Microsoft's Surface 2: New reports on Surface RT's successor

Microsoft's Surface 2, a minor upgrade to the current Surface RT, could hit the market in time for holiday 2013, according to the latest leaks.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is readying not one, but two new Surfaces for this holiday season.


The Haswell-based Surface 2 Pro is the successor to the Surface Pro, according to sourced reports. And the NVIDIA Tegra 4-based Surface 2 is the successor to Surface RT, according to new leaks from Neowin.Net and the Windows SuperSite on September 9.

The Surface 2 runs on ARM, just like the Surface RT, and thus runs the Windows RT operating system. (It will be the Windows 8.1 RT variant, sources have said.)

Otherwise, the 10.6-inch Surface 2 will look almost identical to the current 10.6-inch Surface RT. It will use the same VaporMg case and work with the current Surface Touch and Type keyboard/covers, as well as some of the coming, new Touch and Type ones. (Surface 2 isn't expected to work with the rumored Power Cover, however.)

Sources say battery life on the Surface 2 will come in around eight hours -- about the same as current Tegra 3-based Surface RT device. The Surface 2 is rumored to have a USB 3.0 port, support for 802.11 Wi-fi (no built-in LTE) and Bluetooth. It will ship with versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that have been compiled to work on an ARM-based device.

The Surface 2 will support 1080p/full HD, sources told Neowin and the Windows SuperSite. (The current Surface RT has lower resolution, at 1366X768 pixels.)

There's no word so far on how much the Surface 2 will cost. After the latest round of price cuts, Surface RT starts at $349. With a cover/keyboard bundled, Surface RT pricing starts at $399.

Microsoft officials aren't commenting on anything to do with the unannounced Surface products.

Microsoft took a $900 million Surface RT write-down in its fourth fiscal quarter of 2013. Despite that fact, Microsoft has no plans to dump Windows RT or its ARM-based Surface line of tablets. Nokia is also working on a new ARM-based tablet, codenamed "Sirius," which is expected this holiday season. Microsoft is increasingly pushing its ARM-based Surfaces as head-to-head iPad competitors, but which include features that enable their use in business situations.

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