Microsoft unveiled the next iteration in its line of Surface Pro tablet computers, called the Surface Pro 2, earlier today at an exclusive media event in New York City. With the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft set out to improve pretty much everything people enjoyed about the original Surface Pro, while also adding a few subtle changes as well.
The Surface Pro has gone through quite the set of improvements to become the Surface Pro 2. First off, the new tablet features a Cleartype HD display with nearly 50% more color accuracy on its creen, which is certainly important to professionals who need colors to be as accurate as possible. The speakers on the Surface Pro 2 have also been improved to feature Dolby, although Microsoft didn’t go into detail as to what the sound quality would be like when compared to the original Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro 2′s kickstand has also seen an improvement as it now extends past its singular position and can expand to a second position. The first position was best used when the Surface Pro was on a flat surface, but the second position makes using it while on your lap easier as it gives the user a more comfortable angle.
Microsoft didn’t just make improvements to the Surface Pro 2′s exterior as they did some serious overhauling to its internals. The Surface Pro 2 includes an increase of its graphical performance by 50%, while the overall CPU performance has been improved by 20% when compared to the original Surface Pro. Microsoft made sure to include Intel’s new Haswell processor into the Surface Pro 2, which also means the tablet will get a much-needed boost to its battery life, which has improved by 75% when compared to the original Surface Pro.
Microsoft has also expanded the amount of accessories you can dock with the Surface Pro 2. Sure – you can expect there to be a new TypeCover, which is thinner, stronger, more quiet and offers backlit, but the company also unveiled a new docking station and additional covers. The docking station allows you to dock your Surface Pro 2 into it in order to turn your tablet into a desktop machine. The docking station supports displays with a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160. The docking station also includes 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, a MiniDisplay Port, an Ethernet port, an audio in / out port, and a power port.
When you get your hands on the Surface Pro 2, you might be surprised by just how heavy it feels if you’re used to tablets such as the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. Considering just how much horsepower there is under the hood, we guess we can overlook its weight, but it isn’t too heavy where it might be an issue when carrying around in your bag. For the most part, there isn’t much change to the aesthetics of the Surface Pro 2 when compared with the Surface Pro. All of the ports seem to be located where they were on the original Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 2 still feels nice in the hands when it’s being held and its magnesium still offers a premium feel.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 will be available for pre-order starting on September 24 starting at a MSRP of $889. The Surface Pro 2 will come in four different versions: 64GB / 4GB RAM, 128GB / 4GB RAM, 256GB / 8GB RAM, and 512GB / 8GB RAM, although Microsoft will be offering 200GB of space on its SkyDrive service for two years starting from your date of purchase. As for its releases, the Surface Pro 2 will be available starting on October 22.