Microsoft Surface Event Live Blogby Brian Klug on September 23, 2013 8:59 AM EST
11:38AM EDT - I think we're wrapping up here, off to get hands on shortly
11:33AM EDT - Specs are up, preorders start 9/24 at 8 AM, launch on 10/22
11:32AM EDT - Surface Remix Project being shown off with those buttons being used for more than just QWERTY
11:30AM EDT - We're looking at how the touch cover sensors can be used for other things like instrument control with pressure sensitivity
11:27AM EDT - Looking at a video of Surface 2, coming 10/22
11:24AM EDT - Gestures on top with these new sensors, new experiences beyond just typing
11:22AM EDT - Many more sensors, 1092 sensors in Touch Cover 2
11:22AM EDT - Touch cover is also backlit now, thinner, more rigid, turns itself off when not being used
11:21AM EDT - Going over everything in Surface 2 - price $449
11:20AM EDT - 200 GB of SkyDrive for 2 years with Surface 2
11:17AM EDT - That front facing video demo was pretty compelling, the lights went down very low in here but exposure looked great on the video preview
11:14AM EDT - Unique lens, able to filter light through the product (need more on this), very low light inside the room right now but the video looks great
11:13AM EDT - Looking at Skype now and how the adjustable angle on Surface 2 helps the front facing camera experience
11:11AM EDT - Surface 2 cameras - back camera is better by 5x (not sure what metric they're referring to), front facing camera is improved
11:10AM EDT - Working and playing at the same time on Surface 2 with Spartan Assault next to Office apps as a crazy example
11:09AM EDT - 72 cores on the GPU right now, Tegra 4 in the Surface 2
11:08AM EDT - Looking at Surface 2 running all four Office apps at the same time
11:06AM EDT - Office comes with Surface 2, full Office Suite
11:05AM EDT - 100k apps in the Windows Store right now
11:05AM EDT - Talking about Surface 2 running RT 8.1 and multi user scenarios at home
11:02AM EDT - 25 percent battery life improvement on Surface 2
11:02AM EDT - Also has the 2-stop kickstand for use on the lap, 2 pieces of magnesium, same process as in the past, less display reflectivity
11:01AM EDT - Moved from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 on Surface 2
11:01AM EDT - Screen on Surface 2 is full 1080p clear type display, 3-4 times faster
11:00AM EDT - Added a surface logo to the back, color now shows off the alloy used as well
10:59AM EDT - Doubled bus speed for Wifi, memory, increased CPU speed
10:59AM EDT - "Lighter, Faster, Full HD"
10:58AM EDT - Watching a summary video now for Surface
10:57AM EDT - Vision with Surface was to move beyond consumption and enable creation on a tablet without having to move all the way up
10:56AM EDT - Moving on to Surface 2 now
10:55AM EDT - That wraps up Surface Pro 2 – better display, better speakers, Haswell, and improved accessories
10:54AM EDT - Keyboard is backlit as well, and dims in 9 seconds
10:54AM EDT - Very quiet keyboard, feel but not hear the keypress
10:53AM EDT - Better key switch, full 1 mm removed from travel, Type Cover 2 is now almost as thin as the original touch cover
10:52AM EDT - Type Cover 2 with colors
10:50AM EDT - Optically bonded display with the least amount of reflectivity in the industry
10:49AM EDT - Raw 6K image data, 9x the resolution of Full HD going to Surface Pro 2
10:48AM EDT - Now that RED camera on stage makes sense
10:46AM EDT - USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, miniDP, ethernet, audio, and power in the docking station
10:46AM EDT - Surface docking station
10:45AM EDT - Surface Pro 2 now has all day battery life with the Power Cover keyboard and battery
10:44AM EDT - 30 Whr battery added to the device
10:44AM EDT - 2.5 times battery life from the original device with Power Cover
10:43AM EDT - More battery life - 75 percent improvement in battery life
10:43AM EDT - Surface Pro 2 operates cooler, quieter
10:42AM EDT - Surface Pro 2 now has Haswell inside
10:42AM EDT - Looks like Surface Pro 2 has two kickstand positions now
10:41AM EDT - Able to use it on the knees at a great angle now, evolution of the kickstand
10:41AM EDT - Surface Pro 2 has a tweaked kickstand, more than just 22 degree tilt now, needs to work better in the lap
10:39AM EDT - Improved performance by 20 percent
10:38AM EDT - Increased graphics performance on Surface Pro 2 by 50 percent
10:38AM EDT - Surface Pro 2 is faster than 95 percent of all laptops in market today, it's a full PC
10:38AM EDT - "People love Surface Pro because it's fast"
10:38AM EDT - Dolby Pro 2, better sound with boost, subtle changes
10:37AM EDT - Color accuracy is much better on Surface Pro 2
10:37AM EDT - ClearType HD display, wanted to make it as productive as possible, true to color true to life images, 46 percent more color accuracy
10:36AM EDT - 'Surface Pro 2 has been the best selling device in its class'
10:35AM EDT - Starting with Surface Pro 2
10:35AM EDT - Next generation of devices, two of them, the most powerful professional use tablet will be introduced today in Surface Pro 2, and the most productive tablet with Surface 2, 7 accessories
10:34AM EDT - Working on second gen products for 18-24 months
10:34AM EDT - Just saw Surface Pro 2 flash briefly on the screen
10:33AM EDT - Here we go, getting started
10:29AM EDT - Unfortunately the event venue is below street level so LTE is shaky at best, no AT&T LTE, barely any Verizon LTE, hoping this holds up, if I go text only, you'll know why
10:26AM EDT - Hopefully this time around Tegra on RT does use the shadow core, that'd be my biggest desire from a hardware standpoint
10:24AM EDT - The event gets underway at 10:30 AM so we've got a bit of time still, which I guess we can pass with some speculation. I'd guess Tegra 4, plus possibly a S800 variant for the RT successor, and it's just a matter of which Haswell ends up inside the Pro successor at this point.
10:20AM EDT - There are some Surfaces on the podium, are any of these a Surface 2? Hard to tell from here
10:18AM EDT - WiFi is holding up, thankfully Microsoft is running some 5 GHz channels, but already down to the lowest MCS rate, Verizon LTE is holding up though, so hopefully photos will come through ok
10:17AM EDT - It's just me today on photos and text, it's going to be a busy week here in NYC
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Crono - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkIs that big display a giant Surface? I'd take one of those to use, a la the original Surface coffee tables. :D
Drumsticks - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkI still think a tegra 4 surface RT is a significantly worse Decision than a bay trail Surface, even if slightly more expensive, considering the big loss in versatility.
kyuu - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkYeah, I'm rather disappointed there isn't a Bay Trail or Kabini/Temash Surface. Great piece of hardware, but I don't want the limitations of WinRT and I don't need the price and power-draw of the Haswell version either.
Amoro - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkAgreed. $450 is just too much for a tablet that's so limited. Being on WinRT is also useless. Why divide your user base?
Why was haswell even considered? It's unnecessary for performance, expensive, and draws too much power.
MonkeyPaw - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkI think RT is the future for Windows Phone. If MS can get the WP store apps ported over, then RT would not feel so deficient. I use my Surface almost exclusively as my primary computer. It is great as a tablet, and all the things that needed to be fixed, are, for Surface 2. Desktop mode with non-touch applications on what is primarily a tablet would be frustration city. MS Store just needs the apps and then I feel there is absolutely a place for Surface 2, running what I feel is the superior touch UI of today. Once you adjust to the edge swipe-in features, it's very intuitive. It just didn't translate well on desktops.
fteoath64 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkThey needed Haswell to appeal to business users who has an upgrade path choice due to complete X86 compatibility (not that it is useful) but the correct mindset that is real hard to change for business types. This way at least Haswell Surface Pro has some market appeal unlike the Surface 2 using WinRT. Since RT is still crippled, it is makng the same mistakes, it did before with slightly better hardware and screen but nothing else to add. This is certainly a way to kill Surface RT in the long run. There will be millions unsold like the original Surface models. If MS were to develop a compatibility software box inside WinRT to run WP8 apps, it will help a great deal.
Jaybus - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - linkBecause everybody and his brother will soon be making Bay Trail Win 8.1 knock-offs and they didn't want to get in a low margin war with them. The Haswell is considerably faster and they come with decent SSDs and more RAM. Uses more power, but is also much higher performance and targets a different audience for use as a laptop replacement.
Bob Todd - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkYup, was hoping for a move to a 3 product line-up with RT/low-end x86/high-end x86. At the end of the day they probably don't want to offer a Bay Trail SKU priced closely with the ARM version because they are still trying to drive adoption of RT. Guess I'll be getting one from Asus or another OEM. Too bad, because the build quality is nice.
Daniel Egger - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkThis might as well be the end of Win RT. Buggy OS, lousy apps in the store, ecosystem crippled by Microsoft policy, no serious hardware vendors except Microsoft -- and this event did nothing to change that.
Hubb1e - Monday, September 23, 2013 - linkThey wanted to keep this Surface on the ARM platform in order to keep that version alive. They MUST have developers create Apps for the RT version of Windows in order to stay relevant in the next 5 years and this surface will continue that push to make people adopt RT.
Yes, a Bay Trail version would have been awesome, but I'm sure you'll see 3 parties develop some nice Bay Trail Tablets to satisfy your needs.