Microsoft reveals Surface 2 tablet line

$450 Surface RT 2 and $900 Surface Pro 2 will launch October 22.

Microsoft today announced updated versions of its Surface tablet line. The $450 Surface RT 2 and $900 Surface Pro 2 will be available at retailers starting on October 22.

Image credit: CNET

As detailed by GameSpot sister site CNET, the updated Surface RT features a slimmer body, a 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, and a higher resolution screen compared to the original.

Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 feature 1,920x1,080 screens that have been color-tuned for greater accuracy. In addition, both devices sport improved front (3.5MP) and rear (5.0 MP) cameras. The Surface Pro 2, which runs a full version of Windows 8, will continue to be offered in slate black, while the Windows RT Surface 2 will come in a new silver/magnesium color.

Microsoft will also offer a new Touch and Type Covers for the Surface 2 tablets, said to be thinner and more responsive than their predecessors.

"The old system of one sensor under each key has been replaced with a full array of sensors, allowing for partial keystrokes to be counted more easily and accurately, plus support for a handful of gestures," CNET said. "In our hands-on time with the new Touch Cover, typing felt faster, with less latency and with great accuracy, especially when typing quickly."

In addition, both covers are now backlit. Like the original versions, covers for the new Surface 2 tablets will be sold separately.

A Bloomberg report from March claimed the original Surface tablet line underperformed for Microsoft. Price cuts went into effect earlier this year.

For more, check out CNET's coverage of the Surface 2 tablet announcement today.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

246 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

I wonder if those new keyboards will work on the existing Surface line.  It might be a good way for current owners to bump up the battery life on their devices a bit.

RgvXavi
RgvXavi

I own the original MS Surface Pro and, for me, it does all I need it to do exceptionally well. Due to the fact I'm constantly working and all my work PC's run MS os the Surface allows me to work seamlessly from office to home or anywhere with an internet connection. Skydrive comes in handy for file retrieving and editing documents in the cloud so I don't have to worry about a flash drive. However, it's also cool the Surface has a USB port as it is a useful tool. When I just want to play around I'll use my wife's iPad, since the app catalog is larger, but for big boy work I'll take the Surface Pro everyday of the work week. 

Danny_KickAzz
Danny_KickAzz

I think the MS Surface(s) are extremely cool looking devices...overall hardware is somthing not to complain about. They need to offer the touch keyboard for FREE then thaat $500 doesent seem as scary.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i would not mind a surface. just the price of em that kept me away. seeing as we are getting a 2 though probably good to hold off till that one comes down in price. see ms your followers are not as blind as apple ones so we actually look at what you are selling us and look at the whole picture. where as ios bunch just blindly buy ipads with out looking what else is to offer and looking what apple are selling them

Megalod
Megalod

Nvidia Tegra 4, huh? Well, if it could compete with the Razer Edge in terms of raw gaming power then count me in! I wish there were more gaming tablets to choose from, the idea sounds exciting.

mooooo99
mooooo99

i dont think ms is going anywhere, im sure they make a large chunk of their money charging business for the ms licenses and not from retail machines with a preinstalled os.. anyway, these prices are ridiculous, $900 for a tablet?? should be at least $550.. id love to have one but not at that price.. cant see this working out to well, again.. 

dkeppens
dkeppens

No thanks, i already despise having to own a windows based desktop for gaming purposes. I'll gladly avoid all other devices running one of the worst operating systems in existence, anything windows that is

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

I have a RT tablet, the OS is actually pretty good but with some really annoying niggles. The main issue is that the app store is bare, until there is a reasonable ecosystem then I can't recommend it to anyone.

partybro
partybro

seems like a little costly 900 for a tablet, but the surface rt is competitive with other current tablets prices, the only thing the windows is lacking from android and apple is the variety of apps, but besides that the rt is a great tablet

obsequies
obsequies

eco friendly tablets made from unsold and recycled surfaces 

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

damn, MS is really trying to find a base in the hardware world.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

The prices should be $450 and $550.

This is going to be another fail.  Microsoft just doesn't learn its lesson.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

I like how my phone beats all these specs.....

MADDjoe
MADDjoe

Way too much for both these tablet! For that much you can buy 2 awesome android based tablets. Also this article has nothing to do with this games.

rarson
rarson

Windows RT is worthless. Microsoft should just stick to x86 tablets.

xcollector
xcollector

This article belongs on CNET not Gamepost. This has nothing to do with games.

soulless4now
soulless4now

This isn't related to gaming. GS, get it together. 

enoslives7
enoslives7

Microsofty should have given up on the surface turd months ago. They're losing billions.

Granpa0
Granpa0

I don't understand why Microsoft keeps trying to push the RT tablets, when the Atom powered Windows 8 tablets from third parties are infinitely better and cheaper (I know I have owned an RT and a Lenovo Lynx).   I just don't get it.  The RT tablets are utterly useless. 

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

I'd rather have a surface than any android-transformer laptop-ipad-wannabe anytime...

ahpuck
ahpuck

More garbage from M$ no one is going to buy.

theKSMM
theKSMM

@RgvXavi Agreed. The iPad is a better entertainment device, but for doing work, the Surface can't be beat by anything in the tablet space.  And this is also true of the Surface RT.

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

@Danny_KickAzz it needs to be useful - MS really need to crank up the software line up for that thing and find some decent studios. People go to IOS & steam for the apps and software.

MS thought it could leave the system to its own devices and cool stuff would happen. sadly its just being full of trashy apps. not that this isn't happening to IOS but at least its been in the running long enough to attract decent studios like epic.

Megalod
Megalod

Oh, I just checked, the Tegra 4 can't hold a candle to the 640M LE. Too bad, MS, too bad :(

theKSMM
theKSMM

@collingtonuk I think that's a fair recommendation if you include that caveat.  And I'd be willing to bet that with the Office applications and a full IE web browser, your Surface RT can probably do a lot more in the workplace than an iPad or Nexus can.

theKSMM
theKSMM

@partybro The RT should be compared to the iPad; the Pro is less of a tablet than a touch-screen ultrabook, and should be compared to say, the MacBook Air.

surrealme
surrealme

@naryanrobinson The Pro competes with high end windows slates with active digitizers and is actually cheaper by several hundred bucks than any similar spec'd competitor (Asus EP121, Samsung Series 7, Lenovo Helix, etc).

surrealme
surrealme

@RPG_Fan_I_Am Your phone has a core i5 and 4 gigs of RAM and runs a desktop OS? I'm sure you really enjoy using it while riding your unicorn.

theKSMM
theKSMM

@MADDjoe That's like saying that someone paid too much for his car because he could have gotten two awesome mo-peds.

bj91x
bj91x

A PC has nothing to do with games?

Guess I'm doing something wrong.

rarson
rarson

@Granpa0  

They want in on the ARM market, Intel silicon is too expensive. But I agree with you, RT is useless.

godfather830
godfather830

@Granpa0 Simply, it's because they are hedging their bets with an ARM-based OS. They fear x86 might lose the war.

Intel won't go down without a fight. It'll be interesting to watch.

Rammone-X
Rammone-X

@theKSMM @RgvXavi You know I have an iPad 3 and I barely use it. I've been thinking of getting the Surface, but I haven't because I got Win 8 for my PC and so far I've hated it.

But a lot of people tell me that Win 8 really shines on tablet. I wonder if this is worth trying.

theKSMM
theKSMM

@Megalod What is the battery life on the 640M LE like?  That may be a bigger part of its fate than raw performance numbers.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@obsequies @blue_shift_91 

yea, i've heard the same thing said about apple, sony, google, etc.

but still pretty ballsy for someone to predict that one of the largest names in software has no future in software.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

 @surrealme They just don't seem to understand their advantage.  Microsoft has the ideal platform for all the professionals who need to do the "real work" and need Office etc.

Why would someone choose the Surface Pro 2 over a $1000 laptop?  You can push the price up once you've gotten into the market with cheap devices, but Microsoft's tablets are doing worse than its phones, and they seem to be just ignoring all their sales figures.

They have the reserves to drop the price on this thing to get it into people's hands.  There's not many companies that have that freedom.  I don't know why they aren't using it.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

@surrealme @RPG_Fan_I_Am Windows 8 is crap. Also that 4 gb of ram... yea takes 2 gb to run windows 8. Thats more like 2 gb of ram. Plus I have a quad core 1.9 ghz..... O and my camera wins too.... 4g LTE. 1080p display.... Yes my phones better. And My unicorn could use some food if you by chance go out later.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@obsequies @blue_shift_91 

yea, you'd think so. but those exaggerations are really quite never the case, are they? it would be absolutely amazing if windows survived on the gaming audience alone. you can believe whatever you want, but MS still has an edge on ease of use, support, and a wide variety of software (including games). i love linux, but pretending like MS is already doomed or its software is inherently beyond saving is just crazy.

obsequies
obsequies

@blue_shift_91 @obsequies well I was actually serious. The only purpose of windows is gaming. Linux already makes windows worthless. The only people that MS feeds on are gamers who are forced onto the wagon and normal oem store buyers. They have only been where they are because of the internet boom in the 90's and they knew it, hence why they are now into hardware.

surrealme
surrealme

@naryanrobinson My guess is that they're probably already selling the Pro at a loss. I've not bought one yet but I really want one. Being able to use photoshop or painter or zbrush on a mobile device that works like a wacom cintiq would be amazing, plus being able to do all the stuff people normally use tablets for on top. For people like me the value is there. A 12" cintiq for example that only works as an input device and isn't a mobile device at all is over $1100. The main reason you'd buy one instead of a laptop is for the digitizer and being able to use it in the tablet form factor. The Lenovo Helix for example which is a hybrid (detachable keyboard) with similar specs starts at $1400.

The only real non-windows competitor in that space is the Galaxy Note 10.1 ($499), but because it's android the only decent drawing app is Sketchbook Pro. Good for concept work, but not a replacement for working in Photoshop.

I don't think the price of the RT is too high compared to an iPad. What kills it is the lack of a mature app ecosystem compared to iPad and android tablets (and Surface Pro). If they can get people developing for it it has a chance, provided they're willing to continue to lose money on it for a few years, which apparently they are.

ishsgames
ishsgames

@RPG_Fan_I_Am @surrealme Unless the i5 you speak of is a super ultra micro atomic mobile processor then it will not come ANYTHING close to being as fast any mobile or desktop i5s in the market. 

skyman_1981
skyman_1981

@RPG_Fan_I_Am @surrealme 

I work for Samsung and the s4 doesn't have 1080p screen display.  Sheesh.  Oh and the quad core arm cpu can't compare to an i5.  Not even close.  Even iPhone 5s with their dual core and 1 gb of ram spanks anything android does.