Microsoft's new Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 tablets deliver some cool new features, but not all changes impress.
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The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 improve on their predecessors more in some ways than in others. One of the areas of least improvement? Price. The Surface 2 starts at $449 for the base 32-GB model, $50 less than the original Surface RT's launch price. The 64-GB Surface Pro 2 with included pen starts at $899 and includes 4 GB of RAM. Those who want 8 GB of RAM will have to jump up to the Pro 2's 256-GB or 512-GB options, which run $1,299 and $1,799, respectively.
These prices don't include keyboards or other accessories, so most users should probably budget for more than the cost of the device alone. The Touch Cover 2, Type Cover 2 and Power Cover keyboards will cost $119.99, $129.99 and $199.99, respectively. The Docking Station for Surface Pro will run another $199.99. Surface Pro 2 users might also need to shell out for some version of Microsoft Office, but the Surface 2 still comes preloaded with Office 2013 RT.
Microsoft is also leaving the original Surface RT on the market for $349.
Some might balk at the high cost, but for Microsoft's core business customers, the Surface 2 and Surface Touch 2 might turn out to be pretty good deals. In an interview, Gartner analysts Carolina Milanesi said some companies are interested in devices like the Surface Pro because it allows them to deploy one device instead of two.
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
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