Microsoft today introduced Surface, their response to the Apple iPad and Android tablets.
And it looks like the world of tablets is going to get a lot more interesting, fast.
Microsoft positions Surface as ‘a new family of PCs for Windows’, very different than they way Apple has positioned the iPad as a ‘post-pc’ device. And Microsoft seems to be doing a good job of executing their vision, introducing a stylish tablet that nevertheless emphasizes the company’s Windows strengths.
Two models of Surface will be available:
- one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT; and
- one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro.
Microsoft Surface looks like it could be a very interesting development in the world of tablet computers. Microsoft is taking a different approach than Apple, imagining tablets as ultra-lightweight PCs. This vision could be compelling for a lot of Windows users. And, if pricing is right, Surface could put the squeeze on Android tablets.
We’ll be very interested to see how Surface for Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro develops as a music platform. Check out the details and let us know what you think!
Here’s what Microsoft has to say about Microsoft Surface:
Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company’s 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:
Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
Here’s the Microsoft Surface intro video:
Additional Product Information
Surface for Windows RT
- OS: Windows RT
- Light(1): 676 g
- Thin(2): 9.3 mm
- Clear: 10.6” ClearType HD Display
- Energized: 31.5 W-h
- Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
- Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
- Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB
Surface for Windows 8 Pro
- OS: Windows 8 Pro
- Light(1): 903 g
- Thin(2): 13.5 mm
- Clear: 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
- Energized: 42 W-h
- Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
- Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
- Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB
Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.