Although the Xbox One will be the biggest hardware launch for Microsoft in 2013 it won’t be the only one. Earlier today, the company unveiled their new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 line of tablets for release later this year.
It’s been about a year since the first line of Surface tablets was announced, which makes it the perfect time for an upgrade. And upgrade Microsoft did, with a new processor, new camera, and better battery life.
The Microsoft Surface 2 includes an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, a 10.6-inch display capable of rendering 1080p video, and a new USB 3.0 port. The front and rear cameras have also been upgraded to a 3.5-megapixel lens and a 5-megapixel lens respectively. The device, as well as the Pro tablet, includes a new dual angle kickstand for better lap use.
Speaking of the Surface 2′s more powerful brother, Microsoft bills the Surface Pro 2 as a true laptop replacement capable of running any and all Microsoft software. It’s powered by a fourth-gen i5 processor capable of delivering 60% longer battery life when compared to the first iteration of the Surface Pro.
Both tablets will be getting significant OS upgrades in the form of Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1. The 8.1 update has been a long-time coming for Windows users stuck having to “deal” with Windows’ little nuances. This 8.1 update finally introduces a true start button, making OS navigation that much easier.
The Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 are available for pre-order today, and pricing starts at $449 and $899 respectively. Both tablets will go on sale on October 22, 2013.
Although they like to bill the Surface as a flexible laptop replacement, the Surface tablets are also solid gaming devices capable of running fully-featured experiences like Halo: Spartan Assault. So, while Microsoft has beefed up battery life and processor speed for better app usage, they have also made a snappier handheld console.
Moreover, Microsoft can now use the Surface 2 as a jumping off point when discussing their second screen experience on the Xbox One. With big money riding on the success of the Xbox One, nearly every Microsoft device and piece of software will presumably need some sort of Xbox One tie-in, so why not a new tablet?
That isn’t to say that the Surface 2 will be the only mobile device capable of delivering an Xbox One second screen experience, it will just be the preferred option when it comes to Microsoft presentations. Perhaps Microsoft will even announce a Surface 2/Xbox One bundle at some point.
Will you be buying a Microsoft Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 tablet? What has you most interested in the tablets?
The Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 go on sale Oct 22, 2013.