Surface specs, power cover and other info ahead of tomorrow's announcements

Tomorrow morning, Microsoft will pull back the covers from its upcoming line of Surface 2 tablets. But if you want to get an early look at what the new devices will include, Neowin was able to exclusively unveil most of the vital information about the tablets and their accessories thanks to our trusted insiders.

Read:

While that is all the known information, we thought it would be fun to highlight a few more updates we expect to see if not tomorrow, in the near future.

Microsoft is working on an updated Type Cover that will, for the first time, likely be offered in a range of colors. Neowin has seen a blue and purple Type covers, and we suspect there will be many more in the pipeline. After all, it's simply plastic, making an new color is only a slight change to the manufacturing process.

There also may be a white/silver Surface 2 floating around; we have heard from two sources who say the product exists, but we do not know if it was only for prototyping or if the new color will be coming to market.

Microsoft may have a few other surprises for the press-only event, including an additional peripheral or two that we have been hearing through the grapevine but nothing concrete to go on at this point. Our sources indicate the rumored 8-inch, ARM-based Surface won't be among the announcements made, however.

Neowin will be in New York tomorrow to cover the announcements. Make sure to check back often, as the Surface 2 event will be one you won’t want to miss.

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I would say depends on MS marketing. they sucked last year on Marketing and planning. this year the planning is right but marketing remains to be seen. potentially even surface RT is better than the competition

I'm actually excited about Windows 8.1. It's actually decent looking compared to 8.0 which is garbage. 8.2 will probably be awesome as Cortana will come with it.

CygnusOrion said,
I'm actually excited about Windows 8.1. It's actually decent looking compared to 8.0 which is garbage. 8.2 will probably be awesome as Cortana will come with it.

For me,it is almost the same as W8 in terms of UI.

Reading the above comments and yes it must be the marketing. If only MS has better or different marketing then MS would get more traction with Surface and Windows Phone. It simply cannot be that people prefer not to have a surface or windows phone, it can't be that people want iPads and Android tablets over Surface, it can't be that people want iPhones and android phones over Windows Phone, Microsoft could not have got these products so wrong that people just don't want them enough.

i think this year Microsoft will pay more close attention to fine details that scare people away such as what they did on 8.1 which I think is an absolutely good job. Mirosoft's Marketing has always sucked. the only thing is People should get to a point that realize even Surface RT is better than ipad and android and apps are not as important as Apple and Google wants you believe they are/
Surface Pro II in my opinion will be an absolute success as for me I skipped original Surface Pro waiting for this. because original Surface Pro had deal breaker problems such as battery life which isn't the case any more.

I am waiting on Surface Pro with 10-12 hours of battery life, weights somewhere around 1lb to <1.5lb, hard drive capacity starting 128GB, 256GB, 500GB. I hope we're not too far from it! If the Surface Pro 2 can deliver somewhat close to the above specs, I am sold!

haswell will give 40% boost which will give around 7 hours but adding power cover to the equation I am hoping somewhere between 10 to 12 hours, fingers crossed

That's What I am waiting for. and I think with combination of haswell + power cover it should get somewhere between 10 to 12 hours. fingers crossed. I am getting one anyway. I just hope the wacom pen holder would be more secure than current surface pro.

So basically you know nothing more than you did a month ago but need a way to post links to your previous posts about the new Surface and Surface Pro?

They seriously need to add unique features to try and differentiate themselves from the competition. Xbox 360 Game streaming from the Cloud on ALL Win8/RT powered devices would be a great start.

SCOOBY_666UK said,
They seriously need to add unique features to try and differentiate themselves from the competition. Xbox 360 Game streaming from the Cloud on ALL Win8/RT powered devices would be a great start.

Hello! 2 position kickstand!

Actually it will be the other way around in the future… WP will cease to exist and will be fully replaced by WRT…

WooHoo!!! said,
Surface RT should basically have been Windows Phone 8.

Yeah no. Windows RT can do a lot more than WP. All they need to do is unify the API for modern apps. Make it so a WP app will run on Windows even if it isn't optimized for big screens, just like how Android handles it. Same app runs on both you just need a different layout XAML file for phone vs tablet/desktop/etc

I don't know if Surface 2 Pro will be a failure, after all, Win 8.1 is better than Win8 and with better spec and better batterie, it could be the perfect X86 tablet.

The failure is the Surface 2 (RT), with the suggested price of $499 for the 32Gb and $599 for the 64Gb, same price that failed to sell the first gen Surface. I hope it's not true, I hope MS will sell it at the current reduced price.

Is the ecosystem THAT MUCH better one year later? Other than Office, USB port and real Internet Explorer, what does Surface has that iPad or any Android tablet does not? Why would MS think that, this time around, customers WILL want to pay full price??

Edited by TruckWEB, Sep 22 2013, 8:25pm :

TruckWEB said,
Why would MS think that, this time around, customers WILL want to pay full price??

While I get your point about advantage of surface Pro over RT (since also I will get a pro) I firmly believe that If Microsoft Advertise RT right this time for example emphasis on key point as you mentioned Legacy driver support or USB port or Office built-in or Internet Explorer with plugin support. They will successfully convince people that Surface RT is indeed better than ipad or android which it really is. Only thing android and ipad have over Surface is lots of apps which half of them are crap anyways. Real point is Microsoft should say OK you need pandora App? go to pandora.com. you need facebook? go to facebook.com. This is why Microsoft's Marketing team should play an important role because market is saturated and people are literally acting like sheeps following each other without doing actual research.

While 8.1 is an improvement I don't think there is enough there to make Windows RT painless to use for the masses.

Lack of apps aside, your still stuck with this Frankenstein OS on a restrictive platform that to the average person looks like it should work like normal Windows.

Another massive ad campaign is not going solve it. Unless they are hiding every popular app until launch I don't know how they are going come out looking any better than the failure last time.

WooHoo!!! said,
While 8.1 is an improvement I don't think there is enough there to make Windows RT painless to use for the masses.

Lack of apps aside, your still stuck with this Frankenstein OS on a restrictive platform that to the average person looks like it should work like normal Windows.

Another massive ad campaign is not going solve it. Unless they are hiding every popular app until launch I don't know how they are going come out looking any better than the failure last time.

Facebook, FlipBoard will be available around 8.1 launch time and Amazon Instant is coming at some point. Also Mail is greatly improved in 8.1, so much improved it is my favorite mail client out there.

I do agree though, they need more apps and to fix the music app.

incendy said,

I do agree though, they need more apps and to fix the music app.


First of all music app in 8.1 is awesome, is the best music app I have ever used anywhere. I am so sorry I keep hearing this as if you guys have never used windows 8 on a tablet. Lack of apps, really? you got a full featured desktop browser even on RT that supports flash and silverlight. what else you want? facebook? go to facebook.com, pandora? go to pandora.com and if you want multi-task use desktop mode browser. how hard is this? you can even pin a webpage on start. no app is more powerful than the website. I know that you have native code runs faster and blah blah. but, unless every company release an app for their service on their website (which is a standard way of accessing their service or products rather than non-standard way of native apps.) you cannot always rely on apps anyway. so the best way is still browser and surface has the best browser. period

Edited by trojan_market, Sep 23 2013, 1:30am :

trojan_market said,

First of all music app in 8.1 is awesome, is the best music app I have ever used anywhere. I am so sorry I keep hearing this as if you guys have never used windows 8 on a tablet. Lack of apps, really? you got a full featured desktop browser even on RT that supports flash and silverlight. what else you want? facebook? go to facebook.com, pandora? go to pandora.com and if you want multi-task use desktop mode browser. how hard is this? you can even pin a webpage on start. no app is more powerful than the website. I know that you have native code runs faster and blah blah. but, unless every company release an app for their service on their website (which is a standard way of accessing their service or products rather than non-standard way of native apps.) you cannot always rely on apps anyway. so the best way is still browser and surface has the best browser. period

The music app is pretty bad, even on 8.1. interface is faster but the gutted all the channel and playlist features. You can't even see top songs at his point.

as far as other apps go, there are many I would like, especially Paper and TWC internet cable app. Also would like the Cox TV app and HBOGO.

Internet Explorer 11 is an awesome browser. I really like it but if you play music and switch to another app it stops playing the music. And Flash support is welcome but it doesn't work well with touch. For example try to play Words With Friends using touch on ie11.

HBOGo is another example of an app that is terrible to use with touch.

I use Surface Pro as my primary device for everything, I love it! But I also see the shortcomings it has for many users.

trojan_market said,

First of all music app in 8.1 is awesome, is the best music app I have ever used anywhere. I am so sorry I keep hearing this as if you guys have never used windows 8 on a tablet. Lack of apps, really? you got a full featured desktop browser even on RT that supports flash and silverlight. what else you want? facebook? go to facebook.com, pandora? go to pandora.com and if you want multi-task use desktop mode browser. how hard is this? you can even pin a webpage on start. no app is more powerful than the website. I know that you have native code runs faster and blah blah. but, unless every company release an app for their service on their website (which is a standard way of accessing their service or products rather than non-standard way of native apps.) you cannot always rely on apps anyway. so the best way is still browser and surface has the best browser. period

Surface RT doesn't support Silverlight which is a right headache for say Sky Go which is very popular.

There is niggles here and there. Printer support, software quirks like I had some issues with pdf's but couldn't try out a proper version on RT. These things add up and just grind you down. Very frustrating.

stevan said,
So what will happen if this one is a failure as well?
Three strikes and your out! They would give it one more try with the Surface 3.

stevan said,
So what will happen if this one is a failure as well?

I honestly don't think RT has a future now that intel has come to the party with the clovertrail and baytrail chips.

The truth is the surface pro2 isn't going to be a run away success either but im willing to bet they sell more this time around, and so fourth. WIndows isn't going anywhere and finally the tech and price are right for tablet PCs to really take off.

stevan said,
So what will happen if this one is a failure as well?

Well define failure? Surface, minus the marketing, has been profitable from the start. The ROI on Xbox, on the other hand, despite all these years, is still in the red. Would you consider it successful?

AWilliams87 said,

Well define failure? Surface, minus the marketing, has been profitable from the start. The ROI on Xbox, on the other hand, despite all these years, is still in the red. Would you consider it successful?

A huge writeoff is a failure.

stevan said,

A huge writeoff is a failure.


It was a write down, not write off. You always have to write down inventory following a price reduction. They didn't lose actual money in terms of cash flow. And despite the write down, the Surface still has a +18% profit margin.

stevan said,
So what will happen if this one is a failure as well?

failure? I don't think so. this is surface RT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9somrcpcuF4

let alone surface pro that I know many people are in love with, as for me I am so picky but surface pro II is definitely going to be my buy day 1. lighter, faster, more battery life and more battery life with power cover and dock station.

trojan_market said,

failure? I don't think so. this is surface RT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9somrcpcuF4

let alone surface pro that I know many people are in love with, as for me I am so picky but surface pro II is definitely going to be my buy day 1. lighter, faster, more battery life and more battery life with power cover and dock station.

More people watched that video than bought Surfaces

stevan said,

More people watched that video than bought Surfaces


The problem is Microsoft's marketing sucks and they admit it. but it doesn't alter the fact that surface RT is the best amongst android and ios tablets. there are more videos watch them all, you will see.

I disagree. MS marketing doesn't suck.
RT failed because it only ran tablet apps. People don't need another iPad.
Pro failed because it couldn't quite replace a laptop due to battery life and running Win 8 in business world isn't accepted yet.

I see companies warming up to Win 8 and with much improved battery life, Surface Pro 2 could be a winner. I just don't see Win RT going anywhere.

stevan said,

A huge writeoff is a failure.

I disagree. That 'failure' allowed Microsoft to give great Surface deals to students in my country. I'm starting to see a lot of Surface RTs around campus. Word is getting out because Surface RT is now cheap. And isn;t that exactly what people wanted? Everyone was complaining that Surface should be cheaper. So MS doesa writedown to make it cheaper and then everone is saying it is a failure.nBut this so called failure is getting interest from consumers which will also make people aware of Surface 2.

Will this be the one? Can Microsoft afford to have two consecutive years of failure with their tablets? I still don't know who is making the pricing decisions over there. Yes the Surface has Office, but the average consumer can give two schts about Office on their tablets. They need to price these aggressively or else this will be another mediocre release. They also need to stop giving Apple free advertising with their iPad bashing commercials. They need to focus their energy elsewhere because "it ain't working".

Edited by JHBrown, Sep 22 2013, 7:09pm :

Yes, they can afford to have multiple years of 'failures' - low sales - with the tablet as long as they are getting out there. When the devices finally become worthy of the $499 price tag, people wont 'scht' themselves because of a price increase on the similar device. Complaining about prices being too high is getting seriously old. Buy something else instead.

Thankfully they're not the only company making tablets and other devices. The store is tied to every Windows 8 device, so they will get out into people hands, regardless of Microsoft's sales. The store is continuing to improve all the time. In the end, Microsoft has their halo device that they can charge what they want for to compete in a similar fashion with Apple and has other's like Samsung and Dell that can create new devices any time at multiple price points.

Maybe I hang in business circles too much, but iPads are considered viewing toys. I don't want Office on my Xbox either. However, for business users, MS Office is ubiquitous. Every high school has classes in Office. I don't see classes about jacking around on iPads.
The problem is market fit. Microsoft needs to convince business that they can give up their HP laptops and replace them with Surface 2 Pro. Surface Pro's battery life and Windows 8 Pro OS were the two biggest barriers against business adoption.
For now, I'd abandon the consumption device market and focus on the business market that wants to be productive.
Oh, and get Windows Phone OS and Win RT merged for God's sake.

Not excited. Unfortunately it will be the same failure. A year ago it was overpriced and underspecced. This year the same. They havent caught up in any way.
sad.

dopydope said,
Not excited. Unfortunately it will be the same failure. A year ago it was overpriced and underspecced. This year the same. They havent caught up in any way.
sad.

You think $499 is overpriced?

AWilliams87 said,

You think $499 is overpriced?
Its overpriced in an Apple/Google saturated market. If they want these things to sell, they need to give consumers a reason to leave Google or Apple. Office is not a good enough reason, USB ports are not a good reason. Pricing is one way make consumers do a double take.

JHBrown said,
Its overpriced in an Apple/Google saturated market. If they want these things to sell, they need to give consumers a reason to leave Google or Apple. Office is not a good enough reason, USB ports are not a good reason. Pricing is one way make consumers do a double take.

So you think the answer is to lower price?

The touch cover must be the obvious differentiator and be offered for free or a vastly reduced price. The type cover and battery cover should be the only premium.

Advertising the hell out of it with touch covers then asking the consumer to fork over 100 bucks more for what seemed like part of the deal is a bad approach.

Hardware is better built than cheap tablets besides specs last time but they should offer good specs now so premium price is fair for certain. Surface is great quality and solid.

AWilliams87 said,

So you think the answer is to lower price?

Either they start offering some really unique and useful features (they can't in the short term), or increase the number of quality of apps (they can't force that either) or what is left is just lowering the price or improving the hardware.

They should also really make up their mind about the whole desktop experience on a tablet: either they keep it and allow native third party apps (with of course restrictions to prevent apps from trashing the OS install) so it can be properly used as a desktop/notebook replacement or just scrap the whole desktop part altogether.

francescob said,

Either they start offering some really unique and useful features (they can't in the short term), or increase the number of quality of apps (they can't force that either) or what is left is just lowering the price or improving the hardware.

They should also really make up their mind about the whole desktop experience on a tablet: either they keep it and allow native third party apps (with of course restrictions to prevent apps from trashing the OS install) so it can be properly used as a desktop/notebook replacement or just scrap the whole desktop part altogether.


Well they do offer unique features: The touch/type cover, kickstand and office. Reverting back to price competition is counter to Microsoft's new company-wide strategy.

AWilliams87 said,

Well they do offer unique features: The touch/type cover, kickstand and office. Reverting back to price competition is counter to Microsoft's new company-wide strategy.
They do offer unique features, but that still didn't translate to good sales.

JHBrown said,
They do offer unique features, but that still didn't translate to good sales.

No, but it affords them a higher profit margin, even at the cost of lower sales.

dopydope said,
Not excited. Unfortunately it will be the same failure. A year ago it was overpriced and underspecced. This year the same. They havent caught up in any way.
sad.

I don't think its over priced. as for surface RT, it has the best tablet browser with flash support (yes processor is a little bit underpowered but is not the case anymore with this year's boost.) remember software optimization is equally important which in case of android device never been the case. ipad is the same price but let's see what surface has.
1. multi monitor support, you can literally use it as a mini computer.
2. same printer and other peripheral driver support as windows.
3. Full Office and Desktop Mode for MS apps.
as for surface RT watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9somrcpcuF4

as for surface pro its a whole new level, Its a full powered PC/Tablet. Last year Surface pro had big problems (low battery life and heavy weight and getting hot) which Surface Pro II with haswell processor and power cover is going to solve. I am so optimistic about surface Pro II specially because I am definitely getting one. Its best of both worlds.

dopydope said,
Not excited. Unfortunately it will be the same failure. A year ago it was overpriced and underspecced. This year the same. They havent caught up in any way.
sad.

Even if under powered or underspecced it still offered features that neither Apple or Google have been able to accomplish. I could hook mine up to a hub, connect a wireless keyboard and mouse, external hd, using a 24 inch LCD display run Skype, a movie, and office.

francescob said,

Either they start offering some really unique and useful features (they can't in the short term), or increase the number of quality of apps (they can't force that either) or what is left is just lowering the price or improving the hardware.

They should also really make up their mind about the whole desktop experience on a tablet: either they keep it and allow native third party apps (with of course restrictions to prevent apps from trashing the OS install) so it can be properly used as a desktop/notebook replacement or just scrap the whole desktop part altogether.

They have plenty of useful and unique features that are true selling points. The touchcover is definatey one. Office is another. When Im sitting in the lunchroom with my Surface Rt with blue touchcover I'm defintely turning heads. A lot o people hae asked me if I have one of those Windows 8 tablets. So I tell them it'actually Microsoft's own tablet and they can get it for cheap.

That 900 million dollar write off that led many to consider Surface a failure is also an investment in the future. It allowed Microsoft to sell Surface RT for 210 euros via student discount website here in the Netherlands. And it is constantely outsold. Innetially they planned 2 shipments from the states but now they're at 5 and they have also started selling Surfacd accessories.

I agree that something ha to give in order to make people want Surface. But the main issue is awareness. And now thanks to the Surface RT deals people are getting to know Surface. And 500 dollars for Surface 2 is justified considering what you;re getting.

The Surface changes the market though from the current Apple/Google one. It's no longer just a tablet to mess about on, but a fully-fledged computer (for the Pro) anyway. This can replace your laptop and considering you can plug in a monitor (or two) it can even replace your desktop. While Metro apps aren't there yet against Apple/Android the fact you can run Office, Photoshop and other full desktop apps and games makes it for a lot of people a far more interesting and useful device than a tablet. I totally think it's worth the money, indeed I think it's cheap.

WooHoo!!! said,
Advertising the hell out of it with touch covers then asking the consumer to fork over 100 bucks more for what seemed like part of the deal is a bad approach.

THIS.

When most people find the iPad to be a satisfactory experience (for whatever reason), you need to provide some incentive. How do you compete with a product consumers have already been brainwashed to believe is perfect? Price.

xpxp2002 said,
When most people find the iPad to be a satisfactory experience (for whatever reason), you need to provide some incentive. How do you compete with a product consumers have already been brainwashed to believe is perfect? Price.

So how cheap should they go? You know you could buy netbooks for $199. Why not just buy those?

Kibito87 said,
Underspecced? So 4gb Ram and i5 Processor is underspecced. What's mid range to you?

I was talking mostly about the RT one. IMO the Surface Pro is actually decent.

It's simple. If you want to disrupt an established consumer market, the only way is the price. MS should price old RT at $250 and new ones $350. Then it will sell. Of course you will still find people who buy at the higher price but you're never going to address the masses. Windows 8 & MS needs mass adoption, right now. It cant wait.
They should give away RT for free for OEM, making money only on the App store sales. And GO CHEAP !!

dopydope said,
It's simple. If you want to disrupt an established consumer market, the only way is the price. MS should price old RT at $250 and new ones $350. Then it will sell.

They should give away RT for free for OEM, making money only on the App store sales. And GO CHEAP !!


Educate us more. Why not give away the new Surface for free! Then they would truly "disrupt the market! Cheap parts, cheap service. Cheap!

Cheap like this laptop: http://technabob.com/blog/wp-c...009/12/Cherrypal-Africa.jpg It's $99. Very disruptive.

LOL OMG I want that !!!

Regarding free surface, MS would have a hard time if they ever did that, from a regulatory perspective.
But we are moving towards a model where the device doesn't really matter from a revenue perspective, but the service usage does. How is google making money off android ? they give it away for free. Same with amazon they sell their devices really cheap.

Anyway, from the mouth of someone smart (i.e. not me !)
http://www.businessinsider.com...-sharp-business-mind-2013-2

dopydope said,
LOL OMG I want that !!!

Regarding free surface, MS would have a hard time if they ever did that, from a regulatory perspective.
But we are moving towards a model where the device doesn't really matter from a revenue perspective, but the service usage does. How is google making money off android ? they give it away for free. Same with amazon they sell their devices really cheap.

Anyway, from the mouth of someone smart (i.e. not me !)
http://www.businessinsider.com...-sharp-business-mind-2013-2

that's interesting, being that Microsoft makes three times more money on Android than Google does. Android is so ubiquitous, yet profits Google only $1 billion.

I unwrapped several Surface boxes but I still haven't found any golden invitation ticket

(the store employees also weren't very enthusiast about that)