Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Surface 2 LTE Version Coming And More

Microsoft Surface team today did a Reddit AmA on new Surface devices. I’ve collected some interesting information from the whole discussion. Read it through below.

  • This is Pete K – Program Manager on Surface – the docking station comes with a power supply that will charge your Surface Pro/Surface Pro 2.  It does slide open and close to hold your Surface Pro.
  • Pre-order tomorrow 9/24, available on 10/22.
  • Can the whole new touch cover be used for gestures or just the non key area? – You bet.  the entire key area is live!  You can use it for select gestures….. some pretty cool ones.
  • Will the new Surface accessories (such as the power cover and dock) work on the older Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets? – Yes.
  • Touch Cover/Type Cover compatibility with older Surface devices – Absolutely.   Both the Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 are compatible with all Surface products.  Power Cover will work with all Surface devices except Surface RT.  The increase in sensors does make typing more accurate, including when you type between keys.  I hope you enjoy it.
  • How will you compete against dominant iPad – This is Julie. We’ll compete by appealing to people who have both a laptop and iPad in their bag today.
  •  Is the SSD in the Surface Pro 2 a PCIe SSD drive? – No, it’s not PCIe, it’s MSATA.  In fact, it’s low-power MSATA for even better battery life.
  • What kind of performance can I expect to see on the dock’s output for dual displays? Also, can I expect to keep the internal display powered on as well? –  The Surface Pro 2 will support dual external display at 2560×1600 along with the internal display.  The DisplayPort 1.2 on the Surface Pro 2 will allow for daisy chaining on to 2 monitors.
  • Hi Panos, Unfortunately you recently lost around 900M on Surface. Is there a large reason as to why the price couldn’t be lowered as I’m sure if it was a little cheaper (perhaps $399 instead of $499 for a limited time) you would have a significant amount more of sales. – Hi there. The price for Surface 2 is $449 not $499 and comes w/ 200GB of SkyDrive for two yrs and 1 year of free Skype international calling and Wifi. Of course it has Office too. We think it’s a great value when you consider all we packed into the product. we will continue to sell Surface RT for $349 though.
  • The first Surface RT was a 5 point multitouch display.  Is this changed on the Surface 2? – No.
  • Does the Power Cover have backlight? – No.
  • Touch Cover 2/Type Cover 2 colors – That is correct.  There are 4 colors for Type Cover 2, and Touch Cover 1 is in black.  However, generation 1 Touch Covers will stay in market for $79 and continue to offer a selection of colors.
  • Please tell me that the power connector is easier to connect in these 2nd gen Surfaces. ? – Hey, This is Ralf Groene here… The answer is yes :)  We spent a lot of time redesigning the profile of the connector, the part that you hold with your fingers. We designed it so it is much easier to position and insert it. We also redesigned the LED on the connector such that you can see its indicator from every angle.
  • Will the surface 1 pens and chargers still work with the surface 2? – Yes. Capacitive passive pens that worked on Surface RT will work on Surface 2. The active pen on Pro will work on Pro2. The chargers work across the whole product line, gen 1 and gen 2!
  • Hi,  Does the Pro 2 support Intel WiDi? or any other wireless display functions? – It supports Miracast.
  • Will the Surface 2 come in black as well as silver? – Nope. Only Silver!
  • Can we expect multiple colours for the tablets themselves in the future? – I love colors!  We have a great roadmap ahead, but the new Magnesium color is pretty cool, and we hope you like it.
  • Why was LTE not included on neither Surface nor Surface Pro? – We didn’t talk about it today, but Surface 2 will be launching an awesome LTE SKU early next year!
  • Speakers/Audio on new Surface devices – Steve Masters – Surface PM: Yes, the speakers in both Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have been upgraded to new speakers.  Both Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have Dolby processing built-in to enhance the audio experience
  • New Arc Mouse Surface Edition works via Bluetooth as opposed to nano receiver in the existing models.
  • It would be nice to have a caps lock indicator – There is on the new Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2.
  • How does the power cover gets charged? – The Surface device routes power to the Power Cover from the power adapter.  Circuitry in the device can charge both the battery in Power Cover and the battery in the device simultaneously.
  • Do the new keyboard covers’ touchpads support “Precision Touchpad” functionality that I’ve heard about in Windows 8.1? – Yes.
  • Which Intel HD model is in the Surface Pro 2? – Intel HD Graphics 4400.
  • I just boxed my Surface RT up to have the logo and peeling paint fixed. Has this been addressed in the Surface 2? – Hi there, Ralf here. You must have bought one of the very early units. We saw a problem with the first batches of Surface RT. This problem is ABSOLUTELY fixed with Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 We spent a ton of time with our material science team to develop a brand new, super sturdy finish.
  • Does the new Surface Pro support connected standby? – Surface Team – TimH – Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 do not support connected standby.
  • Does the connectors (USBs, Ethernet, Audio) of the Dockingstation share the Bandwidth of one USB 3.0 Port of the Pro / Pro2? What speeds can we expect from the Ethernet-Port? – Hi This is Pete K from the Surface Team: Ethernet is 10/100. USB 3.0 is the main connection to the Dock. We have a separate USB3.0 in the Dock.
  • Usable storage -  Several questions on usable storage. For North America: Surface 2: 32 GB – 18 GB free / 64 GB 47 free Surface Pro 2: 64GB 37 free / 128GB, 97 free . Free up additional space by creating USB recovery key.
  • What kind of wifi-N? Is it 5 ghz wifi N? MIMO 2×2? 4×4? – 802.11 a/g/n 2×2 MIMO special diversity streams.
  • You can charge Surface Pro 2 and Power Cover from totally empty in 3 hrs.
  • Power Cover will be recognized as second battery in Windows

Read part 2 here.

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • tombow

    “The price for Surface 2 is $449 not $499 and comes w/ 200GB of SkyDrive for two yrs and 1 year of free Skype international calling and Wifi. Of course it has Office too. We think it’s a great value. . .”
    These people at Microsoft just doesn’t get it! I think they live/work in an echo-chamber — only listening to their echoes of how Microsoft Office is such a great value to the world. Consumers on the aggregate doesn’t give a rat ass about Microsoft Office — hello Microsoft, have you seen the sales of iPads/mini’s and the hoards of shitty Androids tablets being sold every day? Geeezzz!
    I swear MS truly needs new leadership — someone from the “outside” to light a fire under their collective butts. I bought my wife the Surface RT and I can’t find any of her favorite apps she uses on her iPhone. No What’s App, no Banking App, no games, etc. They needs to cut the price of these things significantly to move volumes — take the write-down in loss profit — not unsold devices. Then the ecosystem will follow. Until then, I just don’t think they get it.

    • Cruncher

      The availability of “shitty Android” tablets does not mean Microsoft need to take the same path with their own devices.
      Offering dirty cheap tablets can and should be left to the OEMs. Microsoft devices are not supposed to bump up the volume. They are by all means premium devices.

      • Bugbog

        I agree. I think they’ve done well enough with the Surface Pro to think they can capture that same level of consumer with the Surface 2!

        So, while it may not be a runaway hit, I think they’ll be happy if it gets the same numbers as the ‘O.G’ Surface Pro.

      • Guest

        Except that most OEMs are embracing Android for tablets and increasingly offering Chrome books as well. So MS can’t depend on them to pick up what you call the “shitty” part of the market, which in reality is the mainstream volume-wise.

        • solarone

          Because “GOOGLE” has DeValued the market so much that Consumer’s “Fn EXPECT”…..Bargain Basement Prices….SMH

      • tombow

        “Offering dirty cheap… should be left to the OEM”. The OEMs for the most part have abandoned RT — the only option to bring dirt cheap Windows tablets — have you not been following the news? Maybe, Nokia might help, but again, like MS, Nokia will be faced with the problem that RT doesn’t have a strong ecosystem to generate the volume it needs.
        Today, the value proposition on these devices are the essential apps that users need — the in-built ecosystem that MS provides, while merited on many levels — is simply insufficient for the device to see mass market appeal. And let’s not fool ourselves — that’s the lane MS always shoots for.

    • Yuan Taizong

      Let’s be honest, Microsoft Office is quite a killer app in the businessworld, and SkyDrive is easily superior to most if not all of the competition (excluding Dropbox), and Skype consists of 1/3rd of all international calls, it’s pretty much unmatched, Microsoft is not delusional, and the main reason the others are outselling the surface is due to ”killer apps” mostly consisting of games, and let’s not forget that Microsoft is one of those United States’ best video-gaming companies, that gap will be easily filled, especially with the Xbox One’s policies for indie-developers, the Windows ecosystem is more than just a few dumb apps in the store, people need to understand that the real strenght of an ecosystem doesn’t come from the number of apps in the store, but the number of features, apps and inter-connectivity and functionality offered by the ecosystem itself, this is where Microsoft is lightyears ahead on the road of strong ecosystems.

      First comes buyers than come apps, which will attract more buyers, but outside of the Windows Store, Windows is a real winner (and the Windows Store already defeats Apple’s App Store for Mac, so the whole notion of ”Windows 8 being a faillure” is completely unsupported relative to the competition.).

      • Bugbog

        They may well attract more [lite] business users to the Surface 2 with this, rather than ‘general’ consumers.

        It may not be what will set the blog/tech sphere alight, but it may well do for the Surface 2 what it has already achieved for the Surface Pro.

    • techieg

      If these were apple devices that provides no usable value I doubt there’ll be a single complaint. Even the new crappy iPhones that offer nothing new other than different letters attached to the name are more expensive and here you are complaining about much more value-packed products.

    • DKJr

      tombow, I think it’s better to claim stuff you can substantiate. “I bought my wife the Surface RT and I can’t find any of her favorite apps she uses on her iPhone. No What’s App, no Banking App, no games, etc.” I have the latest iPad and there’s no WhatsApp for iPad though its available on the iPhone. So this claim is not entirely true. Let’s make arguments but stick with the truth rather lies to make a point. I have used both iPad and Android equivalents of MS Office, nothing actually comes near what Office offers honestly. True, a good number of Banking apps and games are missing on Win 8.1 but that doesn’t take away from it’s pros. I’m really not into games and some of the apps on the iPad but I find the Win 8.1 experience and the few select app quite optimal for my day to day use with the added advantage of MS products.

  • The1nChicago

    Here is the main problem with Microsoft, they do not listen. They assume and move forward. I have never seen a company with just stupid people who do not know how to market a product.

    ——-Comment—

    Hi Panos, Unfortunately you recently lost around 900M on Surface. Is
    there a large reason as to why the price couldn’t be lowered as I’m sure
    if it was a little cheaper (perhaps $399 instead of $499 for a limited
    time) you would have a significant amount more of sales. – Hi there. The
    price for Surface 2 is $449 not $499 and comes w/ 200GB of SkyDrive for
    two yrs and 1 year of free Skype international calling and Wifi. Of
    course it has Office too. We think it’s a great value when you consider
    all we packed into the product. we will continue to sell Surface RT for
    $349 though.

    • Guest

      They listen, they often just don’t learn. Hence the reason we see most of the hardware changes people wanted but a price that’s still too high to overcome the more immature ecosystem. Unless you need Office, in which case it’s a deal. I guess they’re hoping the Skype and Skydrive stuff bring down that price a bit, but again only if you need and therefore value those. Hopefully this time around, if sales don’t improve dramatically, they’ll make a quick price cut rather than wait 2-3 quarters and then take a huge write off.

      • The1nChicago

        It’s too bad that I think they are going to lose money on these as well. I wish they would have showcased a game like Infinity Blade on the Surface 2. The needed to build hype and not focus on MS Office. I love my Surface RT but I only paid $199.99 and scooped a $26 dollar Logitech wireless (USB) keyboard to type on.

        • DarthTigris

          Halo is a much more appealing and bigger property than Infinity Blade will EVER be.

          • The1nChicago

            You totally missed the point as Halo is a FPS designed for consoles. Please do not count Halo Spartan Wars. The Surface 2 needed a game like Infinity 2 that was and is designed for touch and shows what power of the tablet. Incidentally, I have been playing Halo since the original Xbox launched, so you cannot tell me anything about it. Look up The1 on the XBL.

          • DarthTigris

            It’s called Halo: Spartan Assault and it’s designed for touch. It’s infinitely more popular than Infinity Blade. These things are not a matter of opinion.

      • krayziehustler

        So you are saying that they should sell it cheaper and THEN when it gets more popular they should RAISE the price? Are you seriously asking for that anti-consumer policy?

        What other company does this? Please name an HDTV manufacturer that sold TVs at 2K then when it got popular released them for 3k for example?

        Like it or not the Surface is a PREMIUM product that offers allot of throw ins for the price. Want something cheaper? Get an Acer,Asus or other W8 tablets

  • Mikado_Wu

    No one asked if you can charge over USB now?

  • Mad

    They will lose money on this Surface. Again.

    Tablets are not business devices. They are consumer device.

    An average consumer doesn’t care about Office, and rarely does international Skype calls. He surfs, walks around cities and posts photos on internets. What he needs is _connectivity_. He needs 3G/LTE to connect. He needs GPS to locate himself. He needs moar megapixels in his cam to make photos, and again 3G to post them to Facebook and Instagram RIGHT NOW. He needs games and some apps as well, preferably at least exactly the same games and apps that his friends have on their iPads and Droids, just to be able to talk about them, to “be in the stream”. Long battery hours would help too. Does Surface 2 RT has these features? Hell no.

    All right, MS gave up and does care about business market only from now. All right.

    But who the hell of business users would use it? Guys in the field are given much more functional laptops,Thinkpads and like, as no one cares if it will be too heavy for them. Or very small and rugged phone-like devices for specific tasks, like data-gathering terminals and whatnot.
    And executives just don’t care about your measly freebies at all, their budget won’t get dented even if they pay for all these international Skype calls and Office, which is even not an exclusive and available on iPad and Android. Again, they need connectivity to send mails or work remotely via VPN. Does Surface allow them to do this? Hell no, no 3G for you. Till 2014. In new models. Maybe.

    Maybe MS think that their “business” users are something like characters from Dilbert comics? Tbh I doubt they are so delusional.

    There’s not a single point to buy the Surface 2 for it’s price. Just no reason, even if someone, like me, likes Win8 on mobile devices and again like me, has Win8 phone. The Surface 2 loses heavily in comparison not only with iPads but with cheap Chinese Androids as well. If we consider all pro and contra It worth 200 bucks top, probably even 150, no more, as we got a cheap throwaway device with extremely limited functionality. MS wants more? OK, no problems, embrace your flop.

  • krayziehustler

    MS needs to keep Surface as their high end brand and keep offering them at these prices and use the Nokia brand name as their lower cost devices. I do not want to see a cheap or made to be cheap Surface. The whole Surface thing breaks down if it is created to reach a certain price point.

  • Trevor White

    They have not solved the paint problem – I returned my SP2 this morning for that very reason.