Microsoft revamps Surface lineup: Here’s the rundown

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Microsoft announced a revamped lineup of Surface tablets this morning in New York City, confirming many of the earlier leaks while throwing at least a couple of surprises into the mix. Here are the basics on the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

The Surface 2 (the successor to the Surface RT) will start at $449 for a 32GB version. It will come in a new silver/white color. The Surface Pro 2 (running a fourth-generation Intel will start at $899 for a 64GB version.

surfacePre-orders start on Sept. 24 (tomorrow) and the devices will be available in many markets around the world, including the U.S., on Oct. 22.

The exterior hardware is much the same as the original Surface tablets, with the most noticeable difference (apart from the new color of the Surface) being a two-stage kickstand that allows the Surface to be propped up at multiple angles. So that Skype call won’t involve the other person looking at your torso.

The new Surface Pro 2 promises significantly better battery life. On stage in NYC, Surface leader Panos Panay said it would be a 75 percent improvement over the original Surface Pro. In a news release, the company says 60 percent. Either way, the company is addressing a major complaint about the existing Surface Pro, which has battery life as low as four hours.

Microsoft will also sell a “Power Cover” for both tablets, further extending the battery life, but it will cost $199.99 and won’t be available until sometime early next year.

The Type Cover ($119.99) and Touch Cover ($129.99) keyboard accessories have been upgraded with features including backlit keys for using in the dark. A wireless adapter for the keyboard covers will be available for $59.99, connecting them to a Surface via Bluetooth from across the room.

Microsoft will also sell a docking station for $199.99, also available sometime early next year. Here’s what it looks like when in use. It will work with the Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2.

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Microsoft also showed off a new type of Touch Cover for remixing music, offering it as part of a “Surface Music Kit” available as part of a social media contest. No word on actual commercial availability of this kit, but we’re checking.

The on-demand video of the Surface 2 unveiling in NYC is available from Microsoft here.

Here’s the company’s introductory video for the new tablets.

PreviouslyMicrosoft Surface 2.0: Biggest requests from this family of Surface users

  • Out For Justice

    Yawn… …did they get rid of that bloatware OS or does it still eat up most of the drive space?

    • Guest

      Run along, Apple shill. Mum wants her computer back.

      • Out For Justice

        What does Apple have to do with it? Android tablets have a great footprint as well. It is about truth in advertisement. Microsoft tells customers that the Surface Pro has 120GB of disk space and then fills it up to the point where there is only 70GB of usable space left. Therefore customers feel robbed or they return the product…

        …$900 billion write off (cough, cough)…

        • Guest

          MS’s web site tells customers they’ll have 85GB free on the 120GB unit. In reality they’ll have closer to 90GB, or 97 if they choose to archive the recovery partition off disk and onto USB. This is similar to what you see on a MBA running OSX. So your truth in “advertisement” point was what again?

          • Out For Justice

            Grin, yep that was it! You don’t even specify the correct OS for Apple, that would be iOS 7 and they do not take even close to the percentage that the Surface does. See the point is quite simple. MS should be bringing their A game in order to penetrate this market and gain consumer confidence. This is not what they are doing, but the cool-aide boys believe they are…

          • Guest

            OS X *is* the correct OS for the MBA. Are you finished making a total fool of yourself yet?

          • Out For Justice

            You are hilarious! Do you really think you make a good impression for MS when you call others foolish?!?! And yes, if you pick the right metric, you can convince yourself that you are great (thus the cool-aide comment). You are really just driving my points home and giving rise to other points. Do you really think that consumers care about MBA (whatever that even means)? And yes, all iPad SKUs utilize some variant of iOS, not OSX.

          • Not Original Guest

            MBA = Mac Book Air

    • Arch Stanton

      Nicely done, been a while since we’ve seen an honest-to-goodness troll in here.

  • Truthhz

    The Surface 2 is thinner, faster and comes with free Skype int’l calling & wifi for one year, 200 GB of Skydrive for two years AND Office & Outlook. Seems like great deal to me, but I have no faith in the general public’s taste!

  • Ron-Linda Pratt

    Todd – What about the power cord?

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      The reports out of NYC are that it has been redesigned and made much easier to insert. https://twitter.com/arebee/status/382239140651089920.
      I’ve asked Microsoft for details and pictures, etc., and will post when I get them.

      • Randall Lewis

        So Todd, how’d they do with your family wish list?