Microsoft unveils Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 with impressive new accessories

Microsoft has unveiled its new line of tablets with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 (above) launched at an event in New York City with the latter promising 60 per cent longer battery life.

The new slates, which will go on sale later this month, represent to company’s second excursion into the tablet market and the Redmond-based firm promised the two have vastly improved performance compared to the previous range.

Microsoft call the Surface 2 “the most productive tablet for personal use”, and it is lighter, thinner and quicker than the original Surface. There is a new silver colourway to go with the original black one and a 10.6in 1080p ClearType display. Microsoft has also “dramatically” increased the performance speed of the CPU as a result of a new NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor.

As far as software is concerned it runs on Windows RT 8.1 and ships with Outlook RT as well as the other four Office apps. The tablet has free Skype calls to landline numbers in 60 territories and Skype Wi-Fi access free of charge, as well as 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. It comes with either a 32GB or 64GB memory and starts at $449 [£279] with preorders getting underway tomorrow.

Microsoft also dropped the curtain on the “true laptop replacement” Surface Pro 2 that is powered by a fourth-generation Intel “Haswell” Core i5 processor that brings increased performance and up to 60 per cent more battery life than the Surface Pro. The device comes with a redesigned kickstand that means it can be propped up at a 55 degree angle as opposed to just the 22 degree angle on the first Surface Pro.

The dimensions are exactly the same with a 10.6in screen and it benefits from the Skype and SkyDrive extras that ship with the Surface 2. When it comes to price, it starts at $899 [£599] and stretches all the way up to $1,799 [£1,120] with 64GB and 128GB memory sizes with 4GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB memory capacities with 8GB of RAM.

A number of new accessories were also announced at the event with the Surface Pro Docking Station bringing a raft of connectivity improvements to the device. These include three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, audio in and out, and a MiniDisplay port and costs $199 [£124].

As well as that there is the Touch Cover 2 that is thinner and lighter than its predecessor with backlit keys and a higher number of sensors. The company also added a Power Cover to dramatically improve battery life when out and about with all the new accessories available to preorder alongside the new tablets tomorrow.