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September 23, 2013 at 7:48 AM
Microsoft launches next-generation Surface devices
Microsoft introduced its next generation of Surface devices at a launch event in New York City this morning. Here’s what the company showed.
Surface Pro 2 runs on Intel’s long-battery-life Haswell chip, providing about a 60 percent longer battery life than the original Surface Pro, according to Microsoft. It will run Windows 8.1, and is capable of running all Windows software and apps written for Windows. It does not come with Office pre-loaded. Surface Pro 2 will be available in 64GB and 128GB versions, with 4 GB of RAM, starting at $899. It will also be available in 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8GB of RAM.
Surface 2 is the successor to Surface RT, the tablets that Microsoft took a $900 million writedown on last fiscal year after the company discounted the tablets by $150. Microsoft says Surface 2, which runs on an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, is faster, has battery life of up to 10 hours for video playback, and is thinner and lighter than the original Surface RT. It will also be offered in a silver version. Surface 2 runs Windows RT 8.1 and is not backwards compatible with traditional Windows desktop apps. It comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 RT. It will be available in 32GB and 64GB versions, starting at $449.
Both Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 have increased processing power and battery life, better display and camera resolution, and dual angles in the built-in kickstand, as opposed to the original versions’ one angle, according to Microsoft.
Touch Cover 2 is a thinner, lighter and backlit version of the very flat felt-feel keyboard covers. It will sell for $120.
Type Cover 2, the keyboard cover with a more traditional, springy keyboard feel, is more rigid than the original Type Cover and is now backlit. It will sell for $130.
Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition — the mouse that flattens for travel or arches up for use, is now designed to match the look of the Surface. It will sell for $70.
The above devices are available for pre-order starting at 5 a.m. PT tomorrow at www.microsoftstore.com, brick-and-mortor Microsoft Stores, and Best Buys in the U.S. and Canada.
The devices will be available on Oct. 22 in 21 markets, including the U.S. and U.K., and in China in early November. Additional markets are expected to be announced later.
Microsoft also introduced three accessories that it plans to launch in early 2014:
Docking Station, which allows users to dock their Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 tablets to desktop PC peripherals. It will sell for $200.
Power Cover — a new keyboard cover that comes with its own battery that can help recharge a Surface. It will sell for $200.
Car charger with USB, which will sell for $50.
Here’s a video from Microsoft on the new devices: