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Surface gets upgrades, new accessoriesMicrosoft unveils the second generation of the Surface tablets along with new keyboard covers and a docking station. Meanwhile, BlackBerry plans to go private, and Apple breaks sales records on iPhone weekend.
It's time to skim the new Surfaces. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Microsoft unveiled the next generation of the Surface tablets arriving October 22nd, will be the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. The shape is pretty much the same but each got a performance boost both tablets also got a new kick stand that snaps back further to a second angle that points a little higher up, which is better for taller people or for those using it on a lap. The cheaper Surface 2 is a little thinner and lighter. It has better cameras, a processor that runs 3 to 4 times faster and a better 1080p screen. The battery also last 25% longer than the first Surface RT. This Surface 2 now only comes in a lighter silver color and it starts at the same price as before, $450. Last year's model, the Surface RT will still be on sale at $100 discount. Surface 2 runs a light version of Windows designed for tablets called Windows RT. The full version of Windows 8 is on the Surface Pro 2, which is like a full laptop in a style of a tablet. And said it has a the new 4th generation Intel chip which helps provide better battery life and the graphics performance is said to be 50% better. The pro model starts at $900. And the new Surface also has new accessories. There's a docking station for $200 that includes 4 USB ports, a mini display port, Ethernet and audio in and out. There are also new keyboard covers. The touch and type cover are thinner and both are backlit. And there's a new type power cover that comes with an extra battery to boost the life of the tablet, but the power cover and docking station won't come out until early 2014. Surface sales haven't been so great. So, to further sweeten the upgrades, Microsoft is including the full OfficeSuite with Outlook, 200 gigs of free SkyDrive online storage for 2 years and 1 year of free international calling on Skype and free hotspot WiFi access. Pre-orders for the new tablets begin Tuesday. And these are uncertain times for Blackberry. The company announced it's going private and plans to sell the company for $9 a share to a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings. It values the company at $4.7 billion. To put that in perspective, in one weekend, Apple made more money selling the new iPhones than what all of Blackeberry is selling itself for. Apple sold 9 million iPhones this weekend and broke sales records once again. I'm sure you noticed something's different about my set today. Our old set is under construction. So, I'll be bringing you CNET Update from our new Product Review Studio for the time being. That's your tech news update. You can get more details on these stories at cnet.com/update and follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.