Microsoft Presents Windows 8-Powered Surface Tablet
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jun 2012
We’ve suspected for a while that since the upcoming Windows 8 operating system is optimized for touch, Microsoft would release a touch device to go along with the operating system. Earlier this week the Redmond-based software giant confirmed those suspicions by unveiling the Windows 8-powered Surface tablet at a conference in Los Angeles.


“It’s something new, something different, a whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the aforementioned LA conference.

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Here’s the video of the Microsoft Surface keynote.


The Surface tablet is a portable PC that will let you run the same full-featured programs you can run on your Windows-powered desktop PC. The tablet comes with a magnesium VaporMG (pronounced Vapor-Mag) case, an ultra rigid and light frame with a finish akin to a luxury watch, with an integrated kickstand, and with a magnetic cover that acts as a keyboard.


Microsoft will roll out two versions of the Surface Tablet, one powered by Windows RT, the Windows 8 version optimized for ARM processors, the other by Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 edition meant to be used in a business environment by professionals.

The Windows RT-powered Surface Tablet is 9.3mm thick, weighs 646g, has a 10.6inch HD display, a 31.5 Watt-hour battery, an NVIDIA Tegra chip, microSD, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video ports, and is configurable for 32GB and 64GB.

The Windows 8 Pro-powered one is 13.5mm thick, weighs 903g, has a 10.6inch HD display, a 42 Watt-hour battery, an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge chip, microSDXC, USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort Video ports, and is configurable for 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. This version will come with Office loaded by default.


The devices will come with a 3mm thick Touch Cover keyboard that connects to the tablet magnetically. The keyboard uses pressure-sensitive tech to sense keystrokes and gestures, thus letting the user type a lot faster than with an on-screen keyboard. When not used, the keyboard protects the tablet – it acts as a protective cover. Apple does not offer something similar for the iPad, but then again there are plenty of 3rd party keyboards to choose from.

Microsoft did not say when it will release the Surface tablet and it didn’t say how much it will cost either. The company did say though that the Windows RT-powered one will be released at about the same time as Windows 8 and the Windows 8 Pro-powered one will be released about 3 months later. The later version will cost as much as ultrabook notebook computers.

Additional information on the Surface tablet is available at surface.com






Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, Surface, Tablet, Apple, iPad, Samsung, Galaxy Tab
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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