Microsoft unveils 'Surface' Windows 8 tablet

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft took the wraps off its Surface Windows 8 tablet on Monday at a last-minute special event in Los Angeles, marking the tech monolith's entrance into the iPad-dominated tablet market.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, showed off the tablet computer based on the company's new Windows 8 operating system he called "the new Surface," reports Engadget.

After giving a brief history of Microsoft-branded hardware like the venerable mouse and keyboard, Ballmer introduced the new device, likening it to the Xbox 360 in that it has a strong synthesis of software and hardware that push each other to new limits.

Microsoft's President of the Windows and Windows Live Division Steven Sinofsky proceeded to show off the 10.6-inch multi-touch tablet, which features a magnesium enclosure called "VaporMg" with built-in stand, dual MIMO arrays, an optically-bonded proprietary display with Corning's Gorilla Glass 2 and a variety of input ports. The unit is also coated with vapor-deposited magnesium (PVD) to avoid scratching.

Surface 4Source: Engadget


Surface will be sold in two distinct incarnations with one touting an Ivy Bridge i5 processor while the other will feature a low-energy NVIDIA-made ARM cortex CPU. The Intel model, called Surface for Windows 8 Pro, will weigh in at 1.9lbs at 13.5mm thick and feature a 10.6-inch 1920-by-1080 pixel ClearType full HD display. Input and output for the higher-tier Surface is handled by USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort and an microSDXC card reader.

The thinner ARM cortex version will be released under the Surface for Windows RT moniker and will come in at a trim 1.5lbs and 9.8mm thick but bumps specs down to a 1280-by-720 pixel screen. Handling the heat put out by the Intel chip is what Microsoft calls "perimeter venting" or a series of integrated vents encircling the edge of the bezel, which itself is beveled. While the Windows RT model doesn't carry the high-powered connectivity as its bigger brother, it still manages a microSD slot, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video.

Surface 3Steven Sinofsky with from Surface special event. | Source: Engadget


Accessories for both units include the "Touch Cover" which is a full multi-touch keyboard complete with arrow buttons that changes the color of Surface's screen to the color of the cover when attached. Much like Apple's Smart Cover, the Touch Cover also turns the device on and off presumably through use of magnets. The Surface "Type Cover" accessory brings physical switch-type keys and a clickable trackpad, though the part adds 5mm of girth to the tablet.

Surface 2Source: Microsoft


The Surface supports palm-blocking Digital Ink technology and can mark up PDFs and other supported documents with a digitizer, though the feature seems to be limited to the Intel model.

Surface 1Source: Microsoft


It is unclear what company is manufacturing the tablet for Microsoft, though the product itself looks to be a branded device with prominent Windows logos adorning the screen bezel and the back kick-stand.





The debut of the ARM-based Windows RT version of Surface is set to coincide with the launch of Windows 8 and will be available in 32GB and 64GB flavors. Pricing will be in-line with competing ARM tablets. The Intel Ivy Bridge i5-based Windows Pro Surface is slated to follow about three months later and will be sold in 64GB and 128GB capacities with prices comparable to Ultrabook PCs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 513
    smurfmansmurfman Posts: 119member


    LOL!!! image

  • Reply 2 of 513


    Hmmm... USB 2.0, certainly not the latest in tech. That is so like MS to do it only partially right. "VaporMag," is this a hint of something that will also not ever make it to market? The product only weights 1.5 pounds... it that before the batteries are included, or is this a desk unit?

  • Reply 3 of 513


    Microsoft copying Apple again!

  • Reply 4 of 513
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member


    What is that....netbook lite?

  • Reply 5 of 513


    l.php.gifverge-lb-695.jpg

  • Reply 6 of 513


    On-board USB? Awesome.


     


    Micro SD card slot? Looking good.


     


    Smart(er) Cover with keyboard and touchpad? Brilliant.

  • Reply 7 of 513
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    This is very slick looking with a lot of great HW features that they seem to have gotten right, at least from what I can see in text and screenshots.
  • Reply 8 of 513

    Quote:


    "...at a last-minute special event in Los Angeles."



     


     


    Now, THAT is so much like MS. No build-up (not that it would help), no special invitations, other than a call to the desk at L.A. Times to "send a couple of your boys down, the Monkey wants to dance."


     


    MS announcing a product that isn't shipping for an OS that isn't shipping to a crowd that is there.

  • Reply 9 of 513


    verge-lb-789.jpg


     


    AMAZING HARDWARE FROM MICROSOFT!

  • Reply 10 of 513
    gchristegchriste Posts: 43member


    Hahah love the stance.

  • Reply 11 of 513
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    @ theskivvys,

    Don't forget to post a pic of Mini B.
  • Reply 12 of 513

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theskivvys View Post


    l.php.gifverge-lb-695.jpg



    That photo says it all!!!   imageimageimage

  • Reply 13 of 513
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member

    Now, THAT is so much like MS. No build-up (not that it would help), no special invitations, other than a call to the desk at L.A. Times to "send a couple of your boys down, the Monkey wants to dance."

    MS announcing a product that isn't shipping for an OS that isn't shipping to a crowd that is there.

    We've known for a week or so.
  • Reply 14 of 513


    At last, what the world has been waiting for: the Blue Screen of Death from a tablet.

  • Reply 15 of 513

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gchriste View Post


    Hahah love the stance.



    It's a nice WIDE stance... like an un-named Senator from Utah.

  • Reply 16 of 513

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    This is very slick looking with a lot of great HW features that they seem to have gotten right, at least from what I can see in text and screenshots.


    you drank the free Kool-aid they handed out, didn't you?  :-)

  • Reply 17 of 513


    verge-lb-890.jpg


     


    Whoops the Surface crashed already during the presentation, ah well just grab another one!

  • Reply 18 of 513
    emacs72emacs72 Posts: 356member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     "VaporMag," is this a hint of something that will also not ever make it to market? 



     


    no.


     


    it's likely referring to physical vapour deposition, the process of placing a thin film of material (magnesium, in this case) onto a surface.

  • Reply 19 of 513
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,668member
    The hardware looks interesting, the keyboard cover is very clever.
  • Reply 20 of 513
    csuesscsuess Posts: 7member


    Yes, it's a tablet!


     


    tablet_1.jpg

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