It has been over a year since Microsoft made the surprise announcement of their original Surface tablets, marking the first step for the company into a “devices and services” company. The Surface Pro, which runs the full Windows 8 Pro operating system, blends together a powerful laptop with the flexibility of a tablet. However, it also had its downsides, and the biggest complaints users have had was its battery life and its non-adjustable kickstand. It appears that the next iteration of the device, dubbed the Surface Pro 2, is designed to solve these issues. According to The Verge, citing their own sources as well as both Neowin and WinSupersite, the Surface Pro 2 is expected to have the following specification upgrades:
- Intel Haswell-based Core i5 processor, which is expected to add about 2 additional hours of battery life compared to the previous iteration to 7 hours of battery life in total
- Upgrade from 4GB of RAM to 8GB
- Adjustable kickstand, which will support two positions: one traditional “laptop” mode and a new angle that’s designed to make the device easier to use on uneven surfaces
However, in terms of appearance and design, the Surface Pro 2 is expected to look almost identical to its predecessor, which may be a good thing. Microsoft is also expected to launch the Surface 2, the Windows RT version of the tablet intending to replace the current Surface RT (the RT moniker is expected to be dropped). It has been reported that the Surface 2 will run on Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chipset instead of Qualcomm’s in the current Surface RT. Both devices are said to be expected to ship by the end of this year.
Microsoft is also planning a Surface “mini”, which is supposed to be a smaller 7″ tablet intended to go against the iPad mini. No details were leaked regarding this device however.