Microsoft Impresses With Surface Tablet Upgrade

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Thinner. Lighter. Faster. More powerful. That should sum-up the second-generation of Microsoft (MSFT) Surface tablets introduced this morning in New York.

Information about the two new products had been leaking for weeks but we finally got to see what Microsoft has been working on. From today's unveiling we learned about the new Surface Pro 2 and the new version of what used to be called Surface RT, renamed Surface 2.

Microsoft shares were little changed at $32.78.

Both computers have received significant upgrades. Both have been slimmed down, have faster processors (new Intel (INTC) i5 for the Pro and Nvidia's  (NVDA) Tegra 4 for the Surface 2), sharper 10.6-inch touchscreens, USB 3.0 ports, better battery life and both come with versions of the newly improved Windows 8.1 on board.

Microsoft also improved the accessories available for both tablets. The Touch Cover (flat keyboard) is thinner and lighter and has an entirely new sensor beneath the keys (and promises of great features to come). The Type Cover (with real keys) is thinner and lighter and reportedly improves the typing experience. Also announced another new snap-on keyboard with an extra rechargeable battery inside (Power Cover) and a Surface tablet docking station (with additional USB and HDMI ports) due to reach the marketplace early next year.

Microsoft also stressed the fact that the Surface's flip-open stand has been improved. There are now two settings - narrow and a little wider - to make the devices easier to see when sitting up on a table.

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