Microsoft announces thinner, lighter, faster Surface 2 and 25 per cent longer battery life

The Surface 2 is a thinner, lighter and faster version of the Surface RT. It features a 10.6-inch Full HD 1080p ClearType display and comes in a two-tone magnesium build or white.

The Surface 2 is powered by a 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor meaning it's made to handle gaming while saving battery life. The 2GB RAM should also help to keep everything running along smoothly. The battery, Microsoft claims, will deliver up to ten hours video playback and a rather broad guess of seven to fifteen days on stand-by.

The bus has been doubled for better Wi-Fi speed and for memory. The CPU has also had an overhaul for extra grunt. That makes it three to four times faster than the Surface RT and also sports a full size USB 3.0 for extra data transfer speeds, plus a MicroSDXC card reader. Cameras have also had an upgrade with 5MP and 3.5MP shooters built-in which are both capable of 1080p video. And you can play it back with stereo speakers to hear the clear audio recorded on the dual mics with noise cancellation.

The Surface 2 also features the new Kickstand 2 for dual-angle propping. And despite the power increase and size reduction it will manage 25 per cent more battery life than its predecessor.

All that hardware will be powering the new Windows RT 8.1 operating system which is going to launch today.

The Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations and will start at £350. It will go on sale, along with the Surface Pro 2, from 1pm (BST) tomorrow in the US and Canada. It will hit the UK on 22 October and be available for pre-order from Microsoft before then. 

That price includes 200GB SkyDrive storage for two years and free international Skype calls and Wi-Fi hotspot access for a year.