This week Microsoft announced the release of their next generation of the Surface tablet family. There is a little confusion here regarding the two – very different tablets so here are some details to consider.
The Surface 2 is built around an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which increases battery life to up to 10 hours and makes apps run faster and more smoothly, according to Microsoft.
It has a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display.
Both the Surface 2’s 3.5-MP front camera and the rear 5-MP camera can capture 1080p HD video; both have improved low-light performance.
Surface 2 will ship with Windows 8 RT 8.1, which offers improved personalization, search, and multitasking; built-in apps; and cloud connectivity.
The Surface 2 will include Xbox Music for streaming songs and an updated video app, and it will come preloaded with Microsoft Office RT, including Outlook RT.
Be aware that the Surface 1 and 2 tablets cannot run Windows applications, only apps written specifically for the “RT” software. This is the software (apps) available directly in the Microsoft store. Think of the iPad. This is exactly the same limitation.
The one I am really excited about it the Surface Pro 2 which is built around an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor.
It has a 512-GB flash hard drive.
Users can snap apps side by side, and open as many windows as they need.
The Surface Pro 2 has a pressure-sensitive Surface Pen with palm-blocking technology. It has a 1080p HD screen.
Both tablets have a full-size USB 3.0 port, an HD Video Out port, and a microSD reader.
Both tablets come with one year of free calling to landlines in more than 60 countries; free Skype WiFi at more than 2 million hotspots worldwide; and two years’ free access to 200 GB of additional storage on SkyDrive.
With the Surface family knowing the details is critical before making a purchase. Theerefore consumers should examine their specifications and limitations before purchasing either tablet.
Although Microsoft Office is include with the Surface 2 there is some functionality limitations.
Microsoft Office for the Surface Pro 2 will be sold separately, so factor that into your calculations, however you will be able to install any Windows application on the tablet, which is a huge plus. Think of an iPad with any Windows program you would like available on the tablet.
The Surface 2 will be offered in 32-GB and 64-GB configurations. Pricing will begin at $450.
The Surface Pro 2 will be available in 64-GB and 128-GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM, and 256-GB and 512-GB versions with 8 GB of RAM. Prices begin at $900.
Accessories are not included of course in this pricing and there are many new accessories being offered with these new tablets, which were previously unavailable before. two of the new accessories I am most excited about is a “charging keyboard” and “docking station” (above).
The Surface 2 (RT) is still priced a little higher than it should be, especially if Microsoft is hoping to steal some of the Android market share on the consumer side of tablet sales. The Surface Pro 2 is an improvement on the already great hardware from the initial Surface Pro tablet however it is a couple of hundred dollars more then the RT version.
I don’t believe you can think of the Surface Pro 2 as a tablet. It is much closer to a really good ultrabook or small laptop. If you travel or if you simply want to get work done on the smallest form factor possible without giving up power, the Surface Pro 1 and 2 are excellent options.