Microsoft Continues Push Into Tablet Market With New Surface Tablets

Microsoft Continues Push Into Tablet Market With New Surface Tablets

To try and up their game in the mobile device market, Microsoft have launched new and improved versions of their Surface tablet range.

Microsoft Vice President Panos Panay unveiled the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, which feature a number of new features to improve the appeal of the Surface range to busy professionals who crave a tablet with the processing power and productivity tools of a laptop.

In addition to the hardware and software updates, Microsoft also announced a host of new accessories to further extend the functionality of both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, which they hope will draw power users to Microsoft’s mobile range.

Check out whether the new Surface range is for you with our feature summary below!

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Surface 2

The Surface 2 aims to bring a little more to the table than its predecessor, the Surface RT, with across-the- board improvements.Upon first inspection, the tablet looks pretty much the same as its predecessor, however, Microsoft have opted to improve the experience on a usability level by upgrading the hardware and software.

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  • The Surface 2 still makes use of a ARM-based processor, however, the new NVIDIA Tegra 4 chip features improved speed and graphical performance.
  • Battery life has been improved by 25%
  • The built-in kickstand now includes a second, deeper angle that makes using the device on your lap easier.
  • Despite not including any noticeable changes to the look of the device, Microsoft have added a sliver magnesium case that is fingerprint free and more suited to withstanding day to day use.
  • Camera has been upgraded to support low light settings.
  • Comes shipped with Windows 8.1 RT, which according to Microsoft irons out the kinks found in Windows 8.

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Surface Pro 2

Surface Pro 2 Australia Definitely the more popular option of the Surface range, Microsoft have added a few improvements to the Surface Pro to really position the tablet as a super productivity tool for users who need something akin to the processing power of a laptop.

In its upgraded reincarnation, the Surface Pro 2 focuses mainly on providing a significantly improved battery life. In fact, Microsoft have improved the battery life by 75%, which according to Microsoft can potentially be higher in certain use cases.

The Surface Pro 2 has also received an upgrade to its processing power, with 8GB of low-power DDR RAM and a Solid State Drive that can reach the half-terabyte mark.

Like the Surface 2, the Pro 2 aims to make it easier to be used in any situation, with the new kickstand position allowing the device to be used on your lap.

Apart from the aforementioned improvements, the Surface Pro 2 does not differ from the Surface Pro aesthetically in any way, but the hardware upgrades certainly do promise a much better experience for users.

Extra Incentives

Surface Pro 2 AustraliaIn addition to improving the hardware specs for both devices, Microsoft will include a little something extra to make the Surface experience that much better.

With each new Surface that you buy, Microsoft includes 200 GB of SkyDrive storage for two years, as well as a year of Skype service that includes international calling. This certainly highlights the perks of purchasing a Microsoft made tablet, by bundling with the hardware Microsoft services.

New Accessories

New devices warrants some cool new accessories.

You simply can’t have a Surface without a keyboard, and with that, Microsoft have given both their Touch Cover and Type Cover some upgrades to make them even more useful for getting real work done.

Surface pro 2 touch coverNew Touch Cover

The Touch Cover relies on touch sensitive keys rather than the mechanical ones you would find on a laptop or desktop keyboard. While the original Touch Cover appeared to work fairly well, users did report that it was sluggish at times, prompting many to rather opt for the Type Cover.

However, the new Touch Cover contains 14 times as many sensors and has had a few firmware upgrades added, to improve the typing experience for users. It is also now thinner and lighter for better portability with your Surface tablet, as well as featuring a backlight, which would be great for those who travel frequently. To further improve typing efficiency, Microsoft have added gesture support such as highlighting text by sliding two fingers across the number key line.

Surface Pro 2 Type CoverNew Type Cover

The Type Cover has also seen some upgrades added, which include quieter keys, back lighting and, for those of you who like a little more fun in your accessories, different colors (magenta or blue) instead of just the black. The Type Cover mimics the feel of a normal keyboard much more closely than the Touch Cover, so if you’re after a solution closer to that of a desktop experience, the Type cover is for you.

Power Cover

Realizing that, despite the improvements to the battery life, some traveling professional users require a back up power solution, Microsoft has added a new cover to their range; the Power Cover.

The Power Cover acts as a portable power supply, providing your tablet with more power while the tablet is docked, while also functioning as a keyboard. It is understandably thicker than the Touch Cover, and will apparently provide your Surface tablet with 60% more battery life.

This is pretty handy for those long haul flights where a power source would be in short supply.

Surface Pro 2 DockDock

To really get the most out of your Surface Pro 2, Microsoft have also announced a dock, which essentially brings laptop like functionality to your tablet.

The dock features USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, an ethernet jack, a Mini Display port and two audio jacks. Once you’ve inserted your Surface Pro 2 tablet in between the two arms of the dock, you are given Internet, peripherals as you need as well as multi-monitor support. The USB ports give you the flexibility to use a bigger keyboard if you so desire so you can get some serious work done.

Pricing And Availability

Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, along with most of the peripherals will be available in Australia from 22nd October.

Surface 2 Pricing:

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  • Surface 2 32GB: AU$529
  • Surface 2 64GB: AU$639

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Surface Pro 2 Pricing:

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  • 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

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Peripherals Pricing:

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  • Touch Cover: AU$139.99
  • Type Cover: AU$149.99
  • Power Cover: No pricing currently available
  • Dock: AU$229 available early 2014

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