Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the Surface Pro – a Windows 8 Pro-powered PC shrunk into the body of a tablet. It did well enough for the company, and now it wants to improve upon it even more.
At a Surface event this morning, Microsoft unveiled the all new Surface Pro 2. As you would expect, this is mostly an internal hardware upgrade as it sports a new processor, more powerful graphics and a better display.
So, what’s new in the Surface Pro 2? You may recall that the original Surface Pro was powered by an Intel i5 Ivy Bridge CPU. The Surface Pro 2 will be powered by the next generation Intel Haswell CPU which promises more power with less power consumption. In fact, Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 2 has a 75 percent longer battery life than its predecessor.
Beyond the new CPU, Microsoft showed off a new display that it claims has 50 percent more color accuracy than its predecessor. It’s still a 1920×1080 display, though, so you won’t be seeing any ridiculous retina display-like resolutions from the Surface Pro 2.
Interestingly enough, however, Microsoft showed off a new PC dock accessory for the Surface Pro 2 that allows the tablet to output to a monitor for those wanting to work in a more professional environment. In this mode, the Surface Pro 2 can output at resolutions up to 4K, or 3840×2160. To showcase this, Microsoft showed off the Surface Pro 2 editing 4K video footage.
With all that 4K video footage, the Surface Pro 2 will have received quite a hefty upgrade in its memory, right? Users will definitely have that option as Microsoft will offer customizable levels of RAM and storage memory. Users who want to go all out can get a Surface Pro 2 with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Doing so will raise the price from the entry level price of $899 to $1,799 though.
Beyond the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft also announced some new type covers for its latest tablet. The original touch and type covers are now thinner, and even backlit to help out in darkened environments. Microsoft also announced the Power Type Cover – a type cover with a built-in battery that promises to double the Surface Pro 2’s battery life.
With all these upgrades, the Surface Pro 2, just like its predecessor, is a really nice piece of hardware. It’s a shame then that it’s price will continue to get in the way. A starting price of $899 is not bad for a PC, and Microsoft has made it clear that the Surface Pro 2 is a PC. Unfortunately for Microsoft, consumers still see it as a tablet and expect tablet pricing.
If you can look beyond the price, the Surface Pro 2 will launch next month on October 22. As expected, the device will launch with Windows 8.1 already installed.