Microsoft Surface is back in the limelight, this time as a brand new tablet product produced by Microsoft.
Microsoft Unveils Surface Windows 8 Tablet
Microsoft unveiled “the new Surface” at a small Tuesday event that was attended by the entire tech press brigade. It is a new tablet device that is based on Windows 8 and is a whole lot of engineering on the hardware, the likes of which we are used to seeing only from Apple.
This is a 9.3mm thin tablet device weighing 537grams (just under 1.5pounds) and has some custom made hardware features that include a kickstand that is only 0.7mm thin (yes, less than a millimeter) and a optically bonded Corning Gorilla Glass 2 that makes the distance between the glass and the display imperceptible. The touchscreen also supports digital ink, so you can take out your digital pen and start scribbling directly on the tablet. This works beautifully for PDF’s, as shown during the demo that was covered brilliantly by the Engadget live blogging team that was present at the event.
The digitizer capability also means it will effectively replace the expensive convertible Windows XP and Windows 7 laptops that come with digitizer layers. They are extensively used by architects, businessmen and anyone who needs to take notes, draw and annotate on the go.
The case is made out of magnesium alloy and is extremely hardy, we are told. It is also very well designed and apparently has over 200 custom made parts. The kickstand alone is held together by 3 hinges, apparently. So yes, there’s a lot going on here under the hood.
And then there’s the cover, which is actually a touch keyboard that has a all the standard keys along with the Windows key and boasts of a 1.5mm key travel. It is too is quite thin.
The tablets will come in Windows RT (running on an NVIDIA made ARM chip) and Windows 8 Pro versions (running on Intel’s Ivy Bridge). The demo tablet was running on Ivy Bridge. The ARM version will come out around the same time as Windows 8 (we are guessing later this year in October) and the Intel ones will come out three months after that. Pricing for the ARM tablet will be the same as comparable tablets and the Intel tablet will cost as much as similar ultrabooks, said Microsoft at the event.