Microsoft today unveiled two new Surface models, updating the company's own hardware tablet. The Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 are open for preorder now and will be available from October.
Alongside the new devices, Microsoft unveiled a range of accessories for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and we've got the chance for a quick play with a few of them.
The Type Cover 2 is similar to the original Type Cover, but it's now backlit. It's also available in cyan, magenta, purple and black colour options. Microsoft - like Apple and Motorola - is pushing this whole "personalisation" thing. The colours are bright and should definitely appeal to kids. The Type Cover 2 will cost $129.99 when it becomes available for pre-order on 24 September.
The Touch Cover 2 is thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover. It's just 2.75mm thick and has backlit keys for even better readability. It also feels more rigid, meaning it's very durable. It has sensors that support a variety of gestures, which seemed to work as described during our brief time with it. Touch Cover 2 will cost $119.99 when it becomes available for pre-order on 24 September.
The Power Cover is like Type Cover, but it extends the battery life of your Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by up to 50 per cent, according to Microsoft. Like the Touch and Type covers, you're looking at a quality, sturdy accessory from Microsoft. It better be for the price, anyway: it'll cost $199.99 when it releases some time in early 2014.
The Docking Station for Surface Pro allows you to connect Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to desktop PC peripherals. It can connect with an external monitor, ethernet, speakers and power supply. PC peripherals connect via a USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. In our time with it, the Docking Station for Surface Pro looked pretty cool. It's black and very slick. It'll cost $199.99 - so unfortunately it's another pricey accessory. Microsoft said it should release in early 2014.
Finally, yet importantly, we went hands-on with the Surface Music Kit. It clicks into Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2 and works with a new music remix app. It can sense pressure, as demonstrated during the event, and it basically allows DJs and music lovers to create music. During our hands-on time, it looked sleek like the Touch and Type Covers and seemed to work as advertised. It will launch 22 October, though pricing is not yet available.
Browse the gallery below for more hands-on photos.