SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Microsoft has introduced its next-generation Surface tablets as the company looks to gain traction in the ever-competitive marketplace.

The new tablets were unveiled Monday at an event in New York City. The new Surface Pro 2 is the higher-end model and Microsoft said it targets business professionals who want the full power of a laptop in a tablet-style device.

The one issue for many users continues to be the kickstand attached to the tablet. Although the newly designed version is expected to make it easier for use on your lap, it still often works better only on flat surfaces.

Microsoft said the Surface Pro 2 offers a higher screen resolution, a 75 percent improvement in battery life and features a processing chip that uses less energy and doesn’t require a fan. The Haswell chip is already used in laptops from Apple, Samsung, Dell and other companies.

The Surface Pro 2 will retail for $899.

There is also a less expensive model called the Surface 2, which starts at $449. The Surface 2 is a newer version of last year’s Surface RT. Both new models go on sale on October 22nd.

Microsoft is also preparing to release an update to its Windows 8 operating system in October.

Surface tablets were first introduced last October but haven’t made much of a dent in the tablet market. According to research firm IDC, Microsoft shipped about a million tablets in the first three months of 2013, giving the company a 2 percent share of the market in the first quarter.

You can hear Larry Magid’s Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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