Microsoft Surface 2: Tegra 4, Full HD Display, $449
Microsoft has unveiled the Surface 2, which sports a lighter and thinner design along with a full HD screen (the same as on the Surface Pro 2). Because there's a Tegra 4 chip under the hood, you get 72 cores of graphics performance for games such as "Halo: Spartan Assault," even while running other apps side by side.
The Surface 2 is made of two pieces of magnesium, which allowed Microsoft to make the walls of the product thinner. The new white color of the device is designed to show off the sturdy mag frame more.
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The camera on the Surface 2 is 5 times sharper, but Microsoft is touting the enhanced front camera more for Skype calls. A new third-inch sensor with a unique lens helps you make video calls in very dim lighting. Surface 2 owners will offer free international calling and free Skype hotspot Wi-Fi for a full year.
The new Surface 2 also promises to deliver 25 percent longer battery life. Other enhancements include double the bus speed for Wi-Fi and memory, and USB 3.0, rather than USB 2.0 on the previous version.
Because the Surface 2 runs Windows 8.1, you can run up to four apps side by side, including Office.
The Surface 2 won't take off without better Windows apps, though. And Microsoft has been working on that. There are now 100,000 apps in Windows Store. Flipboard, Facebook, Mint, NFL Fantasy and more are already in the store or coming soon.
Like the Surface Pro 2, the kickstand can now be set to two positions, which will better help you use the tablet in your lap. Combine that with the new uniformly backlit Type Cover 2 and its built-in predictive typing technology, and you should get a better typing experience.
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