Microsoft takes second swing at tablets with new Surface 2 lineup
Faster and with longer battery life, but priced nearly the same as the originals
Computerworld - Microsoft today kicked off its second attempt at cracking the tablet market, unveiling replacements for both the Surface RT and Surface Pro.
"We only set out to make them better," said Panos Panay, the Microsoft general manager who leads the Surface team, in a roll-out in front of an invitation-only audience of reporters and analysts in New York City on Monday.
The Surface 2, a renamed and revamped Surface RT -- it's no coincidence that Microsoft ditched the "RT" label, which few consumers knew referred to the Windows RT that powered it -- will cost $449 for 32GB or $549 for 64GB of storage space when it reaches retail next month, said Microsoft.
Those prices were $50 less than the original prices for the Surface RT, but $100 more than the heavily discounted prices of 2012's version after Microsoft began unloading it this summer.
Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 2 will swap pride-of-place in Microsoft's lineup with the Surface Pro. Like its ancestor, the Surface Pro 2 will run a full-fledged Windows able to handle legacy applications, and is not a scaled-back device like the Surface 2, which is capable of running only tile-style "Modern" nee "Metro" apps. The Surface Pro 2 will be priced at $899 for a 64GB device, $999 for one with 128GB of storage space.
The prices were identical to the initial prices of the Surface Pro when it launched in early February, but $100 more than the discounted prices the now-superseded tablet currently sports.
Both tablets will come with the 8.1 update for their respective operating systems: The Surface 2 with Windows 8.1 RT -- there's the "RT" again -- and the Surface Pro 2 with Windows 8.1 Pro.
Panay touted the changes in each tablet, citing 20% faster performance overall, a 50% increase in graphics performance, and a 75% boost in battery life for the Surface Pro 2, all largely -- though not entirely -- due to the use of Intel's new "Haswell" Core i5 processor.
The Surface 2 is also faster, said Panay, who claimed a three- to four-time increase in performance courtesy of the Nvidia Tegra 4 ARM-licensed processor, and an increase of battery life to 10 hours.
Microsoft also revealed several new accessories for the Surface line, including a keyboard-cover combination that packs an extra battery, new Touch Covers in five different colors, and a docking station for connecting the tablet in the workplace to peripherals such as multiple monitors and a full-fledged keyboard.
- Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
- Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
- Surface Pro 3 not a notebook replacement to DIYers who want inside
- Microsoft wants MacBook Air owners to trade up to a Surface Pro by trading in
- Surface Pro 3 'notebook' reaches retail today
- Whoops! Microsoft goof confirms Surface Mini
- Surface Pro 3 deep-dive review: Has Microsoft finally got it right?
- Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
- Surface Pro 3's 'tweener' screen is too small for a laptop, too big for a tablet
- Buy a Surface Pro 3, get it at summer's end
- Mission Critical: Managing Mobile Applications & Content Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become embedded in enterprise processes, thanks to the consumerization of IT and a new generation of...
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Planning for Mobile Success Many organizations are seeing clear and quantifiable benefits from the deployment of mobile technologies that provide access to data and applications any time,...
- The Challenges and Opportunities of Mobile Application Development Nearly all business users now demand mobile devices--their own or company-owned--along with anywhere access to corporate applications and data. What turns mobile devices...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- Technology for Everyone A Kansas school district modernizes teaching and learning and paves the way to a one-to-one program with a comprehensive upgrade of its wireless... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts