The new Microsoft Surface 2 | Photo: John Tan

The new Microsoft Surface 2 | Photo: John Tan

Yes, Microsoft’s new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 do still need a mouse. But not just any mouse will do. How about Joel Thomas Zimmerman? AKA deadmau5! Our hometown, world-renowed EDM producer was tapped by Microsoft for the Canadian launch of their new tablets at the KoolHaus for a surprise show.

All day long Microsoft street teams wandered downtown Toronto to demo the new tablets and give out wristbands for the launch event. Two-hundred fifty wristbands were also won via contests through social media outlets Twitter and Facebook. Many people also lined up, some for several hours, before the show, to get one of the coveted wristbands.

No doubt, the software giant is targeting the younger demographic by choosing deadmau5. Zimmerman put on a heart-pounding, energy-filled ninety minute set to the delight of the glowstick-sporting crowd.

What about the tablets? No they don’t actually require a mouse, but you can use one if you want to. The Surface 2 is faster, lighter, has more battery life and a higher resolution than its predecessor. The hardware looks sleeker with the new magnesium finish, and the built-in kickstand now opens at two positions. At an entry level price of $449, it’s also less expensive than the original Surface. The Surface Pro 2, on the other hand, attempts to bridge the tablet and laptop worlds. With a more powerful processor and more storage, it is capable of running full desktop-level applications. Its starting price is $899.

Both tablets come preloaded with Microsoft’s newest version of its operating system, Windows 8.1 (RT version for the Surface 2), which has a host of usability improvements, and better integration of Microsoft services such as its app and music stores, cloud services, and Bing search. Microsoft Office is also pre-installed.

The tablets are now available for pre-order, with in-store availability beginning October 22. Windows 8.1 launched on October 17, 2013

Photos from the launch party by Nick Lee except where indicated
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Ian Hardy (MobileSyrup), Fatma, Dan Levy

Ian Hardy (MobileSyrup), Fatma, Dan Levy

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Our full gallery here

Here is the Microsoft Surface 2 commercial

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John Tan

John is an avid traveller, but equally loves being a tourist in his own city. With camera in hand, he enjoys discovering the sights, sounds, tastes, and everything else that Toronto has to offer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@iam_johntan) to see what he's been up to lately.