On Monday, Microsoft revealed its Surface tablet at a Los Angeles press conference. Rumors before the announcement pointed to the Redmond-based company having an own-brand tablet on the way, and a spec sheet leaked on Monday detailed an Xbox focused slate that would combine gaming, HD output and entertainment in a 7-inch tablet that would signal Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market. Some of the rumors came through, and MS revealed its first Windows tablet line.
Microsoft Surface tablet
“Surface fulfills the dream of working anywhere,” Microsoft said, describing the 9.3mm thick tablet. The tablet comes with a lightweight (less than 1.5lbs) magnesium case and an integrated stand that props up the slate while watching videos or typing on a Bluetooth keypad. The 10.6” HD screen is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and it has a magnetic connector to hold the case in place.
The Microsoft Surface comes with a number of the most popular MS apps, like Xbox Live, and it has a native Netflix app too. USB 2.0 and HDMI-outputs are there as well, as are rear and front-facing cameras. An Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 chip runs the Windows 8 Pro Surface version, which has a unique vented active cooling system. The Windows RT version of the Surface will have an ARM-based chipset.
The Surface supports finger and stylus input, and it has 600dpi “Digital Ink” for drawing, writing and marking documents. It also supports a Touchcover with an integrated keypad.
“This was built as a stage for Windows 8,” said Microsoft’s Panos Panay on stage at the press conference. “It was important that we have hardware fade to the background so Windows 8 can come to the surface.”
There will be two versions available at launch – one running Windows 8 Pro and one on Windows RT. The prices will be “like comparable tablets based on ARM” for the RT version, and like Ultrabooks for the 8 Pro model. The RT model will come with 32GB or 64GB of storage, and the Pro 8 version will have either 64GB or 128GB of storage.