Microsoft Surface 2 Tablets: Faster With Longer Battery Life

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-09-24 Print this article Print

Microsoft refreshed its Surface tablet line Sept. 23 with the introduction of the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. The new devices feature updated operating systems and improvements to speed, battery life, camera resolution and the kickstand—which can now be positioned at two angles, for a more comfortable experience when set on a user's lap—though they haven't changed much in appearance. Microsoft got off to rough start, with its first foray into computer hardware: During its July earnings call, it revealed that it had swallowed a $900 million charge related to inventory adjustments for unsold tablets. It's hoping things will change, but it's unclear whether the updates to Surface were enough to change people's minds. “Other than upgraded hardware (chips primarily, and somewhat better cameras) and a somewhat lower price (than the initial released pricing), I don't see much incentive for people to buy these devices," Jack E. Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates, wrote in a Sept. 23 research note. “Yes, the devices are cheaper than the iPads, but is that enough reason?" Very likely, the holiday season will tell. The Surface 2, running Windows RT 8.1, starts at $449, and the Surface Pro 2, running Windows 8.1, starts at $899. Both are available to preorder and will arrive Oct. 22.

  • Microsoft Surface 2 Tablets: Faster With Longer Battery Life

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - Microsoft Surface 2 Tablets: Faster With Longer Battery Life
  • Meet the Microsoft Surface 2

    The Surface 2 is, in every regard, the lighter-weight of new options. Like the original Surface, it weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 10.81 by 6.81 inches, though it's 0.35 inches thin, to the original's 0.37 inches. The Surface Pro 2 is the same height and width, but it's 0.53 inches thick and weighs 2 pounds.
    2 - Meet the Microsoft Surface 2
  • Surface 2 Tablets Get Improved Kickstand

    The original Surface tablets feature a kickstand that makes it easy to attach the tablet to its keyboard covers and work on a table or desk. Microsoft, realizing that users have instead been perching the tablets on their laps, improved the kickstand this round. A second notch lets the Surface 2 tablets sit back more, offering users a more comfortable viewing angle.
    3 - Surface 2 Tablets Get Improved Kickstand
  • Surface 2, Profile

    A profile view of the Surface 2 and its kickstand. Both devices—in a major perk over the iPad—feature a full-size USB 3.0 port, for super-fast document transfers and charging a mobile phone. There's also a MicroSD slot, so users can bring along more movies and music. There's also a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing 3.5-megapixel camera, both with improved low-light performance.
    4 - Surface 2, Profile
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2

    The Surface 2 runs a Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 chip and can get up to 10 hours of battery life. The Surface Pro 2, seen here, runs a fourth-generation Intel Core i5—it's very much a “true laptop replacement," as Microsoft likes to call it—and has a battery that Microsoft says will last 75 percent longer than the one of the original Pro. Or, 14 hours.
    5 - Microsoft Surface Pro 2
  • Type Cover 2

    Microsoft also improved the Type Cover—which most people have preferred to the Touch Cover. The Type Cover 2 has the same look and design as the original but is now backlit, available in four colors and has a full row of function keys, as well as media keys and a trackpad. It will retail for $129.99.
    6 - Type Cover 2
  • For Your Inner (or Not So Inner) DJ

    Microsoft, showing a more fun side, also introduced a touch-based Surface Music Kit. The company says it will help users create remixes easily, and with a sound quality “that will amaze you and your friends." For more information, check out #RemixProject.
    7 - For Your Inner (or Not So Inner) DJ
  • Arc Touch Mouse, Surface Edition

    Another new accessory is the very ergonomic-looking Arc Touch Mouse. The design is said to allow for easy use and storage, and it connects to the Surface tablets using what Microsoft calls BlueTrack technology. It will retail for $69.99.
    8 - Arc Touch Mouse, Surface Edition
  • Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers

    Microsoft has made a production of how easy it is to click the tablet to the keyboard covers. But in the event that you want a little more space between them—or would rather attach the Surface to an HDTV, or work around a display with colleagues, the Wireless Adapter ($59.99) makes it possible to connect to the display via Bluetooth.
    9 - Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers
  • Surface Docking Station

    With the Docking Station, users can mount a Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 and connect to multiple accessories, such as a full-size keyboard, a printer and other peripherals. On Sept. 23, Microsoft also showed off a ($49.99) car charger for the Surface tablets.
    10 - Surface Docking Station
  • Surface Pro 2

    The Pro 2 is the first Surface to work with a Surface Pen. It runs Windows 8.1 Pro, will come in options of 64GB or 128GB with 4GB of RAM, or 256GB or 512GB with 8GB of RAM. Buyers of both the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 will receive 200GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years and a year of unlimited Skype WiFi at more than 2 million hotspots worldwide.
    11 - Surface Pro 2

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