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By 25 September 2013 | Categories: news

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Despite the original Surface tablet line not being a raving sales success for Microsoft, the company has lifted the lid on its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets.  

When it comes to the processing power for the Surface 2, Microsoft is sticking with Nvidia as the new tablet is powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core Tegra 4 SoC (system-on-a-chip) that is paired with 2 GB of RAM. This chip should allow for an improved gaming experience on the go thanks to the Tegra 4’s 72-core GPU, which is six times more cores compared to the original Surface’s Tegra 3 and its 12 GPU cores.

The Windows RT 8.1 operating tablet sports a 10.6" ClearType Full HD (1080p) display, which should deliver noticeably crisper images and video when compared to the original Surface’s 1366 x 768 screen resolution.

Also onboard is a full-size USB 3.0 port, 3.5 megapixel front-facing snapper for selfies and Skype video calls along with a 5 MP rear-facing camera, plus Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT and Outlook 2013 RT.

The tablet that can replace your notebook

The successor to the Surface Pro is able to run any legacy Windows application as well as new Windows 8 apps from the Windows Store, seeing that is runs Windows 8.1 Pro out of the box. The Surface Pro 2 is powered by a fourth-generation (Haswell) Intel Core i5 processor which Microsoft says not only delivers increased performance but also boost the battery life of the tablet by as much as 75% compared to the outgoing Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro 2 employs the same 10.6" 1080p 10-point IPS touchscreen as its predecessor (and now the Surface 2 as well), and still packs a USB 3.0 port and mini-Display connection. Microsoft stated that Surface Pro 2 will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB SSD storage configurations with 4 GB of RAM as well as 256 GB and 512 GB versions with 8 GB of RAM.

Microsoft, tablet, Windows 8, operating system, Microsoft Surface 2, Nvidia, Nvidia Tegra 4, SoC, Intel, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Redmond

To the point

All things considered, the new Surface lineup make for decent enough upgrades over the original iterations but still boast the same problem as their predecessors - that being the lack of an affordable pricetag. The Surface Pro 2 range starting (at least Stateside) at a basement price of $899 (about R8 890) whilst the Surface 2 tablet’s pricing kicks off at $449 (around R4 440).

In July of this year, Microsoft had to write off a considerable $900 million as a result of struggling Surface RT sales, as well as having to cut the price of the Surface tablets to the bone in an effort to boost sales. We suspect that the new Surface range will not see the company faring any better in their efforts to snatch tablet market share away from Apple’s iPad and Android tablets.

Microsoft said that the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available from the Microsoft Store, select retailers as well as commercial resellers on 22 October within 22 initial markets that includes Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the US and China in early November. Additional markets will be announced in the coming months, with no local release info is available yet.

In other tablet related news, Nokia is rumoured to be entering the tablet space soon courtesy of a Windows RT powered tablet carrying the codename Sirius.

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