Microsoft Surface Tablet with Windows 8 Takes Aim at iPad
Microsoft released Surface today, their direct competitor to the iPad and Android tablets. As you’d expect, the device is a touchscreen tablet but differs from the iPad in that it comes in two distinct versions; a traditional tablet model based on ARM architecture and runs only Windows RT – that’s Metro for those who don’t follow MS closely – and the other is a pro model based on Intel Ivy Bridge chips that runs full-fledged Windows 8 desktop.
Other than providing a look at Apple’s competition, perhaps most interesting to iPad users is the cover that ships with the tablet. Upon first appearance it looks like a Smart Cover knock-off, but it actually one-ups Apple’s offering by including a completely functional multitouch keyboard built directly into the cover itself. It certainly looks fascinating, and assuming it works well you can bet third party cover manufactures will be cranking out similar cases for the iPad soon.
Onto the Surface specs:
Surface – Standard model
- Windows RT (Metro-only interface)
- ARM CPU
- 32GB and 64GB available
- 9.3mm thick enclosure made out of magnesium, with built-in stand
- 10.6″ ClearType HD Display (retina-ish?), 16×9 aspect ratio
- MicroSD card slot, USB 2.0, MicroHD video, 2×2 MIMO antennae (?)
- Bundled with Office Home & Student 2013 RT
- Multitouch cover with built-in keyboard
Surface – Pro model
- Windows 8 Pro (standard Windows desktop & Metro)
- Intel Ivy Bridge CPU
- 64GB and 128GB storage
- 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display (not sure how this differs from other model)
- MicroSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2×2 MIMO
- Bundled with Touch Cover, Type Cover, and magnet stylus pen
Noticeably missing from either spec sheet provided by Microsoft is any word on battery life, device pricing, or availability of the Surface.
Here is Microsofts …unusual… promo video for Surface, it is more similar to the Motorola DROID commercials than any Apple advertisement:
What do you think, does the Surface look interesting to you? If you’ve played around with Windows 8 on your Mac, does it seem like the type of OS you’d want to run full time on a tablet? Anyone going to jump from the iPad to the Surface? I’m fascinated by the announcement and I think it looks like an interesting product, I look forward to trying one out.