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microsoft-surface-580While the Microsoft Surface RT tablet has not been very popular amongst users, that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from continuing development of the tablet.  The company recently announced their new edition of the Surface tablet, and we will look in depth.

Powered by Windows 8.1 RT, the new Surface 2 brings some new things to the table, but the new changes are likely to go unnoticed.  The average consumer will normally look at the things that are in front of them, such as the UI experience.

The Design…

The design from previous generation tablet has been continued into the newest edition.  The Surface tablet was praised for having a very nice quality built, so it’s good to see that Microsoft has not compromised in this area.  The new Surface tablet sports the same magnesium “VaporMg” casing, with a fresh new silvery color.  The kickstand is something Microsoft really pushed to show, especially in market advertising.  So, in the Surface 2, the kickstand remains, however has 2 angles.  One angle is optimized for placing the device on a table, and the other meant for those times when it is placed in a person’s lap.

The new Surface tablet is also thinner and lighter than the previous generation.  This change may not be noticeable to the average consumer, but for you hardcore guys, may be a decision maker.  The new tablet weighs 675 grams, has a thickness of 8.9 millimeters and is only 5 grams lighter and 0.1mm thinner than the previous Surface RT.

The Display…

The Surface 2 sports a beautiful high-resolution display to surely attract you.  It has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and the company’s ClearType technology is also implemented in the display.  The 10.6-inch display is great for watching movies, playing games, looking through photos, or just surfing on the internet.

The Processor and Memory…

Microsoft has improved things under the hood of the Surface tablet.  The new Surface tablet sports a new NVIDIA Tegra 4 (T40) SoC with a 1.7GHz quad-core CPU, an improvement from previous gen NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30).  Comes with 2 GB RAM which will provide great multitasking without delay, seeing as Microsoft does a well job integrating hardware with its software.

The Surface 2 base model comes with 32 GB internal storage.  For an extra $100, you can pick up the 64 GB model.  Remember that even though it says 32 GB or 64 GB, system files will use a portion of that storage.  The Surface 2 tablet comes with microSD card slot which allows you to add up to 32 GB additional storage.  This was a huge deal when Microsoft first release the tablet because users were essentially being cheated due to system files taking up so much space that there was not a lot left for customers to use.

The Camera…

Microsoft has done well to improve in this area as well.  Doing away with the 0.9 mega-pixel camera in the previous Surface tablet, the company has made quite the upgrade in the Surface 2.  The new tablet comes with a 5 mega-pixel back camera, with a 3.5MP front-facing camera. This is great improvement and is sure to provide good quality photos.

The Software…

The Surface 2 comes with a updated version of Windows RT.  The new version 8.1 brings a host of new improvements to the tablet.  Improvements such as in multitasking, cloud connectivity, personalization, and so on.  For software availability, there is now a broader selection of built-in apps, and among them is the Microsoft Office 2013 RT pack, which includes Word, Excel, and Outlook 2013.

Now here’s a deal that many consumers may not want to pass up.  For those interested in getting the Surface 2 tablet, Microsoft is giving you a nice bonus.  Those of you who use Skype a lot, especially for international purposes, the company is including one year of free international calls to over 60 countries worldwide (landlines only).

Something that really disappointed a lot of people is the fact that you can’t run legacy software on the RT tablet.  Currently, there are about 100,000 or so Windows RT apps available from the Windows Marketplace.  While this isn’t a small figure, however, this is nothing compared to the app market availability on Android and iOS.

The Battery Life…

Microsoft has also made some improvements in this area.  The company said that the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet will offer 10 hours of video playback, stand-by time between 7 to 15 days, and fast-charging back up to 100% between 2-4 hours.

The Price And Final Word…

The Surface 2 tablet starts off at $449, which is priced to compete with the likes of other competitors such as Apple and Google.  While the new improvements are very nice, attractive and will bring in business, the app market is something that will hurt Microsoft’s business.  With the holiday’s right around the corner, the company did well to introduce the tablet at a perfect time.

Do you think the new tablet will perform well?