alone 13-14 inch ultrabook and a good keyboard dock with touch pad is also going to be a requirement, which would be more than another $100 extra.

I'd personally rather spend less than half that on something like the T100 which looks like it'll be great for content consumption and be okay for the times I want to use it for content creation because I want to leave my ultrabook behind or am not at my desktop.

The Surface 2 Pro seems overkill for content consumption. Maybe great for creation if you MUST have a very small and light device with you, but at that you'd really need the keyboard dock, which puts you up in to most 11 inch ultrabook territory for weight and roughly bulk too, while still having a smaller keyboard and screen. Maybe only great if want your "work machine" to also be able to double as your "laze around on the couch and watch Netflix, check your email and browse the web" machine when not doing work on it.

Me personally, I'd rather spend very slightly more money on a decent, but not expensive, Baytrail based tablet and a decent ultrabook and get devices somewhat more suited for their own activity, with some ability for cross over, rather than one that is firmly planted in the middle and maybe not the best at either (which, hey, is also why I wear a watch AND have an iphone).
azazel1024 24th September 2013, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
The Surface 2, meh.

The Asus T100 seems a heck of a lot more attractive. Full fat Windows 8.1 also, for $100 less and an included keyboard dock. Yes it isn't as high a screen resolution, but the processor in it is probably roughly the same speed in similar types of applications (possibly slightly faster as Baytrail seems like it is actually very good).

As for the pro 2, it looks nice, but I wasn't likely to buy the first one at the original price, at $100 more I am that much less likely to buy it even with the improvements.

If you told me it snagged all of those improvements AND it included a keyboard dock for the price, THEN maybe you'd sell me on it. Otherwise (minus the digitizer), I am probably going to get more out of a full ultrabook at roughly the same price and in this case, screen size is probably one of the better selling points for the ultrabook. Going up to those kinds of specs and price I want a machine that is very good for content creation and also probably heavier weight gaming. Something with a 10 odd inch screen isn't going to be as good at that as an 11.6 let alone 13-14 inch ultrabook and a good keyboard dock with touch pad is also going to be a requirement, which would be more than another $100 extra.

I'd personally rather spend less than half that on something like the T100 which looks like it'll be great for content consumption and be okay for the times I want to use it for content creation because I want to leave my ultrabook behind or am not at my desktop.

The Surface 2 Pro seems overkill for content consumption. Maybe great for creation if you MUST have a very small and light device with you, but at that you'd really need the keyboard dock, which puts you up in to most 11 inch ultrabook territory for weight and roughly bulk too, while still having a smaller keyboard and screen. Maybe only great if want your "work machine" to also be able to double as your "laze around on the couch and watch Netflix, check your email and browse the web" machine when not doing work on it.

Me personally, I'd rather spend very slightly more money on a decent, but not expensive, Baytrail based tablet and a decent ultrabook and get devices somewhat more suited for their own activity, with some ability for cross over, rather than one that is firmly planted in the middle and maybe not the best at either (which, hey, is also why I wear a watch AND have an iphone).

As I said, if you were telling me that the Surface 2 pro was $599 for the 64GB version with 4GB of memory AND included a keyboard dock, I'd probably be sold. At $899 not including a keyboard dock (which I am guessing the dock is probably going to be around $149 and the battery dock more like $199)...nope.
impar 24th September 2013, 22:51 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Flagship Surface Pro 2 costs €1,779 in Euroland
...
The 256GB and 512GB models are priced at €1,279 and €1,779 respectively. They do include 8GB of RAM, which doesn’t add much to the production cost, but the added SSD capacity does, or does it? A Crucial M500 240GB mSATA 6GBps drive costs €149 in retail, while a 480GB unit goes for €309 – and bear in mind that these are retail prices. Redmond is practically doing a Cupertino when it comes to additional storage.
In addition, anyone buying a Surface Pro 2 really needs to get some sort of cover, either the Touch Cover, Type Cover or the new Power Cover with an integrated battery. They are all very costly, especially the Power Cover which should retail for €199. The Surface Pro docking station is also priced at €199.
...
http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/32603-flagship-surface-pro-2-costs-%E2%82%AC1779-in-euroland
rollo 25th September 2013, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The UK site appears to be updating. You can pre-order the Surface 2 and there is a link to pre-order the Surface Pro 2, but it still redirects to the Surface family page.

That was the reason I asked in the first place, Expected snips responce he does no research in the matter. Tried to pre order this in the uk get not avail in your country for surface pro 2.

Common microsoft I want to actually buy one please let me.
Snips 25th September 2013, 10:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The UK site appears to be updating. You can pre-order the Surface 2 and there is a link to pre-order the Surface Pro 2, but it still redirects to the Surface family page.

That was the reason I asked in the first place, Expected snips responce he does no research in the matter. Tried to pre order this in the uk get not avail in your country for surface pro 2.

Common microsoft I want to actually buy one please let me.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/html/pbPage.PDPS/productID.286902200?WT.mc_id=surface_preorder_surfacepro2

Says 22nd after careful research no one else could do apparently
Gareth Halfacree 25th September 2013, 11:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/html/pbPage.PDPS/productID.286902200?WT.mc_id=surface_preorder_surfacepro2
Says 22nd after careful research no one else could do apparently
Actually, that fact is right there in the second paragraph of the article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
[...] the new tablets are available to pre-order now with formal availability scheduled for the 22nd of October.
Although "available to pre-order now" turned out to be "available to pre-order now, except for the Surface 2 Pro, which will appear later tonight once Microsoft has managed to update its website like it promised it was doing in the press release." Guess there's a reason behind Apple taking the Apple Store down every time it announces new products...
rollo 25th September 2013, 11:38 Quote
Managed to pre order the surface pro 2 256gb at about 9am uk time.
impar 25th September 2013, 12:06 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Surface 2 sends mixed messages about Microsoft's long-term Windows strategy
...
Essentially, Microsoft is sending potential Surface owners two very different messages: The desktop environment in Windows RT is amazing, but it’s not going to be necessary much longer.
...
http://www.neowin.net/news/surface-2-sends-mixed-messages-about-microsofts-long-term-windows-strategy
Snips 25th September 2013, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/html/pbPage.PDPS/productID.286902200?WT.mc_id=surface_preorder_surfacepro2
Says 22nd after careful research no one else could do apparently
Actually, that fact is right there in the second paragraph of the article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
[...] the new tablets are available to pre-order now with formal availability scheduled for the 22nd of October.
Although "available to pre-order now" turned out to be "available to pre-order now, except for the Surface 2 Pro, which will appear later tonight once Microsoft has managed to update its website like it promised it was doing in the press release." Guess there's a reason behind Apple taking the Apple Store down every time it announces new products...

Sorry Gareth it wasn't a dig at you, it was the dig from rollo I was correcting
impar 31st October 2013, 12:25 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Surface 2: More than a tablet
Review: Improvements specifically address RT's shortcomings—plus apps finally exist.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/surface-2-more-than-a-tablet/
Quote:
Surface Pro 2: Less than a laptop
Review: The heart of a laptop it may be, but I want the body of a laptop, too.

Laptop:
http://i.imgur.com/O32ljrU.jpg

Surface:
http://i.imgur.com/tLzogsq.jpg

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/surface-pro-2-less-than-a-laptop/
faugusztin 31st October 2013, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Surface Pro 2: Less than a laptop
Review: The heart of a laptop it may be, but I want the body of a laptop, too.

That is like complaining that Ferrari is bad on dirt track . Or that he can't use the hammer as a screwdriver. If he wants a laptop, then he should get a laptop. For example the Yoga. Next time he will complain that Android phones don't run iOS ?
Corky42 31st October 2013, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
That is like complaining that Ferrari is bad on dirt track . Or that he can't use the hammer as a screwdriver. If he wants a laptop, then he should get a laptop. For example the Yoga. Next time he will complain that Android phones don't run iOS ?

But at least a Ferrari is master of tarmac, and Range Rover is master of the dirt track. Cars that try to be jack of all often end up being master of none.

You can use a hammer as a screwdriver, just ask any Irish man :D
Nexxo 31st October 2013, 13:46 Quote
Tell a Skoda Octavia Scout owner that. Family estate that is as comfortable on a motorway as a dirt track.

Sorry, but to me a mobile computer is supposed to be a jack of all trades. A smartphone is a jack of all trades. Only an ultralight laptop or an SLI'd desktop rig is a master of one.

EDIT: and I'd never use a laptop on my lap like that (despite the name). If it doesn't slide off, it risks cooking your gonads. :p
Corky42 31st October 2013, 14:51 Quote
Fancy a race round Silverstone, you in your Skoda Octavia Scout, me in a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta :D

But yea i do agree that mobile computing should be jack of all trades, after all the top selling cars in the UK are not Ferrari's or any other niche use vehicles.
Nexxo 31st October 2013, 20:51 Quote
Sure. And then a cross-country dirt track afterwards? :p
impar 25th March 2014, 22:37 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft sent out the wrong Surface Pro 2 tablets

Software giant Microsoft is in hotwater after it sent out Surface Pro 2 tablets with the wrong chip. According to Wind8Apps Microsoft quietly upgraded the Surface Pro 2 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor with the more powerful 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U one.

The new chip could do lots of sexy stuff, there was a 20 percent higher clock speed and 15 percent to 20 percent better overclocked or Turbo speed. It seems that now Microsoft is supplying Surface Pro 2 tablets with older processors, despite the fact it had promised customers that the new version will get shipped.

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/34303-microsoft-sent-out-the-wrong-surface-pro-2-tablets
forum_user 26th March 2014, 00:13 Quote
The only tablet to get me off iPads will be the one that is designed for Steam compatibility with Linux.
Corky42 26th March 2014, 10:13 Quote
I am not sure it is Microsoft to blame for people getting a Surface with the older CPU, well at least not wholly to blame. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/387760/microsoft-sending-out-surfaces-with-wrong-processor
Quote:
Given the lack of clarity on the website, PC Pro reader Jo Halfacre rang Microsoft in early January to confirm that the tablet would ship with the upgraded chip. "Having been assured that it was indeed the i5-4300 and no longer the i5-4200 processor, I proceeded to order a Surface Pro 2 128GB," she told us.

Yet when the tablet arrived it contained the older processor. She contacted Microsoft, and was told that the sales advisor she had spoken to previously had been mistaken, and that models using the i5-4300U weren't yet in stock.

"It was suggested to me that I wait a week or so and then call back, as they were expecting the tablets with the new processors to be available very soon," Halfacre said.

"So, on 6 February, I made the venture again and called Microsoft. Again I asked which processor was in the Surface Pro 2, and again I was absolutely assured that it was the i5-4300. I purchased one, and you already know the outcome of this: I received another Surface Pro 2 with an i5-4200 processor!"

When Halfacre complained to Microsoft for the second time, she learnt that the company had received "multiple complaints throughout the previous week that customers were receiving i5-4200 instead of i5-4300 processors".
It's not clear if the Surface with the older CPU came directly from the Microsoft store, or some other shop, so it could be that stores have no way to identify old from new.
Gareth Halfacree 26th March 2014, 10:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PC Pro
Jo Halfacre
Surely a distant relative, prior to the clan's schism!
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