Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro announced by Microsoft

Tori Floyd

In its next attempt to take down Apple’s popular iPad, Microsoft has unveiled its next generation of tablets. At a presentation this morning, Microsoft debuted the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, both of which build on the features of their predecessors, and bring many of the features that users wanted right out of the gate.

Microsoft seemed to take many of the complaints users had with and incorporated them into the latest models, including a new two-position kickstand that makes holding the tablet on your lap and typing much more comfortable. The detachable keyboard now also includes a backlight, for typing in low-light conditions.

The overall appearance of the device has been tweaked slightly, with the Surface 2 being made thinner and lighter than its predecessor. It also comes in a new silver metal-coloured back, and new colours of keyboard have been shown for both devices, too. The screens on both tablets are the same size, but now support 1080p.

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One of the key changes that Microsoft has made is improvements to the Surface 2’s processor, the Tegra 4 by Nvidia, which the company is saying makes the tablet run three to four times faster than its predecessor, Geek.com reports. You’ll also be able to surf faster and transfer files faster, as the WiFi has been improved and the new generation of tablets now supports USB 3.0.

Both tablets have also made big gains in battery life. The Surface 2 has about 25 per cent better battery life, while the Surface Pro 2’s battery lasts about 75 per cent longer, Mobile Syrup reports, bringing it up to about eight hours of battery.

The new tablets are also running the latest version of the new operating system, Windows 8.1 which, once again, addresses many customer complaints about the interface, including the lack of a Start button.

Microsoft has also debuted a new docking station which can be used with the Surface Pro 2 that allows users to plug in peripherals like an external monitor, full-size keyboard, printer and speakers. The docking station will be available early next year.

The Surface 2 will retail starting at $449 USD and the Surface Pro 2 will start at $899 USD. Pre-orders for both devices open tomorrow, and will be arriving in Canada on October 22.

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