Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 now available for pre-order, shipping 21 October

Microsoft has made the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 available for pre-order on its website in the US, following the tablets' launch event on Monday

Microsoft says to expect the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets to ship by 21 October, when they'll also become available in Microsoft's retail stores. The company also decided to keep the previous Surface RT and price it at $349 (£218), offering a cheaper solution for customers on a budget.

The Surface 2 is available for $449, offering a "thinner, lighter, and faster" build than the previous Surface generation. It packs 32GB and 64GB configurations, powered by a 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, 5-megapixel rear-camera, 3.5-megapixel front-camera, and 2GB of RAM.

The Surface Pro 2 is claimed to be faster than "95 per cent of laptops", with a starting price of $899.00. It includes a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, and the tablet will be offered in different configurations. The 64GB and 128GB models will come with 4GB of RAM, while the Pro 2s with storage space of 256GB or 512GB will sport 8GB of RAM.

Along with the tablets, Microsoft is trying to differentiate itself from the market by offering a slew of new accessories, including a Backlit Type Cover 2, Power Cover, Docking Station, and more.

The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Microsoft has said the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available in China in early November before presumably rolling out to other countries in 2014.

Pre-orders not yet begun in the UK.