Microsoft has started shipping the 4G LTE-enabled Surface 2 to retail stores and the company has started accepting pre-orders for the Surface Power Cover.
When Microsoft entered the tablet market with its Surface Pro and Surface RT, the company was taking a two-pronged approach with its tablet offerings. The Surface Pro was designed to be a laptop replacement, complete with the specs you'd find in a Windows 8 notebook. The Surface RT on the other hand was trying to capitalize on the success of the iPad and offered a stripped down OS that looked and felt like Windows 8, but could only run apps that were available in the Windows Store.
Microsoft reported very weak sales of both the Surface RT and Surface Pro, so much that the company took a $900 million loss on "inventory adjustments" of the Surface RT. Microsoft doesn't like to give up and launched two new Surface tablets: the high-end Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, the company decided to drop "RT" from the Surface 2's name, since many consumers were very confused by the differences between the Surface Pro and Surface RT, since they had an almost identical user interface, but were two completely different machines.
When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2, it also introduced new accessories for the tablets. One of the most anticipated was the Surface Power Cover, which provided a comfortable keyboard and track pad. The accessory not only made it easier to type on Microsoft's tablets, it also had the extra benefit of having a battery built-in, which offered users up to 70 percent more battery life.
After being announced nearly six months ago, Microsoft has just started taking pre-orders for the Surface Power Cover. The Surface Power Cover costs $199.99, is expected to ship on March 19 and works with the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface 2. The keyboard accessory will not work with the Surface RT.
The Surface Power Cover isn't the only Surface related device Microsoft will start shipping soon. Reports are claiming that the LTE equipped Surface 2 has started to show up in Microsoft stores, signaling an imminent launch. The tablet will reportedly be an exclusive to AT&T when it goes on sale.
Pricing and availability are unknown at this time, but once we get more details, we'll be sure to pass them on.