In an small room filled with journalists and bloggers, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft publicly announced their new Microsoft Surface – a new Windows 8 Tablet.
Described as “Hardware and software pushing each other” by Ballmer, Microsoft Surface is 9.3mm thin, and has an on-board USB 2.0 port. A full magnesium (VaporMg) case weighs only 576 grams (1.5 lbs) and has access to the various Windows Apps, including Xbox. The whole system is optimized for Windows 8 and has an “optically bonded display” and native Netflix application. Dual 2×2 Memo antennas, a built-in stand, and Corning Gorilla glass 2 round out the aesthetics of the device.
The cover of the device (like the Apple Smart Cover) has a magnet to snap shut on the device but, also functions as a full multi-touch keyboard. There is also a touch pad with left and right buttons built in as well. Everything captured on its front and rear cameras can be displayed through the built in HDMI port. The Clear Type full HD display is designed to minimize tablet thickness and conserve battery life. The tablet on display was running an Ivy Bridge Core i5 and, to handle the cooling of the device, Microsoft used a perimeter venting solution.
As for software, Microsoft claims that the capabilities of Surface will be available in all your familiar Windows applications. The tablet supports digital ink, so users can open a PDF and mark it up as the tablet reacts just as a real piece of paper would.
Microsoft took a unique path with this tablet. Everything is designed to fit seamlessly into your life. “Every line (on the device) is calculated,” said a Microsoft Exec – we aren’t supposed to even recognize that we are using it as the ergonomics of the design are supposed to “fade to the background” as was the goal for most of the hardware inthis project. Shoot, the kickstand on the cover is thinner than a credit card.
A Little More about the cover….
The touch cover (which seems to have taken a lot of Microsoft’s attention) has a built-in accelerometer and a color syncing function that syncs the color of the tablet to the color of the attached cover. The “Touch Cover,” as it is called, is made up of seven layers and measures every gram of force coming from your fingers as you type.
Surface for Windows RT is coming in 32GB and 64GB models priced “like comparable tablets based on ARM.” The Pro will come in 64GB and 128GB models and will be priced on par with Ultrabook-class PCs.
Availability will be announced in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 launch, and Pro will come out three months later.
“Because of Windows 8, the Surface IS a PC. The Surface IS a tablet,” – Steve Ballmer