So it looks like the rumors were right all along; Microsoft was indeed cooking up its own set of tablets, and it now has made the devices official. The software giant has officially taken the wraps off what is called the Surface, a range of slates which will run on the upcoming Windows 8 platform. Check out the video below.
There are actually two main versions of Surface. The first one will have Windows RT as its core and will be powered by an ARM processor. The other will sport an Ivy Bridge chip and Windows 8 Pro which means it also has more power under its hood. What we find really nifty is the magnetic cover the Surface tablets have that, aside from serving as a protective feature, also doubles as a thin, full multi-touch keyboard and trackpad. There's also a built-in kickstand at the back which, as the video suggests, enables you to use the device as a sort of netbook, without any expensive add-ons. Nice, no? And, oh, you'll also have a pen with palm blocker as an added input method for the Windows 8 Pro model.
The Surface tablets will have a 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display with Gorilla Glass 2 as well as an HDMI port, a full-sized USB slot (v3.0 for the Windows 8 Pro version), and twin 2x2 MIMO antennas for Wi-Fi connectivity. The frame itself deserves attention as it's made from an all magnesium case using what is called VaporMg which gives it a feel similar to that of a luxury watch.
The Windows RT version will come in 32GB and 64GB while the Windows 8 Pro Surface ups that to 64GB and 128GB. There's no official word yet on pricing and availability although the ARM-based Surface will be priced "competitively" compared to other ARM tablets according to Microsoft while the Intel model should go higher. We're expecting availability soon after Windows 8 finally becomes official later this year so, yeah, maybe a holiday roll-out is possible. If that's the case, then maybe it's time to be good, if you know what we mean.
Check out the gallery below for press photos