Microsoft's big Surface reveal today is packed with plenty of spec bumps, but its most important improvements might come from its accessories. Especially its new battery-packed Power Cover.
Battery life was a huge focus for Microsoft in general at today's announcement, given that the previous generation hovered around three hours in the previous generation. Not only is the internal Surface Pro battery 75 per cent better — per Microsoft — it'll get a significant boost from the not-too-bulky Power Cover.
The new add-on contributes an extra 30-watt hour battery to the already massively improved Surface Pro's battery life, meaning you might actually be able to make it through the day. In all, Microsoft is promising a two and a half times improvement, which gets you close to eight hours of real-world Surface Pro usage. Not bad, especially compared to what you'd get out of a comparable ultrabook.
The bad news? The Power Cover will set you back about $250 in Australia, on top of the $1019 you're already going to be spending on the Surface Pro 2. This means you'd better hope your company is picking up the tab.
Microsoft also announced a Surface docking station, which comes with ample ports (three USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, audio in/out) and can power up to two external monitors.
The Surface slides into the docking station like rye bread into a toaster. It will be out early next year for about $250.
Type and Touch Cover 2
The Type Cover (pictured up top) has gotten an overhaul as well, shaving off a millimetre of thickness, which puts Microsoft's full keyboard Surface cover at about the same bulk as last year's touch-input cover was. It's also backlit, with automatic dimming after about 10 seconds of non-use. And for the fashion-forward, it comes in purple, pink, blue and black.
The Type Cover 2 (above) will set you back about $150 at the same time as the tablets themselves, while the revamped Touch Cover 2 is expected to cost $140, same as last year's models.
Maybe the accessory that came most out of left field today was the Music Cover, DJ-friendly display protection that trades in a traditional keyboard for volume sliders, function keys, and other mash-up makers. It attaches to Surface Pro, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and will be available on October 22 as part of a Surface Music Kit. Linkin Park likes it, so do with that what you will!
You can read more about Microsoft's surface announcements today right here.