Surface 2 and 2 Pro are better, but still overpriced

And you thought bloggers would change their minds?

Surface Pro 2

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) releases its second try at the Surface convertible-tablet line. They're faster, with better battery life and new accessories. Redmond's hoping second time's a charm.

But, in IT Blogwatch, bloggers haven't changed their minds.

Nick Wingfield calls the line "Microsoft’s poorly selling answer to the iPad":

Microsoft introduced a second generation of Surface tablets with only subtle adjustments...the company still believes in...devices that blend the benefits of tablets and laptop computers. ... If anything, the company is doubling down on making hardware. ... It is not clear yet how the addition of Nokia’s products and people will transform Surface. ... But sales of the Surface could use a complete makeover.

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Surface Pro 2 can run for seven to 10 hours. ... The company has created a new docking station. ...to sweeten the deal for Surface [it's] including a year of free international voice calling on Skype [and] customers will get 200 gigabytes of free storage for two years on Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

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And since this is Microsoft, it is safe to say the second iteration — and the marketing — is still only the beginning.  MORE

Peter Bright illuminates important details:

The Surface Pro 2 comes with 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage. The smaller two options come with 4GB of RAM, while the larger two options have 8GB.

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The original Type Cover has been replaced. ... Type Cover 2...is backlit and comes in pink, blue, purple, and black...red is gone. The Touch Cover 2 has been improved with significantly higher sensitivity, which...should lead to fewer dropped keys. It also supports gestures.

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Microsoft will continue selling the Surface RT for $349. The Surface 2 [starts at] $449, and the Surface Pro 2 will cost [from] $899. Both launch on October 22nd, with pre-orders starting [today].  MORE

Callooh! Callay! Microsoft VP Panos Panay gyres and gimbles, vorpal sword in hand: [You're fired -Ed.]

From the beginning, we’ve had an ambitious vision to make Surface the most productive tablets on the planet – for personal and professional use. ... With the Docking Station for Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 can be the first device that is a tablet, a laptop, AND a high-powered workstation.

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As much as I love Surface Pro 2, [the] Surface 2...feels amazing and is even lighter, thinner, and has longer battery life. [It's] the most productive personal tablet ever. ... It is even more beautiful – with an enticing new color that reflects the true color of Magnesium. ... And most importantly, it is even more productive – now with Outlook RT.

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We can’t wait for you to get your hands on them and try them out.  MORE

Preston Gralla? Predictably Grumpy:

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have gotten some nice hardware refreshes, but they're still priced too high. ... The RT-based Surface 2 sports...a Tegra 4 1.7 gigahertz quad-core ARM chip which Microsoft says is 60% faster...a 10.6 inch 1080p display [at] 1920×1080...a USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4 support...a 3.5 megapixel front-facing...and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera [also] a better kickstand.

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That's all very nice, but not especially groundbreaking. [And it's] the same price as the newest iPad [so] don't expect that many takers. ... Will Microsoft face the same problem as it did with the original—having to write down $900 million in unsold inventory?

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Surface Pro 2 comes with a speedy Intel Core i5 Haswell...at 1.6 gigahertz...about 20% faster. ... As for graphics performance, Microsoft claims a 50% boost. ... But once again, there's a problem...$899 and up: You can get some very powerful ultrabooks for that price. ... For a real look at Microsoft's future, we'll have to wait for the Surface 3.  MORE

But Barbara Krasnoff is fed up of reading "too little, too late":

...there is at least one aspect of Surface 2 line-up that I can't help admiring immediately: its covers. ...one of the most interesting [was the] Surface Remix Project [for] would-be DJs...complete with numbered buttons, sliders, and keys for volume and control. ...there's no word yet on when or how much it will cost [but] it does illustrate the potential of the tablet/cover combination.

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The covers that will be available when the Surface 2 ships are upgrades of previous versions...a bit thinner [and] offer backlighting, a nice addition. ... [The] Power Cover ($200)...will add 50% more battery life.

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Unfortunately, it's unlikely that, at current prices, the Surface and its covers will flood the market.  MORE

Meanwhile, Long Zheng is bemused by Microsoft donating a "split-second of fame":

Microsoft...posted the product ad...to YouTube. While I was sleeping, sharp-eyed Twitter user @Sunil noticed a brief onscreen appearance of...my face. ...the screenshot is actually of Skype...which features my previous profile photo. Appearing alongside me is...Rafael Rivera [and] it clearly shows that the user is “Paul Thurrott”.

...the ad production company decided to show a lot of Windows 8 screens in quick succession in the video. When it came to actually sourcing the screenshots they must have just used a search engine.

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My split second of fame appears at 0:57.  MORE

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