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Reminder: You can now pre-order your Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2

Yesterday was a big day for Microsoft, unveiling their follow ups to last year’s Surface tablets. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 look to shake things up by building off of a solid foundation started in 2012, now powered by Windows 8.1.

While both devices remain at the same price points, the have improved substantially. The Surface 2 is now lighter, thinner and sports a 1080P display while the Surface Pro 2 has upgrade graphics, processor, better display, higher quality speakers and more than double the battery life.

That’s in addition to the newly re-worked kickstand, power connector and all the other refinements added to the updated Surface series (plus all of those accessories).

Customers can now head to the Microsoft Store to start the reservation process:

The pricing, as reported yesterday, is as follows:

Surface 2 (Windows RT 8.1)

  • 32GB - $449
  • 64GB - $549

Surface Pro 2 (Windows 8.1 Pro)

  • 64GB/4GB RAM - $899
  • 128GB/4GB RAM - $999
  • 256GB/8GB RAM - $1299
  • 512GB/8GB RAM - $1799

Both devices are expected to ship on October 21 and should be on your doorstep on the 22nd. For a full list of country availability for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, see our earlier coverage.

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Reader comments

Reminder: You can now pre-order your Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2

114 Comments

I have to agree.
 
I just got back from my local Microsoft Store.  Both new Surfaces are pretty amazing.  They had both on display so people could touch and feel it before it's generally available in late October. 
 
The Surface 2 is a huge improvment.  It feels lighter, and wow it's super fast.  That screen is gorgeous too.
 
The Surface Pro 2 also seems lighter, tho that;s probably a combination of the Type Cover 2 being thinner.  These are some killer pieces of hardware.  The 2-stage kickstand is really great.

Surface 2 should be very well in the college campus. You just can't find a better keyboard than the Touch Type 2 to be used in the classroom.

Oh, that would be a extra $1000... So, you're looking at a $3000 tablet... At least that's how MS would price it..

The price wouldn't be much higher, the base i7 retails for slightly more than the i5 in the SP2. The real problem comes in the heat generated by the hotter running CPU, leading to severely reduced battery life, larger size due to cooling concerns and a hotter tablet in general. Just a terrible idea all around.

i7 on a tablet isn't happening at a decent battery life. I would have rather have an i3 instead of the i5. This tablet is ridiculously faster than any android (even nexus yah) or ipad that you really don't need an i5 or i7. at that point, you're asking ultrabook...which BTW, they should make a surface book already.

The choice for i5 over i7 comes down to battery life.  The i5 balances cpu power and battery life.  The i5 is a fine CPU for this device.  Guaranteed if they put in an i7 you'd do nothing but bitch about the battery life.  Just sayin.

So if it came down to the new Lenova Yoga 2 with the i7, 256gb, 8gb ram and what ever graphic chip it has would you guys still get the Surface pro 2 with an i5 and similar specs?

The MS accessaries make the Surface Pro 2 more attractive, especially the docking station, the wireless keyboard adapter and great selection of detachable keyboards.

Microsoft is so ridiculous. Announce a Device today then release it 30 days later. By then we've already seen something better that costs less. They never learn.

I guess that's another way of looking at things. I'm of the opinion that Microsoft doesn't really want to succeed in the Tablet space (as they keep pricing themselves out of the market) but rather their OEM Partners do the succeeding with similar spec devices for much less.

The only difference other OEMs offer atom chips which are crap and the system bugs down under simple load as watching HD movies, take a look at iconia w3, cheap but it bugs down and needs a reboot often.. Myself being a designer I'm interested for one simple reason, pressure sensitivity in most graphic software. Its a cheap Wacom tablet with a computer built in.Plus i5 can pull intensive software as autodesk maya, and AutoCAD.That's the only reason I ordered mine.

Think again when you look at Thinkpad2. It costs just 499 but comes with full windows 8 pro and 10 hour battery and stylus pen. Performance is decent and its super light (1.2lbs which is less than ipad4). For browsing its very good. I recently bought it for 199 with ipad trade-in program. Can't beat that price :).

Like I said, pressure sensitive, ThinkPad doesn't come with that. Surface pro is the only alternative to a wacom tablet, wacoms sell for 1-3k and that's only a screen. I could care less about battery life, and how good it is to brows the web. I can brows the web from my 920 just fine.

Im sure you are correct.  Im just disappointed in Microsoft on so many diffrent levels.
I currently own a Kindle Fire HD 8.9in LTE Device and let me tell you nothing microsoft did yesterday has convinced me of getting a Surface 2 anytime soon.
I recall when Amazon announce their Tablets then spent so much time telling us about the great content available on the device whether that be Books, Magazines, Newspaper, Games, Apps, Music, Movies & Shopping. That is what convinced me and millions like me to purhcase the Amazon Tablet. Not because they sold me on specs but becasue they sold me on the lifestyle of all my content under one roof and in a neatly packaged device that had 4G LTE out the gate all for $399.00.
But what did Microsoft do? Took the opportunity to brag about specs not once mentioning "any" content consumers want to hear about then crowing that the device is $450.00.
Even Nokia gets it. They dedicated resources to getting exclusive content for their Lumia Line of Phones, so that they stand out from the HTCs & Samsungs. Maybe Mr Elop is the right man for the job afterall.
Looks like the Only Microsoft proucts worth purchasing this holiday are gonna be my XBox One and the Lumia 1520 (works for me).
 

This applies only if they the consumer is debating iPad, android tablet and windows 8 (RT) and considers them all equal. We all know they are not equally functional nor do they serve the same basic needs. That's why different communities exist. Someone who is considering a Surface is not going to be able to do everything on the other platforms. Period. The converse is also true.

Except for the outrageous price,,, nothing better than the SP2 is coming out in the next 365 days... Surface tablets are one of a kind so they don't fall susceptible to this...

Bold claim. Apart from the accessories the tablets themselves are nothing extraordinary (good build quality but same internals as other tablets) and could definitely be surpassed within a year. I expect the Lenovo Yoga to be just as big a seller as the Surface Pro.

30 days after announcment isn't crazy.  And at least they opened up pre-orders the next day to capitalize on any hype.  In any case, its way way better than 6 months or whatever gap between Surface 1 announcment / release (even longer for Pro version).

Might be because the General Availability date of Windows 8.1 is Oct. 16. It is not good for MSFT to start to sell devices with Win 8.1 before other PC manufacturers can.

Hmm.  Did they really just screw up that specs page (in the store) or does the Surface Pro 2 actually have worse cameras than the cheaper Surface 2?  Says "Two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing" vs. "Two video cameras on front and back, 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera".  720p is 0.9MP...

Yes, the Pro 2 (stupidly) has the same worse cameras as the Pro 1.
 
The Surface 2 has upgraded cameras that are supposed to be drastically better than those in the Pro 2, Pro 1, and RT 1.

Trying to figure out what graphics it has. One site says 4200, another says 4400. Wondering if it can do any gaming.

They said battery life was their top priority, so for that you go with i5 not i7.

I use a lot of i5's, especially in my Ultrabooks. Zero complaints about speed.

The price is mostly due to the 512 GB SSD, those are still pretty expensive, the sweet spot for anyone not doing quite serious work on the Surface Pro will probably still be the 128GB model.

It was painful, but I went with the 256GB model simply to get 8GB of memory. If they had a 128GB model with 8GB of memory I would have easily gone with that.

Same here, 128GB would have sufficed for me, but I need that 8GB of RAM for coding, running the WP emulator et cetera.

You don't even need the 128GB model because the micro SD slot will accommodate up to 512GB. You get 200GB of Skydrive for two years. That's plenty of storage. 64GB is more than enough or 95% of the people buying this tablet.  

The 128 GB model will cover most use cases where people want to actually install something to the SSD. Installing programs to an SD card will just end in tears.

You could buy a 512GB SSD with the difference between the 256GB and 512GB model. This Apple-like idiocy. Shame on you MS, shame on you.

Lenovo's IdeaPad Y510p has a 1 TB SSD and is retailing for less. It also has a better graphics card and has an i7. I don't get why MS is pricing this way.

Edit: I misunderstood when I read the spec sheet on the Lenovo. It has a 1TB HDD with a 24GB SSD, my bad.

Ehm, the Y510p has a 1TB 5400 RPM HDD. It also has space for a large discrete GPU. So it's probably one of the worst comparisons to the Surface Pro ever.

No way the Lenovo has a 1tb ssd. They probably have a 1tb 5400rpm drive with a 32gb ssd for the OS and maybe some caching of data

I seriously doubt it has a 1TB SSD drive and sells much less than the surface pro 256GB SSD. The cheapest I found a 1TB SSD was on newegg for $599. If so, the unit must be lacking on other items.

yes 128 fully loaded will give about 50 GB free and with 200GB SkyDrive will be just fine for even serious users.

The lowest TDP i7 is 35W, more than double what the i5-4200U in the SP2 which is at 15W. I.e. the i7 would run much hotter, louder and draw more power so less battery life. Which is kind of essential in a portable device.

Also, a battery life claim for the Surface Pro 2 is conspicuously absent on that specs page.   They only list idle battery life.  Brilliant...

Eh, you should always wait for reviews of devices before making decisions based on battery life. OEMs are notoriously shady about providing solid usage models for their battery-life tests.

Yeah, I know those claims are almost always outright lies, but would they make a claim for the Surface 2 but not the Surface Pro 2?  Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.  My guess is it's because they only really improved idle battery life, and if you actually use the thing it's not much better than before.  But we'll see.

battery life depends on settings and usage but it does bother me that I've heard 2 seperate battery life statements on the Surface Pro 2 which usually means its a "need to waait and see" situation. Not that it matters but I've heard "double the battery life of the Surface Pro" and "50% increase" which would mean 6 hours instead of 4 hours for me.

In your list for the pro you have:

  • 64GB - $899
  • 128GB - $999
  • 256GB - $1299
  • 512GB - $1799

It would be nice to include RAM as well, which was a curiousity that I went off to find out about.
(Storage/Memory)

  • 64GB/4GB - $899
  • 128GB/4GB - $999
  • 256GB/8GB - $1299
  • 512GB/8GB - $1799

Its not just the SSD, it is also the size of the SSD.  And given how thin the tablet, that is one small SSD.  There is also a thermal issue.

All the manufacturers play this game on upgrades from the base model. The 512 GB SSD does not cost $500 more than the 256 GB one. They charge you for the upgrade as if they were taking out the old drive, throwing it away and then putting in the new drive. Lenovo did the same thing on a laptop I was looking at recently. They charge $100 to go from a 500GB hard drive to a 1TB hard drive when the cost differential is way less than that.

Why not offer a sex-when-you-want card? That seems more useful (and enjoyable to her, unless you're doing something wrong)

I hate to say this but why is Apple the only one that gets processors right. I don't understand why all of the windows based Ultrabooks use the HD4400 instead of the HD5000. The i5's are essentially the same CPU wise, the one with the HD5000 is just slightly less powerful but the GPU is 30-50% faster.

The HD5000 isn't 30-50% faster, more like 2-40% faster depending on the application. That said, it would have been nice to have a more modern integrated GPU for the Surface Pro 2.

Because Apple is the Walmart of the Tech world and muscle and bully there way for pricing. Unless the Surface 2 takes off like Xbox did years ago, Microsoft does not have pricing power. Also, Apple signs contracts to prevent certain components from being used during a certain time period.

You have to sell a lot of units to get costs down

though I love the new surfaces alot and though the clam as the fastest might be true  for now , I got a felling that this time , ms is just trying to jump the gun a bit, I got a feeling by the time Oct rolls around that every one else would have announced they're offering and ms spec wise is gonna be in the middle somewhere, and theres gonna be several tablet that out do ms's offerings this go around. like for instance i7's in same price ranges as ms's surface pro, I got a feeling that half of what ms specs , like say faster lighter, etc will apply to all new tablet, thing like docks etc will apply to all them, obviously they all will have haswell, snapdragons, etc. So they all will do 1080p, and have better battery life, I think also there will be some i5's that are fanless, etc. One example would be the nokia tablet. 

I think the main appeal if the Surface is design, not specs. No other tablet is as well designed or functional, so they charge a premium.

I wish I could get one, but there are birthdays this month and next and Christmas coming up. It's gonna have to wait until I can save up after that...

ordered 256GB SSD / 8GB RAM model. thanks to the fact MSFT had given me a 150 dollar credit due to a late Lumia 1020 shipment, I was quite happy with the price. No other ultrabook or macbook comes close to this level of performance and portability. I just hope the battery life is indeed 75% better as they say and that the power cover puts me over the 8hr limit.

Given Microsofts numbers the SP2 should be around 10h for low-intensity usage (i.e. light reading/browsing, going from Anandtechs benchmarks for the first one) and the power cover should put it over 15h. But we'll se for sure when the reviews start coming in in two(?) weeks.

I currently own a SP1, the SP2 fixes all my complaints, namely:

Low volume on speakers, Difficult to connect power, Heat, Ram, Battery life.
Those were my main complaints with 1, and they've all been addressed in 2, plus it's got a faster CPU/GPU (but i was happy with what's in sp1 as is, so this is even better).

I Pre-orded the 256GB SP2 in order to get the 8gb RAM, if 128GB was available with 8GB id get that instead.

I also didnt order the new Type Cover, becuase i desperately want the new power cover, so ill use my exsisting Type Cover for now until the Power Cover and Docking Station are released, at which point ill imediately click the buy button.

The backlit touch and type covers are fantastic. I ordered 2 32GB S2's to replace our kids S1's and the backlit keyboards will be ordered as soon as they enable the colors. Love 'em. Great needed update. Lastly my S1 64GB will be replaced with a 64GB S2. No need for the pro for me. Great stuff.

Man, I wasn't even interested in the Surface 2, but it's looking better and better.  I don't use a lot of programs anyways and all the built in programs is what I use most.  I think I'm going for the Surface 2 and I would've said that a couple of days ago.  

You know, that is very cool, great shot, I think after I signed up for wpcentral this was one of the photos on the Bing page that was submitted by users and selected, I loved the colors, wanted something unique for my icon. I am saving your website and I will check out your other photos!

Does the pro have the Dolby speakers? Because in some ways, the RT 2 is better because it has better cameras and dual microphone, so I don't know if it has the upgraded speakers.

Would love to reserve but I'll be buying my Surface 2 during the month of November.
Still excited!

Problem with the microsoft site couldnt order. On the phone with Microsoft for two hours this morning, they still couldn't get my order to go through. Just headed to the best buy site and purchased. What idiots!!! This is why Apple is leading, jeez they can't even get their site to work, not to mention the idiot i dealt with on the phone.

OMG, Microsoft is actually letting you pick which cover, Touch or Type, that you want to get with your Surface 2!!!!  They're not forcing you to buy the Touch cover even if you don't want it!!!!  Marketing genius!!!!

The Surface Pro 2 is one of the candidates on my finalist list.  But the accessaries they have introduced got me to think more seriously now about the SP2.  The docking station, wireless keyboard adapter, the improved keyboards make SP2 stand out from other W8 devices.  The new class of plug-in peripherals, Surface Blades, they have introduced is specially interesting.  They can keep building all sorts of entertainment or business blades that will keep expanding the Surface tablets' values no other competitors can match.  So basically, when you get a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 now, it is just a begining.  The music cover is just one example.  They can come out with things like Piano Keyboard Blade, Gaming Keyboard Blade, different language Keyboard Blades, etc.  MS or the third party can build different functional blades for different businesses to improve their productivity.  If you don't want to miss out some of the potentially useful Blade peripherals, you may be better off to stay with the Surface tablet line.  It seems you will get better support in the long run.  So don't just look at the two tablets by themselves, you should also consider all the accessaries and the new blades which can surprise you in the future.  It is like getting an electrical drill now and expand its functions later by adding different attachments.