With the global market and trends of modern times, a company like Microsoft cannot sit by idly relying on the tried and tested of old. The last two years have seen somewhat of a shake-up at Redmond with a number of new software developments, such as Windows 8 and Windows Mobile 7 (and recently Windows Mobile 8), some of which may upset their longstanding partners. Microsoft now entered a market it has barely tinkered with, that of its own hardware (unless you consider input devices such as their mouse, keyboard and webcam divisions). The original Surface (now PixelSense) is one of the few gadgets worth a noteworthy mention. Not happy to simply live off the commissions of having their Windows 8 software running on a number of new tablets, Microsoft unveiled a tablet of their own. At an event (short notice btw) in Los Angeles earlier this week, CEO Steve Ballmer showcased their new Surface tablet PC.
Microsoft revealed that there will be two versions of the device, the base model running on Windows RT OS, and the pro version, running on Windows 8 OS. The base version will be powered by an ARM CPU in the form of an nVidia chip (no word on whether this is Tegra 3); while the pro version will have an Intel based Ivy Bridge Quad Core i5 CPU. Both devices will make use of a USB port, microSD slot, magnetic strip to attach accessories such as the ‘Touch Cover’ and ‘Type Cover’, and both a rear and front facing camera.
The Surface will be available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, whereas the Surface Pro will available in a 64GB or 128GB version. Both devices will have 10.6 in ClearType screen with 16:9 aspect ratio, the difference being an HD (1280×720) and Full HD (1920×1080) screen, respectively. In terms of their respective weights, the Surface will be around the 680g mark, and the Surface Pro around 900g.
Other notable specifications include Metro UI, Gorilla Glass 2, Multi Touch, Light Sensor, Scratch-resistant Glass, Accelerometer, HD out, Wi-Fi, Microsoft Store, XBox Games, and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. The Surface will pack a reasonable 31.5Wh Li-Ion battery and a larger 42Wh on the Surface Pro.
As mentioned in the intro, Microsoft has created a nervy buzz around their business partners, with some PC vendors expressing their concern with unveiling of the Surface tablet. Is the Surface a real competitor to the iPad or yet another overpriced gadget with no true purpose? Fortunately for Microsoft, the OS has close ties to the latest desktop version, promising great integration and seamless interchanging of devices to the end user.
You can find the preliminary specifications here.