All Hands on Tech: Microsoft Surface 2

    Microsoft’s flagship hardware for Windows 8 is here.

    Microsoft broke into the tablet market one year ago with the Surface. Now its sequel is here with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

    The new Microsoft Surface updates the Surface RT tablet. It runs a fresh operating system with Windows 8.1 RT. Aside from being a bit slimmer and sleeker than last year’s model, it now comes in black and silver. The pre-loaded Microsoft Office software is still here, and now includes Outlook RT.

    The Surface Pro 2 is a faster version of the Surface Pro. It’s the same size and weight, but has Intel’s new Haswell Processor and an improved graphics chip. Microsoft says the battery life is improved to last for nine hours instead of five. Surface Pro 2 ships with the full version of Windows 8.

    Both versions of the Surface have a new kickstand that snaps out at two different positions. Either the 22 degree angle – good for viewing a video or web browsing – or the 55 degree angle, better for typing.

    There’s three different keyboards attachments you can use with the Surface. A couple are familiar from last year. The touch cover is the thinnest. The Type Cover is bulkier but offers tactile feedback. A new Power Cover gives you both those tactile keys and an extra battery to power your tablet for longer.

    The Surface 2 starts at $449 for the 32 GB version. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 for a 64 GB version, but you can get as many as 512 gigabytes for $1,799. Both went on sale October 22.