Surface: Microsoft unveils their own 10.6" tablet running Windows 8
Microsoft has unveiled their own range of tablets during an event in Los Angeles. The Surface tablets come with an x86 processor running Windows 8 or ARM with Windows RT.
After the false lead that a product was being developed in conjunction with Barnes & Noble, Microsoft has now announced at an even on Monday evening in Los Angeles that they would in fact be releasing their own range of tablets to promote the upcoming Windows 8 OS.
This ranges name, Surface, has been derived from an exceptional product previously released by Microsoft – their interactive tablet. The device comes with a 10.6” diagonal screen with two possible configurations: ARM/Windows RT or x86/Windows 8.
The ARM version (the processor hasn’t been specified) is 9.3mm thick and weighs 676 grams. It comes with a 10.6" ClearType HD display and either 32 or 64 GB of storage space. On board we find USB 2.0 and microSD ports.
The x86 Surface tablets will come with Windows 8 pro and will be 13.5 mm thick and weighing 903 grams. It will also come with a larger battery and USB 3.0, MiniDisplayPort and microSDXC support. This version will come with 64 GB or 128 GB storage options. This version will be aimed more at professional uses, while the ARM release is aimed more towards the general public.
The Microsoft Surface range is situated halfway between tablet and computer: hence the USB ports. It also benefits from a specific shell, nicknamed VaporMg, which allows for a moulded finish that is thinner, lighter and more rigid which also integrating a touch ball. When using the tablet, this trackball is found in the shell and is flush with the finish.
To make this tablet almost like a computer, Microsoft is providing the Touch Cover accessory with the Surface tablet to assist in the devices protection. There will also be a full virtual keyboard with track pad, with the keys not being standard buttons but rather the use of sensitive pressure technologies which make it just as reactive and practical as a virtual keyboard displayed on the tablets screen.
Microsoft hasn’t yet indicated when their Surface tablet range will be available, although it should be found in the second half of the year. As for the price, Microsoft has stated that it will be in the same range as ARM tablets and ultra-books currently found on the market.
As presented, Microsoft will be responsible for their own manufacturing, with the devices aimed at assisting the launch of their Windows 8 OS at the same time as presenting the OS’ possibilities on this kind of device. This isn’t the first time that the company has launched their own hardware for a specific product range, but here the outcome is so much larger due to the crushing domination of Apple’s iPad tablet and ecosystem and Android with the tens of tablets available on the market.
Microsoft, while giving their all on the development of the Surface range, are taking a risk by being both a partner and competitor with their Windows 8 system at a time other large manufacturers are getting ready to launch this OS following mixed results on Android.
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