Microsoft today announced that the second generation of its Microsoft Surface family of tablets. It also announced new accessories for the Surface tablet computers, including a pressure-sensitive DJ controller.
Two new Surface models, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available at Microsoft retail stores and retailers in 22 initial markets. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 benefit from improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution and to the Kickstand.
The first generation of Microsoft Surface devices failed to make a dent in the popularity of iPad and Android tablets. Will Microsoft have more success this time around? Check out the details and let us know what you think!
Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, making apps run faster and smoother and increasing battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback. The 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p video and its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 for up to four times faster file transfers.
Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both capable of capturing 1080p video and featuring improved low-light performance.
Surface 2 will ship with Windows RT 8.1, bringing improvements in key areas such as personalization, search, multitasking, built-in apps, the Windows Store experience and cloud connectivity.
Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations; pricing will start at $449.
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface Pro and, like its predecessor, is intended as a laptop replacement, capable of running virtually all your Windows software.
Surface Pro 2 is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 75 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro.
Starting at $899, Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8 GB of RAM.
The Microsoft Surface Music Kit
The biggest surprise in Microsoft’s announcements today is the Surface Music Kit – a new keyboard + software combination designed for remixing.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
Experiment with content from familiar and emerging artists or import your own.
Create new music easily using the loop, mute, and solo functions.
Pressure-sensitive pads on the Music Cover control parts of songs, loops, instruments, vocals, hooks, and beats. Sliders adjust volume and FX.
Automatically syncs beats per minute (BPM) and key for seamless mixing. You don’t need to be a pro to sound like one.
The Kit helps you choose which sounds and samples work best with each other.
Specifications and pricing on the Surface Music Kit are to come – so it’s unclear whether this will be purely a consumer-oriented accessory, or if it the keyboard will work with other Windows music apps.