Today, Microsoft announced their updated Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet PCs.
The Surface 2 runs Windows RT, so it's a great little mobile tablet for running basic tasks and mobile apps. The Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1 Pro and comes with the latest Intel Haswell processor so that it's very fast and has 75% longer battery life than the original Surface Pro. One of the key problems with the original Surface Pro was the fact that its battery life was fairly limited.
The updated models also include 2 settings on the flip-out kickstand so that you can adjust the viewing angle on the tablet.
Microsoft also announced updated keyboards that click to these slate tablets. The new Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 keyboards come with a backlight and they're thinner than their first-generation predecessors. Microsoft is even providing a keyboard called a Power Cover that has a built-in battery to help power the tablet.
They are aggressively positioning the Surface Pro 2 as a laptop replacement. Of course, if you do a lot of typing with your laptop literally on your lap, then the Surface Pro 2 may not be the ideal form factor for sitting propped up on your legs.
Most of the slate tablet PCs running Windows 8 are powered by Atom processors so that they can have 10+ hrs of battery life. I don't think the Surface Pro 2 will have 10 hrs, but even 7 or 9 hrs may be enough for your average business user. Will that be enough for your health care worker? In the health care environment, nurses generally need devices that have a minimum of 12+ hour battery life or removable batteries since they work 12-hr shifts. Doctors can settle for shorter battery life since they have more opportunities to plug and charge (or plug into a docking station) throughout their clinical workflow.