What to Expect From Microsoft's 'Surface 2'

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft will be hoping the second time's the charm for the firm's Surface line of tablet computers. New reports say the Redmond, Washington-based company will unveil the Surface 2 at a September 23, 2013 media event in New York City.

It's not yet clear what Microsoft has planned for its second version of the Surface. However, early reports suggest the device will, like its predecessor, come in two different versions.

New Surface, New Hardware Specifications

That means a Surface 2 Pro will come equipped with Intel's new 'Haswell' Core processor, while a cheaper and less powerful version will run on the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. (Source: cnet.com)

Because both of those processors are built with power consumption in mind, it's expected the new Surface 2 will have a battery life of eight-plus hours.

Bundled software could be a strong suit for the Surface 2. Early reports suggest both versions of the device could include free versions of the Microsoft Office software suite, including Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

The device will reportedly be compatible with the Surface Touch and Type Cover keyboards, though it's expected new versions of those peripherals will be available to consumers soon. (Source: cnet.com)

Several sources claim the Surface 2 will get a significantly better display than its predecessor. Both versions are expected to have full high-definition 1080p screens. (Source: winsupersite.com)

Smaller Surface Coming Soon?

We don't yet know how big a second Surface tablet computer will be, though early speculation suggests the device will be 10.6 inches -- the same as the first Surface.

While there have been rumors that Microsoft is preparing to unveil a 7- or 8-inch tablet (to rival the Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini), Microsoft insider and CNET contributor Mary Jo Foley says her sources have indicated that a smaller Surface won't be part of the September 23 event.

As for the Surface 2's pricing, that remains a big unknown. Given recent and highly-publicized price reductions, it's clear that Microsoft's initial price structure for the original Surface didn't work.

Finally, the Surface 2 isn't expected to hit retailers this month. Instead, it's believed the device will be available in mid-October when Microsoft releases Windows 8.1.

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