Following months of previous rumors and insider speculation, tech giant Microsoft has announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets at a media event in New York, ditching the former RT branding and moving forward with the successors of its two flagship tablets.
Microsoft’s Panos Panay began the event with a quick look at the Surface Pro 2, touting the device as “faster than 95 percent of laptops today.” Equipped with a new 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell Intel processor, Microsoft claims the new device sports a 20-percent speed increase and a 50-percent graphics boost over its predecessor, while increasing battery life by about 75 percent. Additionally, each tablet will ship with Windows 8.1 RT, providing access to more than 100,000 apps available through the Windows Store, and dons a 10.6-inch, 1080p display consistent with the original Surface Pro.
The slim, magnesium body features improved front and rear cameras, a built-in kickstand adjustable to two different angles, and the word “Surface” sprawled upon the back of the tablet in lieu of the former Microsoft logo. Although the Surface 2 will be available sporting a silver-white exterior, the Surface Pro 2 will retain the “dark titanium” color of its predecessor. The device is also equipped with three USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports in addition to those for Ethernet, audio in/out, charging and a mini DisplayPort.
Pre-orders for the Surface Pro 2 begin on September 24 at 8 a.m. EDT through Microsoft’s online and retail stores, as well as several third-party stockists, with a tentative release date slated for October 22 in most major markets. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $900 for the 64GB version.