The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 was released today with all the hype that can be expected when a new tablet hits the shelves. But is the Pro 2 all it's cracked up to be?

Microsoft certainly made some big improvements with the latest version of its tablet: better graphics, a newer processor, improved speaker setup, and 50% more color accuracy. Not only that, but the Power Cover now has a fully adjustable “Kickstand” to support the tablet at two different angles, so it will be more comfortable to use on your lap or a desk, and the cover even charges your device while connected.

While the Pro 2's display is the same as the original (10.6-inch, 1080p panel), it's lighter, thinner, and the battery life has gotten a significant 75% boost. It also runs more quietly than its predecessor thanks to a 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor, and according to Microsoft, is 20% faster than the original.

Microsoft came relatively late to the smartphone and tablet party. And given the fact that Apple's iPad is currently on its 5th generation, it may still have some catching up to do. Keep in mind, it wasn't until 2010 that a Windows Phone was even released, a full three years after the first iPhone, and even then it was pretty useless until the Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) update. But despite the late start, the Surface 2 does show promise.

So how much will it set you back? The Surface 2 starts at $899, although Microsoft throws in some additional goodies to incentivize your purchase. Not only is the device pre-loaded with the full Office Suite (Home & Student 2013), but customers will receive free Skype calling to landlines for a year, which includes international calling to 60+ countries, unlimited Skype WiFi in 2 million hot spots worldwide, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years. 

The Surface Pro 2’s future is not certain for success, though the upgrades will definitely make it a contender for tablet lovers.