Microsoft's Corporate VP of Surface, Panos Panay had his work cut out for him at the company's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch event on Monday. Microsoft needed compelling product demos to showcase their new hardware against the current backdrop of stiff competition of alternative platforms and products from Google and Apple. So, obviously, the first thing they did was call upon their old friend Intel way back at the design stage, empowering their Surface Pro 2 slate with a dual-core Haswell 4th generation Core i5-4200U processor.
The Surface 2 Pro is essentially a hybrid tablet-notebook device, weighing in at 2 lbs. with a 10.6-inch full HD display and starting at $899 with 64GB of storage, all the way up to $1799 for a 512GB model (all with included Touch Cover 2 and Pen Stylus/Digitizer). As a result, Microsoft had a bit more thermal headroom in the device to pack in some additional horsepower, so Haswell was a natural choice over say something like Intel's BayTrail Atom platform. And with Intel's latest HD 4400 series graphics engine on board the Core i5-4200U at their disposal, Microsoft was looking for ways to showcase Surface Pro 2's multimedia performance, so they then called upon some of their other friends at RED Camera.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Plays 6K Super HD Video Content Recorded On RED Dragon Camera
The RED Dragon camera is RED's top-of-the-line flagship high definition camera for professional videographers and photographers. The 19 Megapixel Dragon takes amazingly crisp still images with high dynamic range, as well as 6K Super HD video that will knock your socks clean off. As Panos notes, 6K RAW footage offers nine times the resolution of standard 1080p HD video. Now, we know Intel's Haswell HD Graphics core already supported 4K HD video playback but could it handle 6K video? Apparently, as Panos so passionately points out, yes it does and so does the Microsoft Surface Pro 2.
While impressive, seeing the demo live on the big screen at the event didn't really showcase the 6K HD video content fidelity that the RED Dragon produces and how fluid it is to work with on the Surface Pro 2. Watching it live at a hands-on demo booth really underscored both the high resolution quality of what the camera produces, as well as how comfortable Surface Pro 2 was at handling it.
Microsoft's messaging for Surface Pro 2 was pretty straight forward. The Surface Pro 2 isn't just a consumption device like so many other tablets on the market. Surface Pro 2 is a no-compromise, highly mobile tablet hybrid that offers content creation, business productivity, light gaming and even professional workstation-class processing for various use cases -- and with a full-featured Windows 8.1 OS backing it up.
It will be interesting to see how the new Microsoft Surface Pro 2 performs in our benchmark gauntlet in the weeks ahead as we get one in for review and testing here. If Microsoft's demo showcase is any indication, we should be in for a pretty smooth ride.