Microsoft unveiled with a mysterious-till-last-moment big event in Los Angeles its new rumored tablet named Surface. As stated by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, much like Windows 1 needed the mouse, Redmond-based company wanted to give Windows 8 its own hardware. In fact, Windows 8 presents a user interface so different from previous versions of Windows and it needs innovative devices to help spread it out. Conceived and engineered as a combination of tablet-PC, Microsoft Surface comes into two different versions: one equipped with NVIDIA chip running Windows RT as well as a version running Windows 8 Pro equipped with Intel i5.
The tablet is super-thin, just 9.3mm thin Win RT and 13.5mm for Win PRO, with a 673g weight. The chassis is made out of magnesium alloy and shows up only “Windows logo” with no trace of Microsoft logo. Windows logo is not static but it works as touch button to enable start screen.
Surface tablet has a 10.6″ 16:9 widescreen ClearType HD screen (normal HD on the RT version, Full HD 1080p on the Pro Version) made of Gorilla Glass, an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass engineered specifically to be thin, light and unscratchable.
This Windows 8 tablet is based both on NVIDIA ARM processor(RT edition) and third generation Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor(Pro Edition). Moreover, Surface RT-equipped will be available in 32 GB and 64 GB of built-in storage, while Surface running Pro version will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB. Unlike on the vast majority of the tablets competitors, Surface has a full-sized USB 2.0 (RT version) and USB 3.0 port (for PRO version simply because the core logic chipset of Intel’s Ivy Bridge chip supports this standard) and HDMI output, along with a Micro SD port of the RT version and a microSDXC port of the PRO. It also has a dual Wi-Fi MIMO antenna and a 31.5Wh battery for RT and 42Wh for PRO even though Microsoft did not reveal any spec about battery life.
Touch Cover and Type Cover Keyboards
The Touch Cover is an ultra-thin touch keyboard while the Type Cover is the slightly thicker keyboard with physical buttons and both connect easily to Surface via magnets on the side. As reported by Microsoft, The Type cover (black one shown below) comes in five vibrant colors and offers classic typing experience for those who prefer a more traditional keyboard.
If we have to wait for a first look at the new Microsoft tablet in order to better test its user experience (operating system, interface, battery life), but we have to admit that the Redmond Giant surprised all techies with its unexpected move.
Here the first promo video posted by Microsoft about its foray into the tablet hardware market: