It’s no secret that Microsoft has got a Surface 2 announcement headed our way a little later today but what hasn’t been confirmed is just want redmond will be swinging our way a little later today. Stuff is as in-the-dark as anyone else but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few good ideas.
The Surface was Microsoft’s first real foray into the world of tablet hardware and while it didn’t perform as well as Microsoft had hoped on the sales front, they’re going to give it another bash. But what can potential buyers expect with today’s announcement.
The Surface 2 seems to be dropping the ‘RT’ label, though it will in all likelihood retain the Windows RT 8.1 operating system. A new Outlook for Windows RT, changes to settings and performance and closer pairing with Microsoft’s Skydrive seems to be on the cards for the OS on the Surface 2. It will still be unable to run full Windows applications however. The Surface Pro 2 will stick with Windows 8.1.
As far as hardware goes, there are only guesses at the Surface Pro 2’s innards around at the moment. The Surface 2 is expected to drop in Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC (system-on-chip). There’s a tiny chance of a surprise Snapdragon 800 from Qualcomm appearing in the tablet but we’re not expecting it.
A 10.6″ 1080p display, an improvement on the 1,366 x 768 display on the original Surface, is almost a dead certainty for both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0 and microSD support are all likely candidates for Microsoft’s new hardware, as is an 8 hour battery and a Power Cover that further increases the powered-on time for both new devices.
A desktop dock might also be in the offing, allowing the tablet to connect all your usual peripherals and stand in for a desktop PC. The usual run of ports for such a dock are expected, additional USB connections, a mini Display Port and Ethernet connections are probable.
Of course, all of this remains speculation until Microsoft’s official unveiling later on today. Check back with us later to see whether there were any surprises in Microsoft’s announcement.