It’s been a long race in the tablet market, and it looks like Microsoft is finally ready to launch its finished product, and it looks really cool. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. Microsoft actually designed a device that looks nice and has a pretty cool UI (Metro in Windows 8) The device is about the same size as an iPad, but looks like a super-sized Zune HD, without the ugly metal bezel at the bottom. It’s wrapped in a magnesium frame, and offers a 10.6″ display.
The Surface comes in two options, a pro and consumer option. The pro option of the Surface offers a full Intel system architecture, while the consumer sports an ARM system. The Intel version sports considerable bulk compared to the ARM version. The ARM version ways in at just over 1.5 pounds, while Intel’s version is well over 2 pounds and is 4mm thicker. However, Microsoft touts the Intel version as a complete computer, while it sees the consumer version as a personal tablet, similar to the iPad.
The device offers some pretty spectacular IO, ranging from a full size USB 2.0 port (3.0 in pro version), all the way to the mini display port. The lowest end model comes with 32GB of flash storage that can be upgraded to 128GB. This puts it in perfect range for the iPad.
They also unveiled some awesome accessories, like a keyboard built into a smart cover like device. Combined with the kickstand on the back of the physical device (yes, it has a kickstand) the keyboard is attached by magnets and looks full sized. It comes in anything from black to hot-pink. The name sounds somewhat familiar, the “Touch Cover”.
Looks like Microsoft has already built a full-fledged eco-system for this tablet by providing cases and software. Due to Microsoft going to a full-OS, they also don’t really have to worry about the app ecosystem, seeing as there is already hundreds of apps for Windows, the only problem might be the ARM processor. Here’s their promo video that features a awesome dub step beat:
It’s clear that Microsoft has done more than just scratch the “surface” (I know, I know, terrible pun) and looks like they could have a big success on their hands. Steve Ballmer & Co. have not yet announced pricing and availability, hopefully it won’t be too long before it is released because this device looks stunning.