Though Microsoft was expected to unveil a smaller mini-tablet device at today's Surface event, in order to compete more closely with popular tablets from Apple, Google, and Amazon. Instead, Microsoft revealed relatively conservative updates to its Surface and Surface Pro tablets. While the Surface Pro 2 will maintain that device's high $899 price tag, the Surface 2 is the more affordable iPad competitor device.
The Surface 2, as with all the new Surface tablets, has a 10.6-inch display. Underneath the display the tablet has a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, and includes an HD video out port along with USB 3.0 support. The tablet will come in one of two configurations, one with 32GB of storage and another with 64GB of storage. In addition to launching with the Windows RT 8.1 operating system, Microsoft is putting Office 2013 RT on all Surface 2s, which includes an RT version of Outlook. The device also comes with 200GB of SkyDrive cloud storage.
The Surface 2 will be released on October 22 and will retail for $449. Pre-orders will be taken starting tomorrow, September 24.
During Microsoft's big Surface presentation in New York today, the company focused on the new Surface tablets being "faster," "thinner," and "lighter." The company's first bizarre ad for the Surface 2 highlights these themes substantially:
In addition to all of the buzzwords, Microsoft seems to be stressing the fact that the new kickstand on its Surface tablets now has two positions. The new kickstand, along with other features, is highlighted in the product overview video also released by Microsoft: