Surface 2 Release Date, Announcement, Specs: Next-Gen Surface 2 Will Launch Sept. 23

(Photo : REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) Microsoft announced it will launch its second-generation Surface tablets at a special event this month.

The next Surface is less than two weeks away.

Microsoft announced it will launch its second-generation Surface tablets at a special event Sept. 23 in New York City.

The tech giant is expected to show off two devices: the Surface 2 Pro, which runs full Windows 8, and the Surface 2, which runs stripped-down version of Windows 8 formerly called Windows RT, ZD Net reports.

Rumors suggest the Surface 2 Pro will it will be powered by a fourth generation Intel Corse i5 Haswell processor and boast 8GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is preparing to release a docking station for its Surface Pro line of tablets, according to a new report.

The dock will give users an easy way to keep your Surface charged, plus three USB ports for a full-sized keyboard, mouse or other accessories. It will also feature a microphone port and audio output port for headphones or external speakers, plus a 1 Gbps Ethernet port for a direct connection into a router

 Only the Surface Pro and upcoming Surface Pro 2 will work with the new dock; the Surface RT isn't compatible.

In related news, Microsoft announced a $100 discount for the current-gen Surface Pro will extend indefinitely.

That brings the price of the Surface Pro to $799 for the 64GB model, and $899 for the 128GB model.

The tablet sale started on Aug. 4 and was set to run for just under four weeks. It was available in just the US, Canada and China and a few other markets reports, but now the discount will extend to all markets where Microsoft sells the Surface.

The cost of a keyboard add-on for the tablet has also been cut. The capacitive Touch Cover will start at $79.99 -- $40 off the original price. The Type Cover, which functions more like a traditional keyboard, remains at $129.99, however.

The Surface RT-Touch Cover bundle now starts at $878, about 14 percent less than its launch price in February.

And the Surface RT-Touch Cover bundle -- which runs a stripped-down version of Windows 8 that lacks desktop functionality and most software compatibility -- was also discounted and now starts at $399.

That's 33 percent less than the price of the tablet when it was launched last October.

"The customer response to recent Surface pricing and keyboard-cover promotions has been exciting to see, and we are proud to begin rollout of Surface Pro, Touch Cover and Surface RT bundles at even more affordable prices starting August 29," a Microsoft spokeswoman said in a statement.

Unlike the underpowered and unpopular Surface RT, the Surface pro is powered by an Intel processor and runs the full version of Windows 8. That means it offers full backwards compatibility with "legacy" software like the full Microsoft Office suite.

The Surface Pro boasts a 10.6-inch, 1290x1080 pixel display. Under the hood is packs a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM.

The new cuts come after Microsoft already aggressively slashed the price of the Surface RT model by $150 this summer after it garnered dismal sales numbers.

Check out a hands-on video review of the Surface Pro:


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