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  • Thurston County ARC Agreement Now Official

    arc signing1A formal signing of the ARC ‘Letter of Intent’ took place Friday at the Accountability and Resource Center (ARC) with Thurston County Commissioners and Sheriff John Snaza. The agreement clears the way for the Thurston jail to open.… Read More +

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  • Lawmakers Celebrate Hawks Ahead Of Super Bowl

    Hawkington2The Washington state Senate passed a resolution honoring the Seattle Seahawks as they prepare to play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. The resolution was passed Friday, and many lawmakers on the floor were wearing Seahawks jerseys,… Read More +

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  • Baker Signed To Minor-League Deal

    marinersSThe Seattle Mariners have signed catcher John Baker to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The Mariners announced the signing Thursday after Baker's physical. He is expected to compete with Jesus Sucre for the backup job playing behind starter Mike Zunino.

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Microsoft's Surface 2 Goes on Sale

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_fb5820b32c.jpgMicrosoft (NEW YORK) -- As Apple is expected to announce new iPads at an event later Tuesday in San Francisco, Microsoft's latest tablets -- the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro -- are hitting store shelves. The second generation of the tablets will be available Tuesday at Best Buy, Staples and through Microsoft's own store. The duo of tablets improve on Microsoft's original family of Surface devices, addressing some of the core hardware issues as well as some of the software gripes. 

 

The Surface 2, which starts at $449, has been slimmed down, has a high-resolution 1080p display and now has double the battery life.  On ABC News' own tests, the tablet lasted more than 11 hours when playing movies.

The tablet still doesn't run the full version of Windows 8.1 though.  Instead, it runs Windows 8.1 RT, which allows buyers to run only apps from the Windows Store.  You can't run older Windows programs.

Those who want that more advanced capability have the $899 Surface Pro 2 to choose from. The tablet is thicker and more expensive than the Surface 2 and instead of having a low-powered ARM chip inside, it has an Intel Core i5 processor. That takes means battery life takes a hit, but that's the sacrifice you make for the full version of Windows 8.1.

Both of the tablets are available with the unique keyboard covers, which have been updated with a backlight so you can type in the dark. The Touch Cover starts at $120 and the Type Cover at $130.  They are sold separately from the tablets.

Microsoft has begun to run commercials for the new tablets, highlighting the areas in which they provide more capabilities than the iPad.  In one of the new advertisements, the company shows that the Surface runs Microsoft Word, can be turned into a laptop with the keyboard covers and can run two apps side by side with Windows 8.1.

However, despite major marketing efforts the first time around, the Surface failed to gain traction with buyers.  In the last year, the iPad maintained its lead as the most popular tablet, with Android tablets quickly gaining a large chunk of the market share.

In the last few months, all the major tablet makers have released updates to their products too. Google released an improved $229 Nexus 7 and Amazon a set of new Kindle Fire HD and HDX products.  And on Tuesday, Apple is expected to announce a thinner, lighter and faster version of its popular tablet, which started everything.

That's a lot of tablet choices, but the market continues to grow, especially as the holiday season approaches.  A recent survey from the Pew Research Center Internet Project revealed that 35 percent of Americans own a tablet, up from 25 percent the year before.  Additionally, Nielsen reported last holiday season that children asked for tablets, notably the iPad, more than any other tech item.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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Tweets

helloross
helloross - Yes, I bought this @Seahawks balloon at the super market because I know what's up. #GOHAWKS instagram.com/p/ygQVaPRRe8/

Retweeted 5 hours ago

nfl
nfl - .@WWEDanielBryan took over the @Seahawks Twitter handle for a #12sQA. Yes. Yes! YES: at.nfl.com/sohdklG pic.twitter.com/h6y8kPWZRG

Retweeted 5 hours ago

SnoCoSheriff
SnoCoSheriff - East County swing shift crew shows their #12thman spirit on #BlueFriday #GoHawks pic.twitter.com/JQuPil6Qpq

5 hours ago

USCGPacificNW
USCGPacificNW - Love your #CoastGuard? Thank Bertholf & Kimball. Their idea 100 years ago brought us about → goo.gl/yeKX4B pic.twitter.com/MRrF1ev9zN

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