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Microsoft Announces Two New Surface 2 Tablets

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

Microsoft introduces the next generation of Surface in NYC.

Microsoft didn't exactly get off to a great start with the Surface RT and Surface Pro, but Redmond isn't ready to give up just yet. Microsoft just announced two brand new Surface models at an event in NYC this morning.

 

The company is ditching the 'RT' branding and instead just calling the next iteration of Surface RT 'Surface 2.' This laptop will run Windows RT 8.1, and boasts a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display and comes with support for microSD, USB 3.0, and HD video out. The tablet comes in two varaitions, 32 GB or 64 GB, and ships with Office 2013 RT and 200 GB of SkyDrive storage (for two years). It's priced at $449, the same money customers were asked for when the original Surface RT launched.

The brand new Surface Pro 2 packs a full version of Windows 8.1 Pro, a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display, support for microSD, USB 3.0, and mini DisplayPort. Both 64 GB and 128 GB capacities are available with 4 GB of RAM. The 256 and 512 GB capacities will each have 8 GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 2 will start at $899 and will include 200 GB of SkyDrive storage (again, for two years). Pre-orders for both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will start tomorrow, September 24, and availability in 21 markets is expected on October 22.

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  • 0 Hide
    RedundantInk , September 23, 2013 10:03 AM
    Microsoft insistence on pursuing Windows RT continues to baffle me, it`s little more than a crippled version of Windows x86.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , September 23, 2013 10:06 AM
    I thought I read somewhere that they'll be dropping the RT version, focusing on full OS only.
    Who knows...
  • 9 Hide
    bystander , September 23, 2013 10:15 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft insistence on pursuing Windows RT continues to baffle me, it`s little more than a crippled version of Windows x86.


    It works for Apple. I guess since it has the name Windows in it, people have a different expectation.
  • 3 Hide
    Bloob , September 23, 2013 10:18 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft insistence on pursuing Windows RT continues to baffle me, it`s little more than a crippled version of Windows x86.

    True. It's a lot more than other tablet OSs though.
  • -4 Hide
    stevejnb , September 23, 2013 10:20 AM
    Meh, going to shamelessly copy-paste since this is likely going to be the main thread on this subject.

    Meh, Surface 2 price starting at $450 is still a bit underwhelming even with the higher res screen (something I personally consider totally superfluous, but a lot of people apparently go nuts over tiny screens with high resolution), multi angle kickstand, etc. The original Surface RT staying at $350 is all good and fine but with the public perception battle MS has, they really should have cut another $50 off each price point, or more. Also, I didn't see RAM listings for the Surface 2 and, frankly, I feel like the original Surface RT could use a bit more than 2gb of RAM. Also, Surface Pro 2 still costing $900 is, again, pricey. This pricing and these devices might have been compelling six months ago. Now, not so much.

    They are doing some neat things with these devices - some of those cover types seem rather handy - but they're putting the cart before the horse to some degree. Adding all sorts of little niche doo-dads and generally progressive upgrades on a product that is only lukewarm popular isn't going to massively boost its popularity even if they are neat features. They need to get the basic product at a price/hardware point people are jumping to get at as a first priority and then add all the neat doo-dads they want after. I expect the Surface brand to grow with what they've done, but I don't think these are the moves they needed to make to really push this brand into the spotlight.

    Lastly... I missed it, but I'm guessing that none of the covers come included with the Surface 2. If not, it really, really should, though I personally prefer a Bluetooth keyboard I can move around with my tablet.

    Not at all surprised, but these announcements are neat, but underwhelming. Hope you're liking your small portion of the mobile world there MS, because I doubt what you've done here is going to get you out of it.
  • 2 Hide
    FrankInKY , September 23, 2013 10:25 AM
    The tablet market is so competative that any tablet release really needs a good dose of Wow factor for the product to have any chance of success. And this release has none. Good luck MS
  • 4 Hide
    mobrocket , September 23, 2013 10:42 AM
    I think if MSFT offered the keyboard for free, they would sell a lot more units. Because really, iPAD has cool factor / Android has price... what does surface have?
  • 1 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , September 23, 2013 10:46 AM
    Surface 2 office free, 512gbSSD, 8gb of ram, I wonder about the cpu though... They where playing halo spartan assault that peaks my interest in its gaming ability! This looks like a win all around, great laptop/tablet.
  • 5 Hide
    stevejnb , September 23, 2013 10:47 AM
    Quote:
    I think if MSFT offered the keyboard for free, they would sell a lot more units. Because really, iPAD has cool factor / Android has price... what does surface have?


    While I am not endorsing these products for their price/functionality combination, nor am I suggesting these features will make them market-busters, Windows 8/Windows RT tablets offer outright superior multitasking to either competitor along with actual Office support rather than a bunch of rinky-dink apps. These are NOT compelling reasons to buy the tablets for a lot of people but, for someone who actually wants them for a certain type of productivity (Word, Excel, powerpoint) they blow Android/iOS out of the water. I'm saying this as someone who spent the last two years notetaking and writing reports/papers on an Android device until I went Windows tablet.

    I don't expect these units to make a huge dent at these price points. The unfortunate thing is, there are good reasons to buy a Windows tablet, but the Surface price points just aren't compelling. Some competing OEMs are much more so, though.
  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , September 23, 2013 10:49 AM
    Quote:
    Surface 2 office free, 512gbSSD, 8gb of ram, I wonder about the cpu though... They where playing halo spartan assault that peaks my interest in its gaming ability! This looks like a win all around, great laptop/tablet.


    Actually, that's the Surface 2 Pro that offers a 512 GB SSD... But the thing is, the starting price for the 64GB model appears to be $900 - and I didn't even see the price for the 516 GB one mentioned.

    I'm really not sold on this pricing scheme.
  • 3 Hide
    gm0n3y , September 23, 2013 10:58 AM
    The new pro model looks really good and I'd love to get one, but the price point is just too high. Knock $100 off and throw in a keyboard and I'd definitely get one.
  • 2 Hide
    Fredrik Aldhagen , September 23, 2013 11:04 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Microsoft insistence on pursuing Windows RT continues to baffle me, it`s little more than a crippled version of Windows x86.

    True. It's a lot more than other tablet OSs though.


    It doesn't run Win x86 apps though, which is the one thing people want out of Windows. Meanwhile Android and iOS have had a 4 year headstart when it comes to touch-based apps.
  • 2 Hide
    tomate2 , September 23, 2013 11:21 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft insistence on pursuing Windows RT continues to baffle me, it`s little more than a crippled version of Windows x86.


    iOS crippled version of Mac OS?
  • 0 Hide
    DelightfulDucklings , September 23, 2013 2:13 PM
    Honestly at that price point I am probably not gonna get one and rather pick up one of the Bay Trail Atom tablets for ~$400, given that they hold up fairly well in the performance sector
  • 0 Hide
    dman3k , September 23, 2013 3:28 PM
    I'll buy the Surface Pro 2 in a heartbeat if it included the dock or the power cover in the price.

    The Surface 2 on the other hand... I think I'm leaning toward the ASUS Transformer T100
  • 0 Hide
    bystander , September 23, 2013 4:40 PM
    Quote:
    Seems to me like the surface went to the bottom some time ago , I don't think it is wise for them to keep pushing a dead product

    Since this is the future of home computing it seems, as the average consumer only cares about this type of form factor, they need to push it, tweak it and get it to work, or they'll find themselves out of business.

    It occurred to me that one of Microsoft's biggest hurdles is those who push these types of products for them. Apple products get great reviews, because those who use Apple products don't care about spec's. They are the average consumer, so they give reviews based on what it does, and not about the spec's. On the other hand Microsoft users are all enthusiasts, and only care about spec's, so they always pan anything more expensive than a PC with similar parts and they expect more for less. Of course they still need to tweak their touch OS a bit too. Coming late to the party has put them behind in that category.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , September 23, 2013 6:03 PM
    "Surface 2.' This laptop will run Windows RT 8.1" - So the Surface is a laptop?
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , September 23, 2013 6:35 PM
    "Surface 2.' This laptop will run Windows RT 8.1" - So the Surface is a laptop?
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , September 23, 2013 7:52 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I think if MSFT offered the keyboard for free, they would sell a lot more units. Because really, iPAD has cool factor / Android has price... what does surface have?


    While I am not endorsing these products for their price/functionality combination, nor am I suggesting these features will make them market-busters, Windows 8/Windows RT tablets offer outright superior multitasking to either competitor along with actual Office support rather than a bunch of rinky-dink apps. These are NOT compelling reasons to buy the tablets for a lot of people but, for someone who actually wants them for a certain type of productivity (Word, Excel, powerpoint) they blow Android/iOS out of the water. I'm saying this as someone who spent the last two years notetaking and writing reports/papers on an Android device until I went Windows tablet.

    I don't expect these units to make a huge dent at these price points. The unfortunate thing is, there are good reasons to buy a Windows tablet, but the Surface price points just aren't compelling. Some competing OEMs are much more so, though.


    MS really does need a entry level product that draws in the mass. While there is good value for those who need the features these two models provide: Surface (RT) for Office, and Pro for running even more traditional Windows applications or games, current market trend is to have a cheap, mobile device to do basic tasks such as video watching, music listening, light browsing, social networking, emailing, map navigation and occassional light gaming. MS needs to come up with a strip down version of the OS that can do this cheaply so that there is enough critical mass in the market for Windows Store to grow. As for Office and enterprise connectivity, MS can try giving away Surface Pro units free as part of volume licensing deal to get more people to use it. A good product is useless if not enough people is using it. Looks what happened to Amiga in the 90s.

    And MS really should include built-in LTE in Surface (RT) model. Once again they miss it.
  • 0 Hide
    urbanman2004 , September 23, 2013 11:33 PM
    From a portability standpoint it has powerful capabilities compared other tablets. I'm usually using Windows 7 or 8 at home, but when I'm the go I use my laptop so this wouldn't entice me enough for me to want give M$ my money.
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