Microsoft has unveiled its next generation of Windows-powered Surface tablets at an event in New York.
Called the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, the tablets will run the updated Windows 8.1 operating system and will go on sale 22 October.
Financial reports in July suggested Microsoft had lost around $900m due to poor sales of its original Surface tablets and the company slashed the price by around 30 per cent in worldwide markets.
The Surface Pro 2 has the same ClearType HD display as its predecessor and Microsoft’s vice president for Surface, Panos Panay said: ‘We spent more and more energy to bring this thing to life.
‘We added 46 per cent more colour accuracy to the screen.’
The rear of the Surface Pro 2 has also removed the Windows logo and replaced it with the word Surface.
Panay told technology site The Verge that the Surface Pro 2 is 20 per cent faster, and Microsoft has added 75 per cent to its battery life.
Panay also showed off a range of new Type Covers in purple, pink, black and blue. The Type Cover 2 is backlit, but dims if it’s not used for nine seconds.
Before the event, analysts predicted Microsoft would follow in the footsteps of Apple, which traditionally puts the features of its previous high-end models into the next-generation lower-end ones.
During the unveiling of the Surface 2, Panay confirmed this by saying: ‘This product really is a revamp. We’ve increased the CPU speed dramatically.
‘We’ve revamped the product so you can see the true magnesium of the product coming out.’
He also announced the 10.6 screen is now full 1080p ClearType display, as seen on the Surface Pro.
The Surface 2 runs Windows 8.1 RT version – a scaled-down version of the full operating system that has been designed specifically for mobile devices, in a bid to make them quicker and more efficient.
Windows RT was criticised when it first introduced on the original Surface because of compatibility issues with certain programs and accessories, as well as the effect it had on battery life.
It is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which Microsoft claims will make apps run ‘faster and smoother’ and increase battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback.
Additionally, the Surface comes with a 3.5MP front-facing camera, optimised for Skype, and a 5MP rear camera.
Microsoft is also including free Skype calling to landlines 60 countries and free Skype WiFi at over two million hotspots for a year, as well as 200GB of SkyDrivestorage for two years to anyone who buys the device.
Both Surface devices will be available for pre-order from 24 September and will go on sale on 22 October.
Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB models and starts at £359, while the Surface Pro 2 comes in 64GB and 128GB versions and starts at £719.
source: dailymail UK