Surface 2Surface has evolved, with lots of feedback from many of you who have been using it in different ways, at work and at home. If you’d like, you can read the full announcement on the Surface blog. Otherwise, here’s a breakdown:

Surface 2

Let’s start with the highlights of the Surface 2 – this is the evolution of the Surface RT.

  • Thinner and Lighter less than 9 mm thick and under 1.5 lbs
  • The built in kickstand has two positions, this may not sound like a big deal, but for those of us who use the Surface RT regularly this is very good news. The built in kickstand on the original Surface RT was very useful, but there were times I wanted a steeper angle. Those of your, like my wife, will no longer have to use magazines, books, kid’s toys, etc to raise the angle on your Surfaces.
  • Longer battery life (10 hours), personally I found the battery life of the original Surface RT was good enough for me and but who’s going to object to a longer battery life.
  • Stiffer Backlit keyboard. The keyboard is stiffer making it more effective when you have the Surface on your lap. Some of the new keyboards are also backlit. This may not seem like a big deal, but I do find that there are times when I am working on my Surface in a low lighting situation (planes with lights dimmed, hotel rooms with lousy lighting, living room while watching TV) so I was happy to hear about this feature.
  • USB 3.0 – faster file transfers!
  • Widescreen HD display – I do watch a lot of movies and TV on my RT. There’s even an HD video out to connect to big screens.
  • Outlook 2013 RT and Office 2013 RT – Not only do we get Office 2013 RT with the Surface, so you can work in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, we also get Outlook 2013 RT which provides an improved email experience over the original Surface RT.
  • 1 year of unlimited free voice calling landlines and free Skype Wi-Fi at hotspots with purchase (there are some limitations on numbers you can call, but overall, a money saver nonetheless.
  • 200 GB extra SkyDrive storage (long live the external HD?)

Surface Pro 2

Now let’s take a look at the Surface Pro 2 that evolved from the Surface Pro and runs the full Windows 8.1 operating system, and is perfect for running all of your development and testing tools.

  • Faster – the Surface Pro 2 runs on an Intel 5i processor.
  • Longer battery life
  • Up to 512 GB Flash storage – means you can store more files on the Pro
  • Power cover keyboard – this new keyboard cover gives your Surface Pro 2 extra battery life. You can also use the new backlit touch and type covers for your Surface Pro 2 as well. FYI – the power cover keyboard is not backlit (only so much stuff you can fit into a keyboard that thin). These new covers are more rigid so they work better on your lap as well.
  • USB 3.0 – faster file transfers!
  • The built in kickstand has two positions, just like the Surface 2, the Surface Pro 2 has two kickstand positions. Good news for long dev sprints.
  • Write & Draw – You still have an awesome pen drawing experience that pressure sensitive.
  • Widescreen HD display – For when you take a break from work to watch a movie.
  • 1 year of unlimited free voice calling landlines and free Skype Wi-Fi at hotspots with purchase (as above, there are some limitations on numbers you can call,)
  • 200 GB extra SkyDrive storage with purchase
  • Docking Station - The Surface team has also announced a docking station for the Surface Pro 2 so it’s easy to work at home and connect your external monitor, Ethernet, full size keyboard, speakers and other accessories. The docking station will be available in early 2014.

And if music is your passion or you double as a DJ when not working, check out the Surface Remix project! A DJ cover for your Surface.

So the question to you now, how productive do you see yourself with a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2?