Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 now on sale

Summary:Microsoft's next generation tablets are now available online and in retail stores for consumers in 21 countries.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft's latest ARM-powered tablets, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, are now on sales in stores and are available for pre-order from the tech giant.

Microsoft announced on Tuesday that both tablets -- plus a variety of accessories -- can now be purchased directly from the Redmond giant or resellers and third-party retailers in 21 countries.

The Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 can be bought from countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The tablets will be available in China early next month.

The Surface 2 tablet, successor to the Surface tablet, is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor and comes equipped with a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display for 1080p video playback, a USB 3.0 port both a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera. The Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations and starts at $449.

The Surface Pro 2 tablet is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and has a battery life up to 75 percent longer than its predecessor the Surface Pro, according to Microsoft. The tablet is available in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM, or 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8 GB of RAM. The Surface 2 starts with a price tag of $899.

Some of the accessories now in store include the Touch Cover 2, a Power Cover that extends battery life, a docking station for the Surface 2 and a USB car charger.

To drum up interest, Microsoft is offering free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype Wi-Fi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hotspots for one year, and 200GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.

However, according to sister site CNET's Nick Statt, the midnight launch of the tablets in the Microsoft Store's San Francisco location in the Westfield Center -- one of 10 locations holding launch events -- may have been loud and enthusiastic, but the customers were few.

Topics: Microsoft, Microsoft Surface

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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