The new Surface 2 Pro slate from Microsoft looks a lot like its predecessor, but with lots of changes under the hood. A few numbers you'll be seeing a lot: the Surface 2 Pro has 50% more accurate colors on the display, 50% faster graphics, 75% more battery life and 20% better overall performance than its predecessor. Thanks to the new hardware the Surface 2 was able to play, fast forward and edit hassle-free 6K videos. It also supports external displays with resolution of up to 3840 x 2160.
Microsoft Surface 2 Pro is powered by Intel's (fourth generation) Core i5 4200U chipset and has a dual-core 1.6GHz processor with multi-threading and a maximum turbo clock speed of 2.6GHz. Also included are Intel HD 4400 graphics and either 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM.
Also new for the Surface 2 Pro is the new two-stage kickstand that should ease your work with the slate when you lean it on your lap.
The front of the Surface 2 Pro is occupied almost entirely by the 10.6-inch 1080p ClearType display. The unit used for the Surface 2 Pro (and the Surface 2) has 50% more color accuracy when compared to the previous generation Surface Pro. The display also supports pen input with the bundled Surface Pen.
The capacitive Windows key and the 720p camera for video chats are just below and above the display, respectively.
The back of the Surface 2 Pro has another 720p-capable camera and the kickstand. The microSD slot is below the kickstand.
The left side of the Surface 2 Pro has the 3.5mm audio jack, the volume rocker and one USB 3.0 port.
The right side hosts the mini DisplayPort, the docking station pins and one of the speakers.
The bottom of the tablet has the pins for the Touch, Type, Remix and Power Covers, while the lonely Power/Lock key is at the top of the Surface 2 Pro.
The Surface 2 Pro is made entirely of magnesium and looks really beautiful, especially when you attach one of those colorful covers. The magnesium will help the slate survive a few close encounters with the floor and it also won't attract as much fingerprints and smudges as other materials.
Microsoft Surface 2 Pro runs on the latest Windows 8.1 Pro version and comes with deep SkyDrive integration plus 200GB SkyDrive free storage for two years. Microsoft is also giving you free Skype international calls and Wi-Fi for one year. Unfortunately the MS Office 365 suit has just one-month free trial and then you'll have to either buy it or use its subscription plans.
Microsoft launches pre-order campaigns for the Surface 2 Pro in 21 markets tomorrow, while the tablet will ship a month later - on October 22. The 64 GB model costs $899, 128GB price is $999, the 256GB edition is $1299 and the 512GB Surface 2 Pro is priced at $1799. We guess these prices are for the 4GB Surface 2 Pro slates, and you'll have to add a good $100 more if you want 8GB of RAM.