Microsoft tries to take a bite out of Apple earlier this week by unveiling their new tablet, Microsoft Surface. I say it’s about time Apple face some serious competition in the tablet market to challenge the iPad.
With Windows 8′s Metro design clearly built for the benefits of touch screen tablets, a tablet from Microsoft is inevitable. Steve Ballmer describe Surface as giving Windows 8 “its own companion hardware innovation”. This is a tablet that runs as a full PC.
Microsoft Surface for Windows RT will be 9 mm thick, weight 1.5 pound and will run on low-power ARM chips. There will be another version of Surface for Windows 8 Pro, this will be the luxury version which looks a thicker but it will run on Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors. For most of the people, Surface for Windows RT will be the one for them. Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be as powerful as any Ultrabooks and looks to be the target for enterprise segment.
The Surface’s shell is made of what Microsoft calls vapor-deposited magnesium, or VaporMg (pronounce Vapor Mag). The VaporMg casing is a Magnesium alloy case that is strong, light, and scratch resistance, Microsoft calling the finishing as “elegant” and “smooth”. A kick stand is integrated into the Surface’s rear to hold it upright on a table, a nice little feature that is welcome. The screen ratio will be 16:9 with a screen size of 10.6″ diagonally protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2. It has a full HD display that Microsoft claims you won’t be able to distinguish between individual pixels at normal viewing distances (approx. 17 inches). Surface is the first tablet to incorporate dual 2×2 MIMO antennas for best wi-fi reception in ANY tablet.
And with all of those, comes the Touch Cover. It is a fold over rubbery cover with built-in keyboard and touch pad, because typing on iPad was a nightmare. It clicks nicely to the magnetic holder from the Surface and at the same time protects your screen, and it is just 3mm thick. Microsoft made a big deal about the Touch Cover and the kick stand, and they should. If the Touch Cover works as well as Microsoft claims, it could be a serious challenge to iPad’s foothold as the king of tablets.
Surface for Windows RT will be available in 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte model and will be priced like comparable tablets that are based on ARM. Surface for Windows 8 Professional will come in 64-gigabyte and 128-gigabyte storage models and will have a retail price comparable with competitive Ultrabook-class PCs.
Surface for Windows RT retail availability will be around the time of Windows 8 general availability, and Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be 3 months after that.
Big challenge for iPad ahead, Microsoft will do everything to make sure Windows 8 and Surface works. Surface is Microsoft’s answer for Apple’s iPad, and it looks really interesting. Microsoft is getting exciting again, will they challenge iPad? Only time will tell, but these are exciting times.
You can watch the full keynote here :
Video by TheVerge