Microsoft announced a tablet today, that will run on the latest edition of Windows, Windows 8. This device will be manufactured directly by Microsoft. Windows 8 is thought to be the first version of the popular operating system that is really fit for tablet devices, and it seems to make sense that Microsoft would create a device that fit well with the new operating system.
Microsoft is calling this new tablet device Surface. The Surface tablet sports a 10.6 inch screen with a 16:9 ratio, a slick design and some unique features. The design clicks nicely with the look and feel of the operating system that runs on it. Windows 8 features a design mentality called metro, which features minimalistic fonts, colors and tiles. The minimalistic approach continues on the tablet itself. The device has a nice magnesium casing and a boxy but appealing design. It also sports a built in kickstand that allows it to stand upright.
Like the Apple iPad, the Surface tablet has a cover that attaches to the device magnetically. The thing that sets Surface's cover apart is that, when open, it doubles as a touch-sensitive keyboard and track-pad that will transform the Surface into a more laptop-like device. With the kickstand open, the device will sit on a table and be usable just like a laptop. Microsoft will also offer a higher-end keyboard cover that offers a more physical keyboard-like experience.
The Surface tablet will be available in two models. The first, and lower-end model, will run on the ARM processor, and will be called the Surface RT, as it runs on Windows RT, the only version of Windows 8 that will be compatible with ARM processors. This model will weigh in at 676g., and will be 9.3mm thick. It will sport a microSD slot, a full-size USB 2.0 port, and Micro HD video, and will be available in either 32 or 64 gigabyte versions.
The higher-end model will be called the Surface 8 Pro, and will run Windows 8 Pro, using an Intel processor. It will be a bit heavier and thicker than the RT version, at 903g. and 13.5mm. The 8 Pro version will sport a microSDXC, a full-size USB 3.0 port, and Mini DisplayPort video. The 8 Pro version will be available in 64 and 128 gigabyte versions. The 8 Pro version will also have a stylus for handwriting that will lock on to the device magnetically.
The announcement of this device seems to be a step in the right direction for Microsoft. It seems like they really got everything right this time. However, there is no pricing announced yet, and that may be a large factor in the success or failure of the Surface device. There was no word on when the Surface will be available, but it can be assumed that its launch will coincide with the launch of Windows 8.
The video below was created by Microsoft to showcase some of the features of the new tablet.