Microsoft Announces Surface
Remember when the Microsoft Surface was a 30-inch touch-screen table popping up in hotels back in 2007? The table has since been rebranded as the Samsung SUR40 with PixelSense, and as of last week, Microsoft announced the Surface will now be a tablet.
Two versions of the Surface will be released: one that runs Windows RT with an ARM processor (32 or 64 GB) and the other will have Windows 8 with a third generation Intel Core processor (64 or 128 GB). Each version sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio (industry standard for HD). Its casing is created using an approach called VaporMg, which is similar to a process that creates the finish to a luxury watch, where parts can be molded as thin as .65mm to create a rigid/strong, yet light product.
The VaporMg enables the Surface to have an integrated kick-stand (instead of having to buy a separate case to prop up your tablet). This lets you transition your Surface from active use to passive consumption (or using the HD front or rear-facing cameras). When finished, you can easily make the kickstand disappear. One of the biggest selling points is that the Touch Cover enables you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard, and it will be available in various colors. It clicks right into your Surface with a magnetic connector and works as a protective cover. Additionally, you can click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a traditional typing feel.
This all sounds great, right? Yet there are still questions unanswered in the announcement. How much does it cost (maybe $600 – ballpark guess based on iPad pricing)? When will this be released (Windows 8 hints point to possibly in the fall/October)? Is data built-in, and what company will provide it? What are the specs (processor speed, RAM)? Does it multitask? How long will the battery last?
We’ll have to wait and see if the Surface lives up to the hype. In the meantime, you can visit the product website at microsoft.com/surface to see any possible updates.