Microsoft Surface – Microsoft’s Own Entrant Into the Tablet War

Microsoft Announcement – Surface

Last Thursday, Microsoft sent out mysterious invitations to an event that was to be held June 18th, 2012. Many rumors began to spread about what Microsoft would be announcing at their secret event. That event turned out to be where Microsoft announced their very own entrant into the ‘Tablet Arena’, not just in software, but hardware as well.

Microsoft Announced and Demoed what they are calling Surface, not to be confused with Microsoft’s other product named surface that was a large table top touch-screen designed for retail stores. The new surface is a 10 inch tablet with a built-in kickstand and a magnetically attachable keyboard.

With the limited information we have so far there are many impressive things about this new tablet:

Firstly, Microsoft had the foresight to not limit this tablet to either Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro. The tablet will come in two variations one running Windows RT and one running Windows 8 Pro, this gives the consumer the choice to choose what kind of a device they want. The two different versions of the tablet are detailed here:

The Windows RT version is said to be running an Nvidia Tegra chip while the Window 8 Pro version is sporting an intel core i5 processor.

Secondly, the built in kickstand is a bonus for many. When I briefly had an HTC HD7 Windows Phone a year ago, my favorite feature was the kickstand. It allowed me to set my phone up as if it were on a dock anywhere without needing to buy multiple docks. I am glad to see this feature coming out in a tablet as well.

Thirdly, the keyboard is somewhat of an ingenious design. Attaching a keyboard to a tablet is nothing new but this particular keyboard is special. When closed, the keyboard is as thin as stylish as the microfiber cases many sport on their iPads or similar tablets, however when it opens it is a fully functional keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard/cover is also easily removable to give it the 100% tablet feel.

You can check out the teaser video and gallery as well as more details here.

Whether you love Microsoft or hate them, you have to admit this product is in a whole new class of it’s own. Running an operating system that has been optimized for Tablet, Laptop and Desktop gives this hardware the ability to shine. Microsoft Surface will have the ease of use of a tablet on the go, the portability meets productivity of a laptop when you sit down and with the help of the USB and mini display ports, the hardcore productivity of a desktop.

There is no word on pricing other than the statement that the Windows 8 Pro version will be “comparable to ultrabook pricing.” It would then be hoped that the Windows RT version is cheaper than “ultrabook pricing.” It has also been stated that the Windows 8 Pro version will be released 3 months after the Windows RT version which will be released at the same time as general availability for Windows 8.which The extra wait is a real bummer for those waiting for a true all-in-one computing device, but a big bonus for other manufacturers who are readying their own Windows 8 devices and don’t want the competition of a more thought out Microsoft Tablet.