Redmond has this morning revealed the Microsoft Surface family of tablets is growing, introducing two new Surface models, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, to the market.
Along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, which will be available at Microsoft retail stores, Redmond says the devices will go on sale across 22 markets initially on October 22.
They include, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the US and Canada and the United States, with additional markets to be revealed in the coming months.
"We've definitely gotten a year smarter," says Brian Hall, general manager of sales and marketing, Surface.
The software giant says the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 each benefit from significant updates.
Such improvements include upgrades to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand, now with dual angles, so it’s more comfortable for you to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk.
Also, enhancements in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customisable according to the release.
"Surface 2 is the most productive tablet for personal use," Microsoft says.
"It offers all the entertainment and gaming capabilities you expect from a tablet, along with the ability to get work done."
Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, Microsoft says the result is faster apps and increased battery life of up to 10 hours for video playback.
The 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p video, and its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 for up to four times faster file transfers.
Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both capable of capturing 1080p video and featuring improved low-light performance.
Even with these and other upgrades, Redmond claims the Surface 2 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor.
Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations.
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface Pro and, like its predecessor, runs virtually all your Windows software including the full Microsoft Office suite, as well as apps from the Windows Store.
"The device offers the portability and simplicity of a tablet when you want it and the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it," Microsoft says.
It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 60 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro.
Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8 GB of RAM.
Surface2 32gb $649
Surface2 64gb $799
Surface Pro2 128gb $1449
Surface Pro2 256gb $1879
Touch Cover 2 $184.99
Type Cover 2 $199.99
Arc Touch Mouse ‘Surface Edition’ $104.99
Car charger Accessory $79.99
Surface Pro Dock (backwards compat.) $309.99