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.
Photos by Devin Connors.