Microsoft sent out on Monday invitations to media for a major event on Sept 23 in New York City. The invite did not provide specifics, but technology media members believe that Microsoft would unbox the second-generation Surface Pro 2 tablet that day.
Ahead of the launch, PC World listed five things it wants to see in the speculated Surface 2 Pro tablet, topped by lower pricing.
The tech Web site pointed out that the original Surface tablets were just too expensive for the ordinary working man. The Surface RT had a price tag of $500 and the Surface Pro was $900. The Touch Cover was sold separately for $120.
PC World pointed out that these two devices were too pricey considering its app ecosystems "is nowhere near as rich as Apple's."
"That's far too rich for mainstream blood, especially now that the Surface RT carries the stench of failure, rather than prestige," the portal said.
A few weeks back, Microsoft made permanent the $100 discount for both models to clear inventory of existing Surface stock and pave the way for the entry of the 2nd-gen models.
PC World suggested a price range of $250-$350 for the upcoming Surface 2 tablet and for the Touch Cover to be given free since actual production cost of the cover is just from $16 to $18.
Next on PC World's bucket list are:
A more flexible kickstand - The original Surface slates have kickstands that locked the device at 22-degree angle, which is okay for users who have standard-height table, but difficult to use when placed on one's lap. Speculations said the new kickstand could have two different kickstand angles, but PC World wants more available angles beyond two.
Surface Pro hardware - While a previous PC World review of the Surface Pro called the tablet the best pure Windows table due to its killer design and potent PC-grade hardware, it worked against the gadget due to its chunkiness and short life in comparison to Android tablets and the iPad. Directions on Microsoft analyst Wes Miller, quoted by PC World, said he expected a hardware that would deliver better performance and battery life, with less weight.
According to rumours, the device would get a Haswell processor that add 2 hours to the original Surface tablet's 5-hour battery life.
Surface RT hardware - The original Surface RT had a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor that delivered poor performance after several months of use. In lieu of the Tegra 3, PC World said it wants to see either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor or Nvidia Tegra 4 on the device.
More refined software - PC World expected the two next-gen tablets to be released for sale at the earliest on Oct 18 with Windows 8.1 OS. While the 8.1 had smoothen Windows 8's rough edges, the portal said it is not enough but should default to either the desktop or the Modern UI.