Microsoft Surface tablet: everything you need to know
Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet has been revealed to the world and we’ve got all the essential details.
The ingenious snap-on cover folds out to give you a multi-touch keyboard with trackpad.
Following a flood of rumours and internet speculation, last night’s special Microsoft event in LA turned out to have nothing to do with Barnes & Noble link-ups or Xbox Live streaming. Instead, Microsoft revealed something way more interesting – the Microsoft Surface, its own Windows 8 tablet and challenger to the iPad crown.
Microsoft Surface – two versions
The Surface will be available in two models. The thinner and lighter Windows RT model weighs just 676g and is 9.3mm thick. It uses a 10.6-inch ClearType 720p display, runs a mobile version of Windows 8 and is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.
The beautiful, ultra-thin design includes a kick-stand for stable use at the optimum 22-degree angle.
The more powerful Windows 8 Pro model uses a full Intel processor and offers a desktop-experience with the full Windows 8 Pro edition.
It weighs 903g, is 13.5mm thick and uses a 10.6-inch ClearType 1080p display. Both models also provide a USB port, removable flash-storage, two cameras, video output and come with a neat integrated stand and keyboard that doubles as a cover.
Microsoft Surface – the design
But Microsoft Surface isn’t so much about the specifications but the care and attention put into its design. Throughout the presentation Microsoft went to great lengths to point out how much time was spent developing the beautifully engineered device.
As an example, it has a kick-out stand that’s only 0.7mm thick but provides sturdy support at 22 degrees and clips back in to feel like a solid part of the chassis. The entire tablet is designed around this 22-degree angle, so the bevelled edges enables the Microsoft Surface to sit perfectly and the angle of the front-facing camera means it stays level when on a table.
Microsoft Surface – cover/keyboard
Another great design feature is the snap-on cover that doubles up as multi-touch soft keyboard. It’s only 3mm thick and includes left- and right-buttons plus a multi-touch trackpad. There’s also a ‘hard’ keyboard option that has the same cover but with physical keys that have 1.5mm of travel for full touch-typing.
Microsoft Surface – how much?
While there was no announcement on specific pricing, Microsoft did say Windows RT models will be priced competitively with rival ARM tablets and will launch alongside Windows in the autumn. The Windows 8 Pro model will be priced at a similar level to Ultrabooks and should be out in time for Christmas.
In the meantime why not enjoy the crazy Microsoft Surface teaser…
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