For years, ‘Microsoft Surface’ has been a touch-capable computer embedded in a coffee table that reminds you of the arcade machines in an 80s/90s Pizza Hut. Today, in a hastily thrown together announcement, Microsoft eventually told journalists where the announcement would take place. All the rumors that flew wildly this morning like a Barnes & Noble Nook tablet or an ‘Xbox Surface’ have been put to rest now that the truth is out there. While the rumors we’re wildly off-base, I have got to say that the reveal lived up to the hype and I see the new Microsoft Surface having serious staying power – competing with ultrabooks on form factor while offering tablet capabilities able to compete with the iPad but with a full desktop operating system through Windows 8.
The Microsoft Surface comes in two variants, Windows RT (with an ARM processor) and Windows 8 (with an Intel x86 processor). From the preliminary spec sheet, both variants will have 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display, USB port, 2×2 MIMO antennae, Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case and Stand.
The Windows RT Surface will differ by being lighter, thinner, having microSD, Micro HD Video, and USB 2.0 ports, comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT, with 32GB or 64GB storage.
The Windows 8 Pro tablet will have a longer battery life, a microSDXC slot, a USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort video output, a stylus with “a palm block”, and 64GB or 128GB of storage.
One of the coolest feature of the tablet comes from its two covers. Both are magnetic and clip right to the Surface. The Type Cover includes a full keyboard and a touchpad while the Touch Cover offers a soft protective cover that you can hold like a book.
Pricing was mentioned just to say both variants will be priced competitively with similar tablets and ultrabooks. The Windows RT Surface will be available from Microsoft retail stores or online on the day Windows 8 ships while the Windows 8 Surface will be available 3 months later. A Netflix app will also be available at launch.
I’m sure we’ll find out more as the release date gets closer. Keep apprised at Surface.com