Just like we expected, Microsoft has just unveiled their self-branded range of Windows 8 tablets, named Microsoft Surface. Two models were announced today, and both of them boast of a 10.6″ HD screen, comes with a built-in kickstand, (an optional?) detachable magnetic multi-touch keyboard with trackpad, and run the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
The whole affair was a well-kept secret which even Apple would be proud of. Though we had some clues about Microsoft branded tablets, no one actually knew anything more than that. At Milk Studio in Hollywood, LA, Microsoft announced Surface tablet for Windows RT and Surface tablet for Windows 8 Pro.
While the Microsoft Surface PC for Windows 8 Pro will be powered by Intel’s 22nm Ivy Bridge chips running Windows 8 Pro OS, the Surface PC for Windows RT will be powered by an ARM chipset and Windows RT. Details about the ARM chipset weren’t revealed during the event. Both of Microsoft’s Surface tablets feature optional Touch and Type covers.
The casing of Surface tablets is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag) which gives a sleek and premium feel to the tablets. The built-in kickstand lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption like watching a movie. It disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
Surface tablets also come with an optional 3mm Touch Cover which senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard, and also works as a protective cover. Much like Apple’s smart cases, the Touch cover will come in a variety of colors.
Microsoft Surface: Availability & Price
Microsoft failed to address bot the availability and pricing details during the event. Steve Ballmer, the company’s CEO did confirm that the ARM based Surface for Windows RT will launch along with Windows 8 (which is expected in October this year), while the Intel version will not launch until after 3 months from then.
As for the pricing, Microsoft played safe by saying that they will provide the details before the launch happens and only said that both the tablets will be ‘competitively priced’. Going by that statement, we can assume the ARM based Surface to be priced around $500 – $750, while the Intel based Surface should be priced over $1000.
Below is the promotional video showing the Microsoft Surface tablets.