Microsoft has lifted the lid on its next generation of Windows tablets, revealing the Surface 2, the Surface Pro 2 and a host of accessories.
As predicted, the RT has been dropped, with the Surface 2 now the only bottom-tier device. These devices have a full HD widescreen display, a Tegra 4 processor and what Microsoft is claiming as a 25 per cent improvement in battery life from the old models. The Surface 2 is also lighter than its predecessor, weighing around 650g.
The Surface 2 will come in two variants — a 32GB version, which will sell for AU$529, and a 64GB model for AU$639.
For the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft has used aand given the battery life a 60 per cent increase, claiming that it "lasts almost a whole work day". The Pro 2 will come with the Surface Pen — previously an optional extra — in the following configurations:
Surface Pro 2 64GB with 4GB RAM: AU$1019
Surface Pro 2 128GB with 4GB RAM: AU$1129
Surface Pro 2 256GB with 8GB RAM: AU$1469
Surface Pro 2 512GB with 8GB RAM: AU$2039
Microsoft has noted that the quantities of the 512GB will be "initially limited".
New versions of the Touch and Type covers are also available, costing AU$139.99 and AU$149.99, respectively.— a battery-enabled version of the Type Cover — is also available. Microsoft is claiming that it will add 50 per cent more battery life to the Surface Pro, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — although Australian pricing and availability are yet to be determined.
A Docking Station has also been launched for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. This adds connectivity for an external monitor, Ethernet, speakers and power supply, as well as offering one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. The docking station will cost AU$229 and will be available in early 2014.
The tablets and most peripherals will be on sale on 22 October and will be available from the Microsoft Store, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi. You can also pre-order the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 from 10pm AEST tonight (24 September) at the above retailers if you're concerned about missing out.