The Type Cover 2 is also thinner, available in four colors (blue, magenta, purple and black) and also has a built-in light. However, the keyboard covers are still not included in the price of the tablet. The Touch Cover 2 costs an additional $119.99 and the Type Cover $129.99. Microsoft is also adding a $199.99 Power Cover, which has a built-in battery that will add up to 50 percent more battery life.
What About the Software?
But beyond the hardware improvements, Panay says the integration with Microsoft's newest version of Windows -- Windows 8.1 -- and other Microsoft services is going to make a real difference. "To a large extent, Surface's woes have been tied to Windows 8's woes," Ross Rubin, a principal analyst with Rectile Research, told ABC News.
Windows 8.1 specifically addresses a lot of user complaints about the software and adds some features, including a Start button and instructions that make it easier to navigate the software. Additionally, both new Surface tablets will come with 200GB of Microsoft's SkyDrive Cloud storage space and unlimited free Skype calling to landlines.
Ultimately, Panay thinks those enhancements matched with the hardware improvements will allow the second generation of Surface to avoid the issues and compromises of the first product.
"When you look at the improvement at how many apps and the update from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, I think people are excited about it," he said. "The hardware, the software and the services are all coming together to make sure we brought it to life right."
We'll know if that's the case after Oct. 22, when both the new tablets go on sale.