Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microsoft Surface tablet unveiled

In a press briefing at L.A. earlier today, Microsoft finally ended all the rumors that were going on in the interwebs in the past weeks and days – they have finally announced their own hardware that will go with Windows 8, and they call it the Surface. Aptly. the Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface 5

It was a surprising move since Microsoft already have a bunch of OEM partners that are committed on producing Windows 8 machines. I hope Microsoft just didn’t made those OEMs’ mind change.

Moving to the Surface itself, Microsoft will be producing two variants of the tablet – the first one is the Surface for Windows RT, and the other one is the Surface for Windows 8 Pro. As obvious as it sounds, the former will be running on Windows 8 designed for ARM processors, such as the Nvidia Tegra 3+ which is suspected to be powering the device. The latter obviously runs on Intel processors which can handle legacy x86 PC applications that the former cannot.

Microsoft Surface

The Microsoft Surface is built out of a vapor-deposited magnesium body, or what they call the VaporMg casing – that makes it tough and protects the internals of the device. Microsoft putted a 10.6-inch screen on the devices, Gorilla Glass 2.0 display for a touch and strong fronting to partner up the strong body. The former variant will have an HD resolution while the Intel-based version will have Full HD screen. A kickstand at the back is present for the lazy-movie-watching-in-couch times.

Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft will also offer accessories such as the Touch Cover and Type Cover. The Touch Cover is basically a cover a-la Smart Cover for the iPad but this one has a soft-press keyboard on it. The Type Cover on the other hand is for those who prefer tactile press feedback, the only difference is that it is a bit more thicker than the Touch Cover.

  Surface for Windows RT Surface for Windows 8 Pro
Operating System Windows 8 RT Windows 8 pro
Screen 10.6-inch HD resolution 10.6-inch Full HD resolution
Processor ARM Nvidia Tegra 3rd Gen. Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge
Storage 32 / 64 GB 64 / 128 GB
Thickness 9.3 mm 13.5 mm
Weight 676 g 903 g
Battery 31.5 W-h 42 W-h
Connectivity microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
Accessories Touch Cover, Type Cover Touch Cover and/or Type Cover, Digital Pen
Price ~$400-$500 ~$600-$700

Microsoft has not yet announced on when will the new Surface tablets will ship and for how much. I’m guessing it will mostly likely appear on store shelves sometime this Holiday season.

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