Pictured Above: Surface Pro with Type Keyboard
Back in January, Microsoft released the Surface Pro; a tablet that was designed to be your do-all, go-anywhere device. By blending a powerful laptop with the flexibility of a tablet, the device appeared to be a home run for usability and portability. Couple the tablet with detachable keyboards and a stylus, and the Surface Pro should have been a huge hit with the consumers.
Alas, while the Surface Pro looked great on paper, it had a lukewarm reaction with consumers because of short battery life, and the device did not master any single trait. But, just like we already reported that Microsoft is building a Surface RT 2, Microsoft is also building another iteration of the Surface Pro.
The next generation of the Surface is already well underway with many expecting it to arrive around the launch of Windows 8.1. With the Pro being the flagship of the Surface lineup, you would expect Microsoft to up the specs from the previous iteration and that’s exactly what they have done.
While we do not have any information on the launch window, Neowin has learned about the specs that will power the Surface 2.
The Surface 2 will run Intel’s latest line of chips, a Haswell-based Core i5, Neowin has learned from several sources. In addition, the RAM will receive a considerable bump, being doubled 4GB to 8GB. Finally, while the device will look similar to the current Pro, Microsoft has "refined" the kickstand that ships with the device. What the refinement is exactly, we don't have a clear picture yet; it could be a more robust stand that is stronger or one that offers alternative viewing angles, but this is speculation at this point.
Coming with the new Pro will be another media campaign that will again try to raise awareness about the device. Now, we know a new media campaign will launch around the time of the Surface release, but we don’t know if Microsoft will stagger the release like they did with the RT/Pro (RT arrived in October and the Pro in February). Expect Microsoft to take a modified approach to trying to educate the mass market on the benefits of the device when compared to the initial launch and focus more on the features and less on dancing.
The big news, and mostly expected bit of information is the Haswell upgrade, the chip that is designed for efficiency should help to boost the battery life of the Pro, which was one of the weaknesses of the first iteration of the device.
As for price? We are still digging around on this, but we have been hearing whispers to not expect much to change on the Pro side of the equation. That’s not to say that it won’t be lowered/raised but the first Pro already offered a great value, when you consider all that is included, when compared to other market offerings.
All things considered, the Pro 2 is turning out to be more than a modest upgrade over the original Pro. While the exterior will look similar, the specs underneath will drive a serious performance bump.