Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet, New Hardware and Software Based on Windows 8


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Microsoft today unveiled a major tablet initiative to compete with Apple's iPad, Google's Android, and its own PC hardware partners.

The Microsoft Surface is a 10.6" tablet powered by Windows 8, coming in two distinct versions -- both equipped with touch screens. One will be powered by an ARM processor and will be more like a traditional tablet running Windows RT. The other will be powered by Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge chips running the desktop version of Windows 8.

As reported by The Verge:
The Windows RT version is just 9.3mm thin, weighs 1.5lbs, includes a built-in kickstand and is the first PC with a vapor-deposited (PVD) magnesium case, according to Microsoft. It will ship in 32GB or 64GB versions.

Microsoft's Intel-based Surface tablet will run Windows 8 Pro, with a thickness of 13.5mm, a weight of 1.9lb, and USB 3.0 support. This particular version will also include magnesium casing and a built-in kickstand, but will ship with either 64GB or 128GB storage. The Intel version will include additional digital ink support through a pen that magnetizes to the body of the tablet.
In addition to the tablet itself, Microsoft will sell two Smart Cover-like devices that attach magnetically to the Surface. Unlike Apple's add-on, which serves only as screen protection and as a stand, Microsoft's Touch Cover and Type Cover turn into a full-sized keyboard complete with a built-in trackpad. Microsoft says using the Touch Cover is "twice as efficient as typing on glass", a clear shot at the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

Microsoft did not share any information on pricing or availability, saying both the ARM and Intel editions would be price competitive with like products.

Article Link: Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet, New Hardware and Software Based on Windows 8


macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2004
Battery life? Will be interesting.

I'm a little surprised in a good way. Didn't think Microsoft had this in them. They spent way too long in their presentation talking about the keyboard though. They still don't understand ecosystem, content, apps.

We'll see.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2008
I guess that Microsoft are going to do go town marketing that this is thinner than ‘similar devices’ (aka the iPad) when it’s precisely 0.002677165mm thinner.

At least Microsoft are taking their first shot with quality rather than plastic crap. I’m not sure whether they got their tactics right with a stand though. That keyboard will be a hit with many students.

Their presentation was very much formatted like Apple’s presentations. Getting executives to come up and say how things are so ‘extraordinary’ and how it ‘feels like you’re actually writing on paper’.

Probably a good start though for Microsoft. But if they really want to go for a simplistic approach & hit the jackpot, they need to stop bringing out 2+ different types of products like ‘Surface’ and ‘Surface RT’.
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macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2009
No matter how cool it looks (very and well done Microsoft!) it's value and appeal is irrelevant without

1. Price
2. Battery Life
3. Availability

None of the three were announced today.


macrumors member
Feb 24, 2011
I think the iPad looks a wee bit better side on :p

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macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2010
The cover looks neat, but you can't use it to type unless you put the tablet on a table, no lap typing with that guy. And imo, I think Metro is pretty crap.


macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
Quebec, Canada
Wonder if the Intel version will have sufficiently standard PC hardware so that it can run Linux or if Microsoft plans to lock it down using UEFI secure boot. :(

This thing + Linux/FreeBSD would be a nice portable laptop like device.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2007
New Hampshire, USA
I applaud Microsoft for doing something Google should have done with Android in releasing their own tablet. You can't hate on Microsoft for trying, competition is always a good thing.


macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2008
The keyboard, track pad, USB and pen input are what really drives the differentiation

I i think I may pick up a pro version because of these features


macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2007
I'm really rooting for this to be great, just so Apple can get a fire under their belly to do that much better, once again. Competition is what makes innovation happen.


macrumors member
Jul 16, 2011
They need to be sued for the snap-on magnetic cover..

This is even worse infringement than Samsung has ever done :/
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