Not too long ago, last week to be exact, Microsoft announced a tablet, one that the company built itself and one that is bound to raise a firestorm among OEM’s. According to Microsoft, the Surface is all about Windows 8 and the tablet was built with a minimal and unimposing design so as to direct the focus to the beautiful software running on it.
There will be two versions of the Surface, an NVIDIA Tegra 3 powered version and an Intel Core i5 powered version. Both will sport Windows 8 with the Tegra carrying the RT version while the Core i5 packs Windows 8 Pro.
The Windows RT version will carry NVIDIA Tegra 3 as mentioned above as well as a 10.6-inch Clear Type HD capacitive touch panel that boasts multi touch. Other features include 31.5Wh battery, microSD, USB .0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae and storage options of either 32 or 64GB. All this fits in a shell that is just 9.3mm thick. According to Microsoft, said tablet will be available this holiday season at comparable pricing with other tablets currently available.
Next we have the Windows 8 Pro version which sports an Ivy Bridge sourced Core i5 processor, a weight of 903 grams and thickness of 13.4mm. That 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display carries 1080p along with the usual capacitive touch panel. Of course the battery has been beefed up with this model packing a 42Wh unit. Instead of USB 2.0, we have 3.0. The rest of the ports remain but the hard drive has been upgraded with 64GB and 128GB versions being offered.
Both tablets will carry Gorilla Glass which, according to Microsoft, is optically bounded. There is a slit in the housing that will help expel heat from the system (useful for the Core i5 model) and the entire housing is made from all magnesium VaporMG.
Lastly, Microsoft is giving both tablets integrated stands, which should put many case manufactures out of business. There is a Touch Cover that operates like the SmartCover on the iPad. However, Microsoft has added an accelerometer as well as an all touch keyboard to that cover. If you would like tactile feedback, the Type Cover is available and offers a condensed QWERTY keyboard.
Overall the Microsoft Surface is looking like a very promising tablet and one that could possibly bring Microsoft to the forefront of the tablet race. That being said, it is too early to draw conclusions as the company has not gone in depth concerning such issues as camera, battery life, app availability, pricing and of course if there will be carrier subsidized models.
At the end of the day, we are excited about the Surface and with Microsoft’s recent push to mesh all their products in hopes of creating a completely connected ecosystem, the Surface is looking like the last link to such a chain. Here’s to waiting and seeing just how Project Glass will fit into the Surface’s future.