While Microsoft revamped both of its Surface tablets ahead of the 2013 holiday season, it's the Surface 2, which is still running Windows RT, that underwent a complete makeover.
The updated tablet features a slightly slimmer body, an updated 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, and a higher-resolution screen than the original Surface.
September 23, 2013 8:01 AM PDTUpdated: September 23, 2013 8:01 AM PDT
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
/ Caption by: Dan Ackerman
Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 share the same 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution screen now, and it's been color-tuned for greater accuracy.
Microsoft dropped the RT from the tablet's name, but the Surface 2 is still running Windows RT, a version of the operating system designed for mobile devices (as opposed to laptops and desktop computers).
While the Windows 8 Surface Pro 2 still comes in a slatelike black, the Windows RT Surface 2 is now a lighter color, more of a silver/magnesium (and the bodies of both are made of mostly magnesium).
The Surface 2 has a new thinner body. Also, the back kickstand now says "Surface" instead of "Microsoft."
The built-in kickstand now adjusts to two different angles, making the system easier to see from different positions.
Surface 2 also has improved front and rear cameras (3.5MP front, 5.0MP rear) for Skype and other Webcam use.
There's a slim volume rocker on the side of the Surface 2, along with the headphone jack and a small speaker grille.
The Touch Cover is about one third thinner than the original version, but at the same time, more rigid for easier typing.
In our hands-on time with the new Touch Cover, typing felt faster, with less latency and with great accuracy, especially when typing quickly.
Microsoft also revamped the Type Cover, which has a full separate-key keyboard, with a thinner design and new color choices. Both the Touch Cover and Type Cover are now backlit, as well.
Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available starting October 22. The Surface 2, with Windows RT, starts at $449, but the previous model Surface RT will still be available for $349.
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