Microsoft puts its Surface tablets up for sale, starting at $450

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Check out our review of the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet.

In September, Microsoft announced two newly updated Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and now a month on from the event both are available to purchase through Microsoft’s online and retail stores. The timing is of particular interest, as Nokia has also chosen October 22 to launch its own Surface 2 rival, the Lumia 2520.

The Surface 2 is the follow-up to the much-maligned Surface tablet from last year, but this time it comes with the latest Windows RT 8.1 software, and what Microsoft calls, “Built-in value.” This is marketing code for a few bonus goodies, such as a free Skype call package, 200GB SkyDrive storage, and Microsoft Office. Don’t worry if you’re looking at the Surface Pro 2, this bonus package comes with the full Windows 8.1 tablet too.

Back to the Surface 2. It has a 10.6-inch display with a full 1080p resolution, and is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 chip with 2GB of RAM. There’a a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, and it’s this which alters the price. Choose the former and you’ll pay $450, while the latter is yours for $550.

Moving on to the Surface Pro 2, which comes with the full version of Windows 8.1, it has the same 10.6-inch 1080p screen as the Surface 2, but the processor is a fourth-generation Intel Core i5. There are four different storage choices. The 64GB and 128GB models come with 4GB of RAM and cost $900 and $1000 respectively, while the $1300 256GB model and the eye-wateringly expensive $1800 512GB model both come with 8GB of RAM. 

Microsoft also has an extensive range of accessories planned for the Surface tablets, but not all are on sale just yet. You’ll be able to buy both the $120 Touch Cover 2 and $130 Type Cover 2 this week, but the $200 Power Cover won’t be out until next year, along with the identically priced Docking Station. 

The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 can now be purchased in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Sweden and in various other countries around the world, with China joining them in November. Shipping dates vary if you buy today, with the 32GB Surface 2, 64GB Surface Pro 2, and the 128GB model all heading out on October 25, while the 64GB Surface 2 will leave on October 29. If you want either the 256GB and 512GB Surface Pro 2, you’ll have to wait until December 15.

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