As we all know, Microsoft’s Windows 8 will have a heavy focus on touch interfaces. A launch of this new operating system wouldn’t be complete without a flagship tablet to go with it. On Monday, Microsoft announced their new “Surface” tablets at an event in Los Angeles.
As expected, they will be running Windows 8, however there will be two different tablets. An ARM-powered Windows RT edition, which can only run Metro apps (no x86/x64 apps), and a Windows 8 Pro version, which runs on Intel and can run desktop apps. The RT tablet will be “on par with other Windows RT tablets” and the Pro tablet will be “on par with Ultrabook-grade laptops”.
The currently known specs of each are:
Surface for Windows RT
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra-based ARM chip
- Weight: 676 grams
- Thickness: 9.3 millimeters
- Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD capacitive touchscreen
- Battery: 31.5Wh
- I/O: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Software: Windows RT + Office Home & Student 2013 RT
- Capacity: 32GB / 64GB
Surface for Windows 8 Pro
- Processor: Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge)
- Weight: 903 grams
- Thickness: 13.5 millimeters
- Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen
- Battery: 42Wh
- I/O: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Software: Windows 8 Pro
- Capacity: 64GB / 128GB
The Surface tablet also comes with a kickstand cover with a touch keyboard. Microsoft claims that typing on this keyboard is as easy as typing on a real keyboard. It will probably take some getting used to, but its definitely going to be easier than typing on a touch screen. According to Microsoft, these covers use pressure-sensitive technology that allows you to type significantly faster than you would with an on-screen keyboard.
The success of this tablet will likely be highly dependent on the pricing of the RT model. If it’s higher than the iPad, it’s highly unlikely to be successful against the incredibly popular Apple tablet.
Personally, I’m quite excited to get my hands on one of these new tablets, but only time can tell whether or not these will be successful. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s boldest attempt into the tablet market and the company can’t afford to launch anything that’s not perfect.
What do you think of the Surface tablet from what we’ve seen so far? Are you planning on ordering one when its available? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.