Microsoft Surface

Microsoft announces Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, due Oct 22nd

Microsoft today announced the next generation of Surface hardware at its New York event this morning. Unveiling both the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, the company has worked to improve on the already available Windows 8 tablets. So what's new in the second wave of Windows tablets from Microsoft? Jump on past the break to find out more details.

While on stage, Microsoft Vice President of Surface Panos Panay explained how the teams have worked hard in making the next generation of Surface tablets cooler, lighter, quieter, more efficient and have longer lasting power reactors. The Surface Pro 2 was up first and is all about power, with new covers and better components to further improve the user experience. If you're after the premium Surface experience, this will be the correct choice.

Microsoft Surface

In fact, it's worth noting that the Surface Pro 2 actually has a battery life double of what's presently available in the current Surface Pro tablet. That's huge, but we are talking about Intel's fourth generation Haswell chips here. The interesting part about the new battery life? The actual physical size of the batteries remains unchanged. You're really looking at the handy power station the world has been calling for.

The little, improved brother

We've recently looked at what may be coming in these two new tablets through previous leaks. It would seem as though the details revealed at earlier dates were indeed accurate. The Surface 2 is lighter, has a faster CPU and now sports a 1080 display with ClearType. Powering Windows RT 8.1, the Surface 2 brings new exciting features to the table, without bumping the price above the competition.

Microsoft Surface 2

With Surface 2, you're also looking at USB 3.0, a 3.5MP front-facing camera and more. What's more is (as one can see in the above photo) there's a brand new colour to reflect the true colour of magnesium. So now that you're excited about the new features and improvements made to the two new Surface tablets, how about seeing a cool promo video showing them off?

So when will you be able to get your hands on one? The Surface tablets will go on sale starting October 22nd, with the Surface Pro 2 setting you back by $899, while the more affordable Surface 2 (running Windows RT 8.1) will go for just $449 for the 32GB version.

Stay tuned as we dive into more detail.

Images courtesy of CNET

For further discussion, head into our Windows 8 forums where we have dedicated areas for the new tablets!


Reader comments

Microsoft announces Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, due Oct 22nd


Yeah it's sexy .. But there are so many "why's"..
Why no 3g, why not use the new atom quad core as the "cheap" solution, why no NFC, why the absurd price point. Why do we HAVE to watch Microsoft go down the ARM road ?? 
Seems to me MS is the blocking factor for tablet development at all the hardware manufacturors. I noticed a funny trend. Not a single tablet on the marked seemed to be allowed to have all of the things we want and be cheaper than the surface tablets.. An example of that are the ACER models. They had one good alternative ( actually several ). The I3, HD3000, 1080p, USB3 that even came with a docking station and a wireless kb AND FOUR GB RAM. Heres the real kicker, WHY did it not have an SD card slot or 3g ???
Something tedious is going on behind the scenes here. Some stupid fight on pricepoints and hardware and I'm pretty sure MS is the culpritt.
AMD's Temash is not even being mentioned by anyone and that "allinone" chip is better than anything else available.
Quad core x64 with 81xx HD in the guts .. It completely wipes away any competition on the gpu side.
Until now it seems like only MSI and som unknown brand will be using it .. WHY ? I want a tablet with that chip inside, at least 4gb ram and a SD Card slot .. I would take 3G and or LTE as an added bonus to that .
The hardware is there, it CAN be stitched together bu for some reason noone does ..
Perhaps it's just time to take up Yoga .. ( get it ? )

The article doesn't actually say it's not the only one though (no need for caps).
I was looking at both The Verge's and Engadget's live blogs and neither said the Surface 2 is in black at all. In fact the latter assumed it's only silver.
And so far I've not seen any articles by them saying a black version's available.
Unless Panos Panay forgot to mention it, that is..

I've been poking around and have not seen an indication that there is a black Surface 2 (at least yet). I'd prefer black. 

From Engadget "the Pro 2 is only available in Dark Titanium (a fancy way of saying off-black), unlike the Surface 2 with its ivory-white shade."
So the surface 2 comes in white and black, while the pro 2 just comes in black. I believe the silver is actually the white Surface 2.

Not at all, the Surface 2 is only available in this silverish color, there is no black Surface 2!

They did, they shwoed them off on their slide comparing the different models :)
It's also 8GBs of RAM

On the spec chart it showed a 64GB with 4GB of ram, 128GB with 4GB, 256GB with 8GB, and 512GB with 8GB.  I want to know how much for the 512GB with 8GB of ram!!

Well, $900 or the base model. Doubling that to 128 GB is probably making it $900. To jump it to 512 GB and get the 8 GB of RAM, I'd bet it's a minimum of $1,100.

1799 for the 512 gig model, and 1299 for the 256 gig model.  Those will get 8 gigs of RAM.  The entry models will get 4 gigs of RAM.

Don't you think they will logically go to all touch multiple use cover and in a way end up with a courier tablet.

I really hope so. I never thought of using a "cover" in this way, but it definitely opens up new possibilities.

I can definitely see the Courier Tablet coming back via "swappable" covers. I can't see MS making a cover that has a screen and can type. Acer tried copying Courier, but didn't succeed.

I was hoping they were going to announce a project to allow third party covers, allowing businesses to create custom covers for different professions.

I really hope they do that. a pure artist (drawing) cover, painters cover, DJ cover, dual display cover, gaming cover, etc. This would really push Surface forward.

If they extend this idea to the rumored 8" Surface, with a gaming cover, it would be killer.
The rumore is the smaller Surface may be announced later this year.

I'd say not waaay too much, but maybe a little too much.  Think about your typical $300-400 10.1" Android tablet.  Add full HD, 0.5" of extra screen. injection molded Mg chassis, kickstand, etc.  That's pretty close to what I would expect to pay. 

I really would've thought MS would introduce the second gen Surfaces with a lower price point after seeing that they didn't sell well the first time around at that price. Imo ~$50 price drop isn't enough to get regular consumers (as in not us who know about tech stuff) to choose this over the iPad.

The iPad cost more and it looks like MSFT is marketing to people looking at getting the iPad so price is just fine. Maybe keep making first generation and sell for cheaper.

Dude, what i see is a premium product. The price is right because premium products deserve a premium price. And if you want a cheap plasticky all around OS. There's always android for you.. :)

well there have been Windows RT 300-400 tablets from some OEMs, so not only android, but of course they arent built like surface, but of course they would have the same RT OS.
so he can also get a plastic tablet RT device cheaper than surface lol

This is exactly why the first generation Surfaces didn't sell. It's not just the build quality of iPads that gets the sales, it's the fanatical users and the familiarity of the system. Surface needs to be priced to combat that.

How much is the 32gb iPad again?? Oh rite, its $599.
I'd guess a $599 would get you the 64gb option, plus probably the touch cover too if you were to spend upto $650.
Thats still cheaper than the 64 gb iPad.
And please I'd really not like to start on the flexibility end of the two devices.

That's a ridiculous comparison. The 32GB iPad has roughly GB os usuable storage. The 32GB Surface has 16 or less? The comparison is versus the $499 iPad. People are - by and large - buying the entry level option of any of these lines.
Also, people made the flexibility/get stuff done/"real" OS argument the first time around.
How did that work out? I'm glad people here love the Surface, and it's the best for them. But Microsoft has a duty to expand the appeal of this line beyond the very, very, very miniscule marketshare of Surface devices. If nothing else, they have a fidicuary duty to not take another $1 billion write off!
Microsoft is doing the same "premium" insanity, and the result will be the same.

lol you dont know what you are talking about... please quit commenting until you research a Little... also did you forget you can have sd card in a surface? and plug any usb storage device?.

and like safe and sound said, the recovery partition can be moved to an external device... do it and you will see more space, understand? but please if you dont even own a surface stop commenting like you do.
stop looking like a fool

Yes, you can buy an external device. That increases the price. You can buy the neat type cover or touch cover. That increases the price. We're talking out-of-the-box experience. Only the nutjobs here think people buying a tablet want a bunch of accessories to plug in.

The ipad keyboards aren't an increase in price? The sd dongle? Video out dongle? Apple is the king of accessories and they charge a high premium for all of them. Out of the box, the RT works pretty much teh same as the ipad with apps being the main drawback.

I believe you have just defined insanity.
However, Windows 8 love it or hate it now appears to be getting traction and a relaunch seems appropriate. The price for a premium model is fine. In theory the OEMs can produce the lower end models but again that has not worked out so far.
My experience is a Surface with 8.1 is not the same beast as 8.0 the inclusion of Outlook is a game changer and the other improvements mostly solid improvements.
I guess what I am wondering is what will Apple do with its next iPad. Yes the iPhone was a dissapointing 5 slash 4 relaunch but it still sold well. The surface 2 maybe lighter, faster etc but this might not matter if the iPad is lighter and faster also.
The Surface 2 Pro with a doubling of battery life seems to be the real winner here.

The Surface 2 has 18GB free space and you can easily move the recovery partition to a USB key you'll have 21-22GB free. Because of the way hard drive makers bytes differently 32GB drive actually has 28gb space an image of iOS is over a 1gb so I'd guess is the iPad has about 26Gb free. So best senerio for both are 22gb vs 26gb not that big a deal considering windows 8 comes preinstalled with full Office. I'd honestly prefer the Surface which gives you expandable storage.

Sorry, a 32gb drive has about 29.8gb free but iOS lists 28GB capaciaty.  It's unclear wheather capacity just means space excuding recovery partition or space excluding recovery partition and OS. If anyone has a newly or refreshed ipad I'd be interested in hearing how much space is listed as available.

So there's another sane person reading this post. Too bad that being realistic is not welcome here.
I seriously don't understand neither why the flop Surface RT is tried again. This time they dropped the "Reduced Technology" moniker but otherwise seem to repeat all mistakes they did last year. Will there again be dancing fools in ads trying to convince the masses that they want this over an iPad? Won't work...
See, people don't buy tablet computers these days. They desire and buy iPads. All their friends have them. All the stars in Hollywood use Apple gear. All musicians use Apple gear. That's what drives the average Joe to iPads in the end. Why does nobody in MS realize and combat this? It seemed to work for WP8 for a while when Jessica Alba was paid for showing off a Lumia for some months.

i don't think its too much as it include full office suite....1 year of skype wifi hotspot...and free 200GB skydrive space for two years...

A big argument in my country is that the NSA taps into all of this. So it will be interesting to see if Microsoft Germany is also using this as sales argument. (In case you don't know: Germany is the primary spy target of the NSA in Europe [in other words: We are the #1 enemy] and we certainly know this here and are scrambling to get out of American cloud services asap.)

Although I agree with you. I think this is the Surface that IS worth the 450$

With a much faster CPU, USB 3.0, 1080P screen and of course Office RT is finally out of beta and Outlook is included. That to me is the model that should have been released last year and it would have still been worth 499.

I want a Surface Pro 2 :)  So many hard drive (64/128/256/512gb) and memory (4 or 8gb) options, awesome.  Panos rocks btw.

Funny. Everyone was like "if they gonna price the Surface 2 above 400 it's gonna fail again" and now the price is above 400 and no one has complained yet...

I was expecting an mini as well 8". Maybe a Surface mini (Windows RT) Price around 200-300 bucks.. Hope Nokia makes one..

Supposedly, according to Paul Thurott's site, there is a separate announcement coming at some point for a Surface mini.  I'm also more interested in a mini size than the full-size (although having had an iPad for a while now, I much prefer the 4:3 ratio for a tablet over the 16:9.)

I was hoping for an 8 inch windows 8.1 tablet, but I like the Surface 2 and will likely get it. Maybe they will let Nokia make the 8 inch tablet???

I have the surface Rt, however i am using a 6year old macbook, as a main pc, and its horribly laggy now, maybe ,just maybe ill go for the pro surface 2.

450$ for the 32GB RT? That means the 64GB will certainly go for 550$.
Well, there goes another flop. Won't they ever learn?
Anyway, no word on compatibility of the new accessories with the 1st gen Surfaces...which leads me to think they won't be which case this was my first and last Surface.
I'm now looking at you, Nokia.

Where? Didn't read anything on the blog post, which would be the natural place to announce it. If you could provide the source of that info, I would appreciate it, please.

So they aren't compatible with all the former Surface devices.
If what you say is true, thanks for the info. Where did you get it from, btw? At this point I'm more concerned in confirming sources than taking anyone's word on a fan website (nothing personal).

When the original Pro came out they explained that during the time between releases they'd thought about the expansion port a bit more (the keyboard dock) and created the one in the pro to enable more functionality so unfortunately devices made specifically for that would not be backwards compatible with the originals dock.  They've also said leading up to this current release that this generation's dock devices would be compatible with the 1st surface pro.  Since this is info gleaned from personal interest and researching of videos and articles, I'm sure a few searches would find you that information as well from sources you would feel comfortable with.  (Although I'm guessing the original surface pro video which was on the MS site may be harder to find now that the S2Pro promo stuff is probably there). about Microsoft throw us Surface RT beta testers a bone, and give us the 200GB skydrive accounts that they are including in the Surface 2.........this is BS - i struggled through all the laggyness, and general $hittyness of the first few months of the product.  I think we deserve this for sticking with it.  I guess thats what we get for buying a 1st gen product 

I feel you. Although I'm a little less peeved since I got mine for free (worked for MS) but this leap in hardware is ridiculous when it was available to them last year as well.

Why not? I have 27Gb of permanent Skydrive storage for being a WP7 early adopter, and buying a Surface RT last October. You really should pay better attention to the offers out there, before you leap/comment.

Reply if you're too broke at the moment to purchase one (but still excited!) lolol)). Not that I'm broke or anything . . .

You can. I went to my local Microsoft Store Saturday. They offered me $88 for a 32Gb Surface RT, in perfect condition, with the power brick. What a joke! its their own product. i just had it replaced (in the same store) with a brand new unit, 2 months ago. They offered my wife $100 for a 1st Gen iPad 64Gb...

That price just won't work. There's never, NEVER been a successful $450 or so tablet aside from the iPad. The first one wasn't, and this one isn't going to break that streak just because the display is better and there's a USB 3.0 port on it. 
And AGAIN with hyping the touch covers and whatever other accessories so much....then charging extra for them.
Microsoft is deteremined to make the same errors again and again and again. 
Apple keeps iterating at the high end with spec bumps because they have a SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT. When you do not, you cannot follow that same strategy. Even Dell gets that with the Venue tablet.

No.  They should innovate faster.  This is year 2 and they are barely catching up.  Compare Lenovo Yoga last years model to this years.  There is significant innovation there.  I don't see that in Surface.
I'm waiting to see what Nokia announces in a month.  Nokia knows how to build devices for consumers.

Serious answer: Change the price to $349 (you know, the price point they're spending millions to advertise on current head-to-head TV ads?), include the choice of cover since they promote it JUST as much as the hardware, bundle Xbox Music one-year passes, bundle a $25 app-store credit, and get your video store working fully.

Basically...if you're going to eat $1 billion on the device, eat it PROMOTIONALLY instead of charging it off for unsold inventory.

Hardly anything comes close to a Pro. It's a good price for the product you get. Clearly not for everyone, but I reckon it is cheaper than getting a laptop and a tablet.

I know a few have already complained about a $50 drop in price. I think the most telling will be when the 8" model is released before the holiday season (as per Window Super Site). People seem to get too caught up with smaller devices and then say this is too much. Sure, it would be wonderful if the new model was $349, but why? Unless you want a totally crappy touch-screen laptop, what else packs what you get with Windows RT? I think people also forget that Microsoft could just charge $100+ less and then make us pay for Office. How would Microsoft stand apart from iOS and Android if it launched a $349 10" tablet without Office? Microsoft wants to position itself as the tablet capable of using a real productivity suite plus consumption access. If they don't lock people into getting Office, they can't really make that claim anymore. I suspect the first "big" Surface hit will be the 8" model since it seems to becoming the most popular choice and will likely be cheaper than the $349 Surface RT.

They make $900 million loss on Surface RT and what do they do? They release a successor rather than concentrating on the Surface Pro and its successor.
Microsoft, I often think you are a bunch of nutcases.

Microsoft really needed to make a budget, sub $300, tablet. An 8in surface at $249 would have been perfect.

I said it once on another blog, and I'll say it again here: Thoughts on the Surface from me? Apple, unless you start adding file management capabilities AND FREE (that means not paid) iWork with your iPad, you've got a major contender on your hands. People don't want just an oversized iPod anymore. *shrug*...oh yeah, and GO MICROSOFT!

Will both of them support LTE? If so, I'll be torn between the Surface 2 and the Lumia tablet...

I pre-ordered a Surface RT last year.  It was too expensive, too slow, the built-in apps were poor, and there was a dearth of 3rd party apps.  There were also very few competing Windows 8 devices.
Surface 2 is what Surface needed to have been last year:  Fast, full HD, and apparently a decent Mail app coming in Windows RT 8.1.  The third-party app situation is still poor.  Why weren't there announcements today of key new awesome RT apps?  Where is Quicken?  Where is MineCraft?  
And the price is not $449 unless you don't get the keyboard.  
Unless there are some key app announcements in the next couple months, I will have to move to a full Windows 8 mobile device.  There are just too many things my Surface can't do.
Last year was "preorder".  This year is "wait and see".

Thats why it was a 1st gen device lol....Look at every 1st gen device, the iPad etc...the App market sucked on the ipad when it was first released.   
FYI - Dont get a first gen device and expect it to be the best. 

The first iPad has laid the foundations and proved that a tablet is a convenient device to use, by the time the 2nd gen was unveiled there were more apps than on the Surface now (really great apps and reading newspapers/magazines was awesome on the iPad). In 12 months it became popular, while the Surface didn't.

If Microsoft wants to win back the love of the people who dove in and bought Surface RT last year at pre-order, they should offer at least $150 trade-in.  

They should have replaced it with Surface 2 in June and pretend the 1st gen has never happened. If my company would have lost $900 000 000 on a product I would know what was the fault. RT sucks and people were disappointed, the app store isn't blooming so a different approach is necessary. Content (and popularity) is king.

Microsoft tablets has a great potential worldwide, but need better strategy for distribution, for example, here in Brazil you'll find only android tablets at main retailers.

What makes it "pretending" the Haswell CPU? or the 4GB/8GB of RAM? or the 64GB 128GB 256GB 512GB of SSD?

So....what about the Surface Book?  That's what I really want, any new rumors or announcements?

From the looks of things, it seems like a fine device, but honestly, I don't think the Surface 2 RT will move the needle on sales past what the Surface 1 did.

I was thinking about this... you know.. if they made a WACOM style drawing blade cover for this thing.... that would be a total game changer.  They need to get super creative and agressive with the covers.  That's the key to differentiating from the iPad.

Part of the big problem now is, it's a big branding and mindshare competition.   And few do branding and advertising better than Apple.   We all know Microsoft can't really market to consumers effectively, so sales for the Surface 2 will suffer as well.
And every time you see a commercial run or a billboard, for a service or product , and an iOS and Android app is promoted, without mentioning Windows anything, it's another knock in sales for *both* Surface and Windows Phone.

I really like the look and feel of the Surface but their situation isn't different except that now many potential customers have heard bad things about the RT. I don't want Office pre-installed and without it the Surface 2 with 128GB is worth $599 + $50 for the touchcover, that's a nice REAL value of this device.
Not a penny more should be spend on this hardware/software since there is no content/apps and functionality that you get with other notebooks or tablets. They're lucky that this can be easily fixed a month after the premiere and it'll have only a positive effect. 3 simple steps: Release the 128GB option, drop the price of the keyboards (it's worth noticing that those are compatible with only this device), uninstall Office and adjust the price accordingly. People that bought the version with Office in October/November will have the Office so it's not a quick price drop that will make them feel cheated. Also - if porting the apps from WP store and making them universal won't help to boost interest then it's a dead end, it's finished, goodbye and forget about it. Period.

I dont understand people complaining about storage .... you forget that it comes with 200 GB with skydrive ... Thats insaneeee !!!!!!!

In the few days since the Surface 2 launch, my interest in the Pro has dropped substantially. It is just too expensive for my use case. If you CAN stand W8.1- more appealing options either are (or soon will be) available from other venders.


If Microsoft want people to BUY BACK into their vision, for business or personal computing; they will have to price it lower. At this level Microsoft are making the Apple options look like good value; which is a staggeringly bad message from Redmond.


Bare in mind Microsoft have almost lost their blanket dominance, in the home and personal markets, already; because of iPad. In Business, the iPad has been a huge success. Which will also start to win people over to Macs in that market. Microsoft really NEED a strategic approach to fight that trend. In a bizarre way, Microsoft's biggest help has come from Apple; who seem totally disinterested in dominating the Laptop market through volume sales.

Around over 60% of the tablets sold are Mini size 7"-9".   I sure there will be some that buy a Surface but many like me want a tablet for surfing the internet and to be uses an e-reader.  16:9 is just not good for that.
I have an iPad Mini and it just fantastic for that.  I going to upgrade to the Mini 2 in October/November.

Microsoft is to set in it own design for tablets that are obsolete in form factor.  I think they are 2 year too late in the trend.  10" 16:9 are not selling now. 

I'm so glad they'll release it in Germany at launch. I wanted to buy Surface Pro 1 because of the pen, but the battery life hold me back. My friend wanted the Surface RT just for Office and typing, but the performance hold him back. Now it seems like we'll both get a new device on 22nd October ^^