Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microsoft Announces "Surface" Tablet

Microsoft has announced its own tablet, dubbed Surface, due soon, that will run Windows 8, which is optimized for tablets. Moreover, it is a device that will also have a magically-slim keyboard/touchpad panel that will snap onto its side, converting it into a laptop.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off the tablet in a news conference in San Francisco yesterday. While the company doesn't give price specifics, they say that it will be "comparably" priced to other tablets. It will come in two versions, the Surface (0.68 kg, 9mm thick, Windows 8 RT) and the Surface Pro (slightly thicker and heavier, Windows 8 Pro). The standard one will be available in 32 and 64 GB versions, suggesting that Microsoft sees this device as more of a portable mobile device that can get work done like its desktop counterparts rather than a full-fledged home computer replacement. The Pro version will come in 64 and 128 GB configurations. Both will have 10.6-inch screens.

The Surface tablets will come with a little kickstand that will let you prop them up vertically like an iPad with a Smart Cover or Smart Case and a keyboard/cover combo that will magnetically snap on and flip down to make it a laptop-like device. They will have two cameras and will work with styluses that will magnetically attach to the device (the Pro version will have one included).

Microsoft is going Apple's way of designing the software and hardware themselves, like they already do with Microsoft Signature PCs and the XBOX 360.

Microsoft's official Surface website has some more info and really cool photos of the tablets. Oh, and they also have this really snazzy video that is very not-Apple-like.