The Surface RT's full-fledged Pro counterpart just got an update. Today, Microsoft unveiled the follow-up to that x86 / Windows 8-compatible tablet: the Surface Pro 2 and it still comes with a stylus. According to Microsoft's claims, this new tablet boasts 50 percent more color accuracy, better graphics performance, an improved speaker setup and some speed gains -- it's purportedly 20 percent faster than the original.
For those wondering, the Pro 2's display has been kept consistent with the original, which means it remains a 10.6-inch 1080p panel, and it's even been ported to the new Surface 2. Battery life has gotten a significant 75 percent boost as well thanks to the 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor inside and now runs much quieter. The Surface Pro 2 can also be paired with Microsoft's new Power Cover to give the tablet 2.5x its standalone battery life or the Type Cover 2, which is now 1mm thinner and backlit.
The kickstand has also been revised for the refresh, as it's now a two-stage affair, addressing the issues many users had with the old Pro's awkward angle. As for ports, Microsoft says the Surface Pro 2 is loaded up with support for three USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, audio in/out and, of course, charging. The Surface Pro 2, when docked, can output up to a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution on an external display and is capable of editing 6K video, backing up the company's repeated assertion that this tablet is actually a "full power PC."
Pre-orders for both of Microsoft's next-gen Surface tablets go live tomorrow, the 24th, at 8AM EST with units set to ship to 21 markets on October 22nd. Pricing for the base Surface Pro 2 (i.e., 64GB / 4GB RAM) starts at $899 (the same as the original Pro), although that retail sticker shock will climb depending on the model -- it'll be available in configurations of up to 512GB / 8GB RAM.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2See all photos