Microsoft revamps Surface to challenge Apple

Updated: 2013-09-24 10:24


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Microsoft revamps Surface to challenge Apple

Microsoft's Surface 2 is seen during the launch of their Surface 2 tablets in New York Sept 23, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Microsoft Corp. on Monday unveiled two new models of its tablets family, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories here in New York.

Microsoft Vice-President Panos Panay, who leads Microsoft's Surface team, introduced updates of the new models at the event, including improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand, now with dual angles, which makes it more comfortable to use Surface on the lap or at the desk.

Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, making apps run faster and smoother and increasing battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback. Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both featuring improved low-light performance.

Surface 2, which is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor, starts at 449 dollars. Surface Pro 2, designed as a laptop replacement, is capable of running virtually all Windows software including the full Microsoft Office suite, as well as apps from the Windows Store. It's priced starting from 899 dollars.

It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 60 percent longer battery life than the previous model.

Microsoft's Surface team also announced seven new accessories that will make Surface more flexible and more portable, including Type Cover 2 and Power Cover.

Type Cover 2 is now backlit and will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Purple and Black in the coming months. It's also designed to be noticeably quieter when striking keys. Power Cover delivers the same typing experience as Type Cover while extending the battery life of tablets by up to 50 percent.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 can be pre-ordered starting from 8 am EDT on Sept 24 at and Microsoft Stores in the US and Canada, as well as select retailers.

The products will also be available in 22 markets in the world, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States on Oct 22 and China in early November.

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