A tablet that works and plays the way you want it to. Microsoft announced a new tablet in their press conference.
What we now know is that there will be 2 versions of the Microsoft surface. An ARM-powered unit (Chip supplied from Nvidia) coming in at 9.3mm thick. This one obviously runs Windows RT
Secondly a Intel Based Surface tablet that will be running Windows Pro with some decent passive cooling thanks for the design.
Both are coming in 32 or 64gb versions and feature amongst other things 16:9 widescreen HD Display, a mini Displayport, a full-sized USB 2.0 ports and MicroSD slots. The Windows Pro surface will get an upgrade to USB 3 unlike its Arm counterpart.
Notable Specs from the press announcement.
Windows RT Surface Specs
10.6″ Cleartype HD Display
31.5 Wh Battery
Micro SD, USB 2, Micro HD Video Out
Office Home and Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover
Windows 8 Pro Surface Specs
10.6″ Cleartype HD Display
42 Wh Battery
Micro SDXC, USB 3, Micro Displayport Video
Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
64 GB, 128GB
HD Video Out
Full magnesium case. Codename VaporMg
Optically bonded display specially designed for Surface .
Surface: dual 2×2 Memo antennas.
Stand built into the device.
Gorilla Glass 2
HDMI Built in along with front and rear facing cameras
One of the better things about the Stand built into the device is the fact its actually a multi touch keyboard. Keys are switched based with 1.5mm travel. A handy trackpad is just where you’d normally rest your wrists. A lot of time was spent in the press conference about a kick stand to make sure it was just right as it flies in the face of tablets.
On the MS demonstration its claimed an Ivy Bridge Core i5 was powering the demo unit. That comes with a cooling issue and how do you overcome that?
Perimeter venting is the solution. It’s a groove ringing the whole tablet. “You never block it with your hands. You never even feel it.”
Going another extra mile is support for digital ink. “Because the screen is optically bonded…it feels like you’re inking right on the page.”
Typing is clearly where the tablet is aiming to resolve some of the issues with tablets as they are right now. With the touchpad “When you touch at touch type speed, you need to find a home position to rest your hands.” So reading into this you setup a home position to avoid accidental inputs from fingers or the track pad. The cover measures every gram of force coming from your fingers. Not sure how that helps with a typist but plenty of gaming opportunities there. Track and field anyone?
Pricing and Availability
Surface for Windows RT coming in 32GB and 64GB models. Priced “like comparable tablets based on ARM.”
Pro coming in 64GB and 128GB models, will be priced on par with Ultrabook-class PCs.
Availability will dovetail with the Windows 8 launch. That’s for RT. Pro doesn’t come until about three months later.
Theres no doubt this is an impressive technical feat. i5, passive cooling and the cover that doubles as a keyboard with built in trackpad yet there’s still that niggling feeling as a technical demo we knew this was possible, it was just time before it came along. Some features are neat but not mind blowing more handy in the keyboard case sense.
Depending on the pricing this could very well be a contender for hitting the number 2 spot and taking some shine away from the iPad king. Certainly familiarity with windows will help but will that be enough?