Microsoft is hoping that the second time’s the charm with its Surface tablet. The company on Monday announced its new Surface 2, a Windows RT 8.1-based sequel to the Surface RT that will launch on October 22nd and will sell starting at $449 for the 32GB model. As expected, the new Surface will feature a 10.6-inch 1080p full-HD display, a Tegra 4 processor, a USB 3.0 port, a 25% improvement in battery life and a redesigned kickstand that will provide better “lapability” for people who want to stand the devices up in their laps. Microsoft claims that the device will be three to four times faster than the first-generation Surface RT. The device will also ship with the full Microsoft Office suite — including Outlook — and will come with 200GB of free cloud storage on SkyDrive.
Microsoft also unveiled its new Touch Cover 2, a new version of its soft click-in keyboard that measures in at 2.5 millimeters thick and features a whopping 1,092 integrated sensors, a huge increase from the 80 integrated sensors featured in the first-generation Touch Cover. The new keyboard has a predictive typing feature that corrects common errors made on keyboards and also features gesture support.
Preorders for both the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 will start on Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET.