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Interview: Panos PanayCNET's Tim Stevens interviews Microsoft's Panos Panay to discover the design philosophy behind the new and improved Surface 2 tablets.
-Hi, everybody. It's Tim with CNET. We're here with Panos Panay from Microsoft talking about a couple of new tablets. These are the new Surfaces coming in the market. Now, from the outside, these two look very similar to what we saw last year but there been some pretty significant changes the made internally and externally as well. Let's start with the new Pro, which is this guy here on my right. -Yeah. Pro-- Surface Pro is been an exciting product for us. It's been a great selling device and we really looked at it and as a team thought, "Man, we gotta make some changes but we should be somewhat settle on those changes." We knew-- bringing some exciting things like more battery life was important to make [unk] faster was important, larger memory and so forth. -So how much more battery life do we have in here? -You know, it's anywhere from 60 percent to 100 percent more, which is cool because you're now in this place where you can use a single day and that's how I use it. It's been pretty excited for us. -And this is setting up to the new generation Intel chips, how much would that is offering a battery life versus other-- -You know, I think about 50 percent of the improvements come from the Haswell update and so it does have a Haswell processor in it. It is really, really cool processor and brings a single life. We really did focus kind of every new ones within the product itself to squeeze every ounce of battery life out of it. Here's the kinda marvel of that though. With all the things we did to improve the battery life, we also increase the performance of that thing by about 10 percent. -And if you wanted even more battery life, you're now gonna be offering a battery keyboard-- -Yeah, yeah. We don't have it here but we have a power cover that you would click in and it would essentially be 2 and a half times more battery life than you got on the original surface pro. -Now there some other tweaks as well. I notice we've got a new kick-stand on the back here, which allows you two levels of them. -Yeah, you saw that. That's kinda cool. We wanted you to be able to use it on your lap comfortably. So now when you're able to get to that second positions and it's about 44 degrees. When you get that thing on your lap with a new covers, which we'll talk about, you get such great balance and it really comes to life. Another thing that it's great for you, you can see how much taller you are than me. The angle for you is much better now. Turns out when you design a product for like a dude that's 5'8, you end up with 22 degrees. -So this is the Pro, and then we also got the new Surface-- this is the Surface 2, correct? -Yeah. Surface 2 is exciting. This product is a little bit different in philosophy while they're both designed to be the best productivity tablets you can buy. We put the best possible front-facing camera in this product so we can light up the Skype and then low light scenarios, you can have a great two-way call and Skype comes to life, which I think is an important kind of piece. We've double the buzz speed on the product so on both memory and Wi-Fi. And then basically, that's like adding more lanes to the freeway when you're on the internet. -Have reset that to USB 3.0? -That's very funny. Yeah, we run from 2.0 to 3.0. Both products are running USB 3.0, which I think is important because you're basically 10 times faster in transferring files and USB is one of the subtle pieces of impact on this product, where you can just plug in and print. You can transfer files. We had so much feedback on how important that port is for people that going to 3.0 is an important improvement. We've doubled the pixels on the screen. We have 48 percent more accuracy, maybe a different way to say it is, the screen is awesome. We've taken the Surface Pro screen. We even proved that and then we put it right here into the Surface 2 product. That's been exciting. So now it's about 3 to 4 times faster of a device so this thing is lightning fast when you're in office, which comes with Outlook. When you're using Skype, when you're on the web, all these improvements but with all that, you're right. It's thinner and it's lighter. -Of course, we've got some improved accessories coming out with these too. So let's talk about the keyboard covers, we got 2 of them here. -Yeah. These products are interesting. We should start with touch cover. Touch cover is obviously the innovation that we put in, where you have the thinnest possible solution for your product, where you can click in the cover and still be productive. I think clicking it in is just as easy as it was. But what you'll see on the product itself, I don't know if you can get that angle. But we've gone from literally 3.5 mm to 2.5. It got thinner. Now, that's paper thin. That's important 'cause when you close it and put in your bag, you just kinda wanted to disappear. -And this is the type cover, which is on-- actual physical tactical keys on. -Yeah. -This is significantly different from last year as well. -It is. So that is also a millimeter thinner but that is a little bit different of a reason. This product is a product people love. It got a millimeter thinner with that does while your key switched to be a little bit shorter. It's a little bit shorter. We also dampened the sounds so it's super quite. So now because it's shorter, it's a quite keyboard but it also allows you to type faster. So we're seeing improved typing speeds. If you're gonna be the most productive tablet on the planet, you gotta have the most productive keyboard. And then on top of that, we also have backlit. And so now working at night or in the dark, it's backlit. It just looks gorgeous. It's a lot of fun. -So they're both backlit now. -They're both backlit. That's right. -And then the battery cover will be so much into this. It would be thicker and [unk] behavior too. -Yeah, on the back-- that comes with a 35 to one hour battery because we really are putting packing power to the Surface Pro 2 product. And, yeah, it's a little bit thicker. But it also works with Surface 2 and it also works with the original Surface Pro. -Great. -So you click this thing in a Surface 2 and you got untold them out of battery life that's kinda hard. -We should really talk some numbers now. When can we expect these and how much are we going to be paying for them? -So we are launching these on October 22nd, But they go on pre-order tomorrow. So I think that's exciting for people who wanted to just get their hands on it. Surface 2 will go out at 449, which is exciting because we'll have Surface 2 at 449 and we'll have Surface [unk] for those who wanted the 349 products. -[unk]. -Yeah, absolutely. So both will be there. Both with 8 one, both with Outlook, Surface Pro 2 will start at 899. -Yeah, sounds good. And they'll be a new or higher memory model as well. -There is, yeah. So we go all the way up to 8 gigs of the memory and 512 gigs of storage. -That's more than my desktop has. -Yeah, it's half of terabyte. You should also note that both these products come with 200 gigabytes of Skydrive for 2 years. We've also added unlimited International Calling with the Skype service and unlimited hotspots with Skypes. -Going in all the Microsoft tricks-- -Every service that you would really want really comes with it. -All right, Panos. Thank you so much for bringing this by. I know you're a very busy man. -Dude, you're welcome. Thank you so much. -And again, this is Tim from CNET, hope you enjoy the overview on the new Surface tablets.