Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets launch

It's the second coming today. The second coming of Microsoft's Surface tablet that is, specifically with the Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

The designs are largely the same as previous models but the inner working have certainly been given a lift. First up, the big boy, the Surface Pro 2, with its 10.6-inch 1080p screen and a 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor, which boosts the power and speed on the previous model. That chip change also means it runs more quietly and is more efficient when it comes battery life. A 75 per cent increase, apparently, which is impressive if it is the case.

Windows 8 of course, with an improved kickstand (compared to the oft-criticised old one), along with plenty of connectivity - three USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, a mini DisplayPort, ethernet, audio in/out and a charging slot. Yes, it's a tablet, but with the sound of things, this could easily double up as a laptop replacement.

Prices vary for the Pro 2 depending on the configuration you go for, which starts at 64GB of storage and 4GB RAM and tops out at 512GB and 8GB RAM. Those prices are between £719 and £1,439 with sales kicking off in the UK from 22 October.

If that's a bit rich, there's also the Microsoft Surface 2. Again, nothing radical in the design (although it is a bit thinner and lighter), but look at the detail and you'll find a much mow powerful machine. There's now a 1080p ClearType display, an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor (replacing the old Tegra 3), with total speed now three to four times the original model, thanks to that processor switch and other internal upgrades. There's also a new kickstand, along with USB 3.0 onboard and Windows 8.1 running things.

Apps aplenty too, with Microsoft claiming that there are now 100,000 apps in the Windows Store. You also get 200GB of SkyDrive storage, free for two years, which is nice (and also available to the Pro 2). As for pricing, the 32GB model costs £359, while a 64GB model will retail for £439. That will also be available from 22 October, just like the Surface Pro 2.

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