Microsoft’s Surface 2 launch: What to expect

On Monday, September 23, Microsoft will be launching (but not shipping) its next-generation Surface tablets at an invitation-only event in New York City.

In the past few weeks, lots of leaks have revealed much of what’s expected to debut at the launch. Although Microsoft officials haven’t commented on or confirmed these specs, I’ve heard and seen information that leads me to believe they are correct.

The new Surfaces are going to look almost identical to the current Surfaces, as they are going to use the same 10.6-inch screens and VaporMg casing and be compatible with the same snap-on keyboard/covers that the current Surfaces use.

They will have the same number of USB ports and they won’t support LTE, just WiFi. The Surface 2, the successor to Surface RT, will be an ARM-based (Tegra 4) tablet with an estimated eight hours of battery life. It will feature a new ClearType full HD display, the one that debuted on the Surface Pro earlier this year. The Surface Pro 2, the successor to the Surface Pro, will run an Intel Core i5-based Haswell processor, and allegedly get seven hours of battery life instead of just four to five hours.

Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott has the full list of expected Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 specs, including weight, thickness, ports, etc.

The more interesting part of Monday’s Surface launch, in my view, are the new Surface peripherals. In spite of Microsoft’s claims last year that the company had no intentions of making a Surface Pro docking station, they built one. The new Surface docking station is expected to work with Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 models only. It is expected to include one USB 3 and three USB 2 ports, according to leaks.

And the expected Surface Power Cover — a thicker version of the Surface Type cover/keyboard, is coming, too. This cover will include a built-in battery that will extend the battery life of Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 devices by some (still unknown) amount. I’m expecting new Touch and Type covers in a variety of colors at Monday’s launch, too.

The Surface Pro will continue to start at $799. Surface Pro 2 will start at $899 for a 64GB version, according to the aforementioned source. There will be 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB models available at $999, $1,299 and $1,699, respectively, according to this source. see more at: zdnet