Surface Pro 2 May Give Business Owners a Boost Credit: Microsoft.com

[Update: Users will have to wait for the higher-capacity Surface Pro 2 models of the Surface. Microsoft has announced both the 256GB and 512GB versions won't ship until Dec. 15. The 128GB version launches Oct. 25, while the 64GB model is still set to hit retail shelves tomorrow.]

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 tablet boasts key features that could make it the first true PC alternative for business users.

The tablet is scheduled to ship tomorrow alongside the lower-end Surface 2.

A docking station set to launch with the tablet — a first for the Surface line — is key to unlocking the full business potential of the Surface Pro 2. Users can simply snap their Surface into the dock to immediately take advantage of external peripherals like a full keyboard and mouse.

The dock is compatible with the Surface Pro 2 and the original Surface Pro only. It can’t connect to the Surface RT or upcoming Surface 2 tablets.

It packs three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet connection and audio input/output.

It also means no more squinting at a tiny tablet display while you’re trying to work. With the dock, linking your Surface up to a full 3840 x 2160 resolution monitor is a snap — no extra cables required.

With a Surface Pro 2 and docking station, business owners can seamlessly transition between a portable tablet form factor at home and a powerful PC setup at the office.

And the Surface Pro 2 packs some power. The Haswell-powered tablet is about 20 percent faster, with 50 percent better graphics performance than the original Surface Pro.

The machine also offers beefed-up battery life: Microsoft claims a 75 percent battery improvement over its predecessor. Add the Power Cover (a keyboard cover that doubles as an external battery pack) and get 2.5 times the battery life of the Surface Pro.

That will keep help users conduct business on the go without needing to scramble to find the nearest outlet.

The versatility of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet won’t come cheap. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 for the 64GB model, and the docking station and Power Cover cost $199 each.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.