Microsoft introduces Surface Tablets running Windows 8
Microsoft finally unveiled their new Windows 8 powered tablets at a keynote presentation on Monday. CEO Steve Ballmer introduced the new series called Surface that currently has two models. First, there is Surface for Windows RT Tablet then you have another model which is a bit thicker and heavier named Surface for Windows 8 Pro Tablet. At the event, the company showed why these devices will reignite the tablet industry competition which is currently dominated by the iPad 3rd Generation.
While both the tablets look a lot alike, the 10.6 Inch Pro Model is sized at 13.5mm (thickness) and weighs 903 grams. On the other hand the Surface RT version is not only thinner at around 9.3mm but is quite lighter (676 grams) than the pro model as well. Both the tablets feature a simple looking compact design with a new magnesium casing that is light to handle but looks so beautiful and compact. Microsoft also boasted this technology in their official launch video for the surface. The tablets comes packed with a kickstand at the back that can support it vertically on a table. The most innovative addition is a cover that looks quite alike the Apple Smart Cover for the Ipad, but comes packed with a full touch sensitive keyboard and a trackpad. Microsoft reported that they will also release another edition of the cover which is slightly thicker and the keys are a bit uplifted to give the keyboard a physical feel.
One of the most confusing question about the new release from Microsoft is the difference between RT and Windows 8 Pro. To make things crystal clear I will explain you in a single line what the difference actually is and which model should you go for. The Surface RT version gives you the new Metro Look of Windows 8 only . You can run all your applications for Windows 8 on this new interface but you cannot switch to the standard desktop layout. The RT model being light and slim is aimed at hardcore tablet users. The RT version is powered by the new ARM processors and Nvidia Tegra Graphics Chips.
If you want something more hybrid then you should go with the Surface Windows 8 Pro Edition. Not only you get the full metro layout but you can switch to the standard desktop view whenever you want. The 10.6 Inch HD screen is powered by the Intel Ivy Bridge Processors to combat desktop heavy applications. The pro model also has USB 3.0 which I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t included in the RT version having USB 2.0.
It will be interesting to see how the tablet industry responds to the new Surface edition devices which is due to be released with the launch of Windows 8 later this year. Here are some of the specifications from the two models courtesy of Engadget.
Surface for Windows RT tablet Specifications
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra-based ARM chip
- Weight: 676 grams
- Thickness: 9.3 millimeters
- Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD capactive touchpanel
- Battery: 31.5Wh
- I/O: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Software: Windows RT + Office Home & Student 2013 RT
- Accessories: Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand
- Capacity: 32GB / 64GB
- Availability: “Around” the Windows 8 launch (fall 2012)
- Pricing: To be determined
Surface for Windows 8 Pro tablet Specifications
- Processor: Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge)
- Weight: 903 grams
- Thickness: 13.5 millimeters
- Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD (1080p) capactive touchpanel
- Battery: 42Wh
- I/O: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Software: Windows 8 Pro
- Accessories: Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand, Pen with Palm Block
- Capacity: 64GB / 128GB
- Availability: “Three months after” the Windows 8 launch this fall
- Pricing: To be determined
Here is the Official Launch Video: