Microsoft announces its own tablet, calls it "Surface"
Earlier at a press event in L.A., Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled their latest “big” device that will hit the market. A 10-inch tablet they call Surface.
I find it surprising that Microsoft is now entering the hardware computing space when they’ve only been doing peripherals before, since they already have a long list of big brands to handle hardware development. Having the Surface PC will compete not only with Apple’s iPad but with other upcoming Windows 8 tablets as well.
Anyway, the Surface is here and Microsoft is showing the world how a Windows tablet should be made. There are two Microsoft Surface PC versions, an Intel-based tablet running on Windows 8 Pro and one based on the ARM chipset with Windows 8 RT.
Both tablets have a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass 2 display and a vapor-deposited (PVD) magnesium chassis with a built-in kickstand. Microsoft describes it as being “rigid” yet “light” and feels “natural” when handling. There’s not much difference between the two in terms of design, just the physical size and weight of the device.
Here’s a specs comparison between the two models.
|Surface for Windows 8 Pro||Surface for Windows 8 RT|
|OS||Windows 8 Pro||Windows 8 RT|
|Screen||10.6" 1920×1080||10.6" 1366×768|
|Processor||Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge||ARM-based Nvida|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB||32GB, 64GB|
|Thickness||13.5mm (0.53")||9.3mm (0.36")|
|Weight||903g (1.99lbs)||676g (1.49lbs)|
|Connectivity||microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae||microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae|
|Accessories||Touch Cover, Type Cove||Touch Cover, Type Cover|
A thing of note for those who are thinking about Windows 8 RT version and its ARM-based tablet. It’s similar to Android tablets in a way that it’s not a full-blown version of Windows 8. You can’t freely install your applications and games like you would on an Intel-based tablet running Windows 8. To make things simple, it’s like Apple’s iOS vs their Mac OS X.
Accessories initially available for the Surface include a Touch Cover which is very similar to the magnetic Smart Cover of Apple, but this one has a touch keyboard and touchpad on the inside as well. Type Cover on the other hand is a cover with depressable a keyboard.
As for availability, the Windows RT tablet will ship around the same time that Microsoft releases Windows 8 (expected in October), while the Intel-based Pro tablet will arrive about three months later.