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Microsoft Announces Two New Microsoft Surface Tablets

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 70 comments

The mystery has been solved! Or should we say revealed?

Microsoft last week announced plans for a secret event in Los Angeles this evening. The company offered no indication as to what it could possibly be planning to show us, but rumors suggested Redmond was preparing to debut an own-brand tablet. Needless to say, Microsoft's didn't disappoint, with not one but two versions of a new tablet called the Microsoft Surface. The first is an ARM powered device based on Windows RT, while the second is a full Windows tablet based on Intel technology.

 

The ARM-powered Microsoft Surface is 9.3mm thick and has a 10.6-inch display as well as a kickstand that flips out of the back of the device's magnesium casing. This kickstand is especially useful when used in conjunction with the Surface's cover. Boasting a similar clip-on design as Apple's SmartCover, the Surface's cover actually doubles as a full multi-touch keyboard complete with trackpad. This case measures in at 3mm thick.

 

Microsoft also showed off the Surface for Windows 8 Pro, which is a full PC based on an Intel Core i5 CPU. The tablet is slightly thicker than the ARM-powered Surface, measuring in at 14mm thick and weighing 2lbs, but it comes with that same awesome multitouch keyboard/trackpad cover. In addition, it also comes with both pen and touch input, and the TypeCover, which is the same as the multi-touch cover but with real physical buttons.

No pricing just yet, but Microsoft said today that the ARM version would be available in 32GB and 64GB capacities and priced "like comparable tablets based on ARM." So take from that what you will. As far as the Surface for Windows 8 Pro is concerned, you're looking at 64GB and 128GB models, with pricing matching that of an Ultrabook PC. Availability is set for around the same time as the Windows 8 launch. 

So, who wants one?

[UPDATE] It looks like surface.com is live. Right now it's showing off a lovely Surface tablet in Lumia blue. Altogether now: "Oooooh!"

[Update 2] Surface.com, now with more sexy video action (thanks, kcorp2003)! Something about the music makes me want one of these even more. That's the marketing team's job done, I guess. Check it out below.

Microsoft Surface Promo

Photos by Devin Connors.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    willard , June 19, 2012 1:40 AM
    notlim981This seems more of an iClone by MS to me. Meh, thanks but no thanks.

    Yeah, because the iPad has a keyboard built into the cover, built in kickstand, USB support, HDMI support, micro-SD support and runs a Core i5 processor.

    Glad you were around to point out that these were all things Microsoft stole from Apple.
  • 23 Hide
    derkman , June 19, 2012 12:16 AM
    It's over. Apple is finished.
  • 18 Hide
    JMcEntegart , June 19, 2012 12:38 AM
    dalethepcmanThanks for the pic's and the update.


    You're welcome! :) 

    belardoAnyone else think the name "surface" is about as lame as... well, Zune?


    Remember when everyone laughed at the iPad's name? I think Surface is better than iPad.

    I'm intrigued, though it sounds like the Wintel option will be pricey (ultrabook prices ... eek). I want a Windows 8 device, and I want it to be a touchscreen device. I also want it to be light so I can throw it in my purse when I travel. However, I don't know if I am ready to pay ultrabook pricing for a 10.6-inch device. Sigh...
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    derkman , June 19, 2012 12:16 AM
    It's over. Apple is finished.
  • 12 Hide
    dalethepcman , June 19, 2012 12:23 AM
    Thanks for the pic's and the update. :) 
  • -3 Hide
    DRosencraft , June 19, 2012 12:23 AM
    Lame naming scheme aside, the details are promising in tablet terms. Need a few more details, however. No mention on life of the battery, resolution, that sort of thing. Even though I don't like tablets much, this sounds like it could be an interesting play in the market for MSFT. From a business perspective, however, I wonder if they might want to spread out their release schedule a bit. It seems they have a lot of things launching at about the same time this fall. Might be a better idea to spread it over a few weeks rather than dumping it all at once.
  • 18 Hide
    JMcEntegart , June 19, 2012 12:38 AM
    dalethepcmanThanks for the pic's and the update.


    You're welcome! :) 

    belardoAnyone else think the name "surface" is about as lame as... well, Zune?


    Remember when everyone laughed at the iPad's name? I think Surface is better than iPad.

    I'm intrigued, though it sounds like the Wintel option will be pricey (ultrabook prices ... eek). I want a Windows 8 device, and I want it to be a touchscreen device. I also want it to be light so I can throw it in my purse when I travel. However, I don't know if I am ready to pay ultrabook pricing for a 10.6-inch device. Sigh...
  • 11 Hide
    CaedenV , June 19, 2012 12:40 AM
    I hope this does not share the same fate as previous projects with the 'Surface' title :) 
    Looking on the surface.com website it looks pretty cool! Not entirely sure it will be an iPad killer, but it is definitely packing a lot of the features we have been waiting for, and most definitively a netbook killer.

    I hope that the keyboard has some flex to it... It would be rather award to have that thing hanging around when you are not using it. But I would still rather have an integrated keyboard than not.

    ... Anyone else confused by MS picking '70s earth-tone colors for their Win8 interface, and then using '90s bright flashy colors for the cases? Personally I would like something a little more in-between the two for both the OS and the case.
  • 16 Hide
    animeman59 , June 19, 2012 12:48 AM
    My initial impression... Not bad Microsoft. Not bad.

    I can definitely imagine myself traveling around with this, and being able to play with my indie Steam titles or emulators while on the go.

    Now all we need are exact hardware specs to see what's under the hood. Price the ARM tablet at $399, and the Intel tablet at $799, and you got a sale.
  • 3 Hide
    math1337 , June 19, 2012 12:57 AM
    Windows RT version? Don't care

    Real version? Sounds like an Eee slate, but better. I want one.
  • 13 Hide
    wildkitten , June 19, 2012 12:58 AM
    I really like the touch keyboard in the case. That is a very simple yet ingenious solution for the pain virtual screen keyboards can be. Uses what someone will already have without adding another accessory to take up space and weight.

    I really hope Microsoft succeeds with this as the tablet market needs some competition to keep standards up.
  • 2 Hide
    SirDevon , June 19, 2012 1:06 AM
    Intriguing!

    These specs sound great.. But, I think I will wait for reviews on both the tablet and Win8 before I decide on one of these. :heink: 
  • 6 Hide
    d_kuhn , June 19, 2012 1:09 AM
    As far as resolution goes... they said something like "HD" for the arm unit and "Full HD" for the I5 version, I'm guessing maybe 720p and 1080p... which would be respectable. As much as I love the new iPad display, I'd probably rather buy a 1080p Full Win8 machine that also happens to be a table then a device that's basically a glorified netflix interface (with some games thrown in to alleviate the boredom).
  • 27 Hide
    willard , June 19, 2012 1:40 AM
    notlim981This seems more of an iClone by MS to me. Meh, thanks but no thanks.

    Yeah, because the iPad has a keyboard built into the cover, built in kickstand, USB support, HDMI support, micro-SD support and runs a Core i5 processor.

    Glad you were around to point out that these were all things Microsoft stole from Apple.
  • 3 Hide
    nukemaster , June 19, 2012 1:43 AM
    dreadlokzwait a minute, so we get a windows key but no start menu button?

    Windows key is the home button so to speak(Start Screen). Same as Windows 8 on desktop.

    I am sure it will be more of a getting used to it like the start menu was when it was released.

    I would still like a Start menu option, but i do not think i will get one(not counting start8 and whatnot.).
  • 2 Hide
    kcorp2003 , June 19, 2012 1:50 AM
    hey Jane please edit the article in with the video on surface.com.

    i might get this for my mother!
  • 3 Hide
    getochkn , June 19, 2012 2:28 AM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZMT2X6V2mQ video on it. I like the mag-clip for the keyboard/cover.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , June 19, 2012 2:36 AM
    kcorp2003hey Jane please edit the article in with the video on surface.com. i might get this for my mother!

    same here, my mother in law recently broke her laptop and I am letting her borrow my touch screen netbook until win8 comes out.
    BTW, she loves Win8. It just took me ~30minutes to show her around and she caught on to the new interface. Compare that to the 3 hours I spend trying to teach her how to (unsuccessfully) use iTunes and that will give you an idea of how hard it is to learn... I swear, so many nerds are crybabies when it comes to interface changes, if my elderly mom in law can get use to it, then you can get use to it.
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