Microsoft's new Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 tablets deliver some cool new features, but not all changes impress.
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On the outside, the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 look a lot like their predecessors, but internally, both devices boast significant upgrades.
The Surface 2 uses Nvidia's Tegra 4 processor, which means the new device should leave its lagging predecessor in the dust. Microsoft VP Panos Panay demonstrated during the product's debut that it adeptly handles multitasking, even if one of the open apps is a game or some other computationally intense activity. It should achieve more than 10 hours of battery life.
The Surface Pro 2 uses Intel's i5 Haswell processor. Panay said the chip contributed to a 20% increase in overall performance and a 50% increase in graphics performance. He also said the device would be faster than 95% of all laptops. "I cannot believe how many [laptops] I see that are not as fast as Surface Pro 2," he jokingly said to journalists at Monday's announcement event, many of whom were toting MacBooks.
Perhaps most important for current Surface Pro users, the Haswell chip also boosts battery life by 75%, meaning the Surface Pro 2 should last seven to eight hours between charges. The original Surface's four-hour battery life fared poorly against some laptops and virtually all other tablets, limiting its usefulness as a mobile device. For some who considered the Surface Pro and opted against it, the Haswell upgrade alone could make a difference.
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