It's no secret or surprise that Microsoft is preparing a successor to its hybrid Windows 8 tablet and freshly leaked details about the Surface Pro 2 have emerged just in time for you to regret the discounted Surface Pro you bought last week. According to Neowin and Paul Thurrott, the next Surface Pro will ship with improved specifications including a Hawell-based Core i5 CPU.
Shifting to Intel's fourth-generation Core chips will obviously be snappier than existing Ivy Bridge-based Surface Pros, but they should also help improve the system's battery life -- the lack of which being a primary complaint about Microsoft's first attempt. The Surface Pro is limited to about five hours of usage, while its follow up will reportedly provide up to seven hours.
Microsoft will also ship the Surface Pro 2 with more memory than its predecessor had at 8GB versus 4GB, though that's as much as anyone is willing or able to share about the device's internals. Externally, you can reportedly expect a "refined" integrated kickstand with multiple positions, while the system's overall aesthetics should remain largely unchanged from today's model.
As for the most important information -- when it'll be available and what it'll cost -- we don't know and we don't know. Neowin says Microsoft is readying a media campaign -- perhaps for Christmas, which happens to be a perfectly sensible time to sell your new product, not to mention that Windows 8.1 is slated for a mid-October release (Friday the 18th if you want to mark your calendar).
As for pricing, we can't see Microsoft getting away with charging more than it did for the original Surface Pro ($899-$999) and asking any less wouldn't put enough of gap between generations without further reducing the cost of its older models. If a $1,000 SKU is inbound, it would be nice to see it come with a Touch/Type Cover of some sort out of the box at a discount, however slight.
Microsoft also plans to use Nvidia's Tegra 4 SoC in an updated Surface RT that will simply be called the "Surface 2," while a 7-inch "Surface mini" is expected to target the Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7 and iPad mini. With a Surface refresh, a Windows update, a new Xbox and internal restructuring that includes Ballmer's departure, the folks in Redmond are in for a hectic holiday 2013.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
The Google Nexus 7 is the first Google tablet and is manufactured in partnership with Asus. It features a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and a Tegra 3 SoC which itself comprises a quad-core CPU and twelve-core GPU. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, also you get a front-facing camera and ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
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