Microsoft unveils ARM-, Intel-powered tablets

At a highly publicized media event in Los Angeles this afternoon, Microsoft took the wraps off not one, but two Windows 8 tablets. One of the devices has ARM guts and runs Windows RT, Windows 8’s ARM-compatible twin, while the other packs an Intel processor and runs Windows 8 Professional. Both tablets bear the same brand name as Microsoft’s boutique multi-touch tables: Surface.

 

In both incarnations, the Surface has a 10.6" display and a fairly unique design. Microsoft has fashioned the enclosure out of what it calls VaporMg, a "combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch." There’s a built-in "Kickstand," which flips out of the back to prop up the device on a table or desk, and a 3-mm-thick Touch Cover, which includes a touchpad and a touch-sensing keyboard with static keys. I’d say the Touch Cover looks a bit like a hybrid between Apple’s Smart Cover and Asus’ keyboard add-ons for the Transformer series. For those who want a better typing experience, Microsoft plans to offer a variant called the Type Cover with a very thin tactile keyboard.

The ARM-powered, Windows RT-equipped version of the Surface is perhaps the most exciting of the two. It’s smaller, at only 0.37" thick, and lighter, at 1.49 lbs, and Microsoft intends to price it competitively with "comparable" ARM tablets. The device has a 31.5 watt-hour battery, either 32 or 64GB of storage capacity, and a pre-installed version of Office tuned for the ARM hardware. Connectivity and expansion include USB 2.0, "Micro HD Video" (which I expect is shorthand for Micro HDMI), and a microSD slot.

The x86 model, a.k.a. the Surface for Windows 8 Pro, is a little chunkier, at 0.53" and 1.99 lbs. It will probably cost more, too, since Microsoft expects it to be competitive with an "Intel Ultrabook-class PC." However, the hardware lurking inside of the larger Surface qualifies it as a new and rather intriguing class of tablet. The payload includes an Ultrabook-class Intel Core processor (Ivy Bridge, that is), a 42 watt-hour battery, a "full HD" display (we take that to mean 1080p), more storage capacity (either 64 or 128GB), and a second, more precise digitizer for pen-based input. (The stylus snaps magnetically onto the side of the unit.) Unlike the Windows RT model, though, we don’t see Office anywhere in the feature list.

Microsoft plans to roll out the Surface for Windows RT first, simultaneously with Windows 8’s general release later this year. The Intel-powered Surface will follow "about 90 days later." Both devices "will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores," the company says. I guess you won’t find these at Best Buy.

Check out the image gallery below for more pictures. You can also peruse The Verge’s live blog for coverage of the launch event.

Comments closed
    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    We have another Zune story ready to unfold….

    • ryko
    • 7 years ago

    Well I say it is a good enough first start. But they really could have made a splash. Maybe we will get to near perfection with revision 2 or 3 of the surface…

    First of all, kill off winRT and that version alltogether. It is so neutered, but it will most likely be the version to sell due to price….office inclusion is great but what about when people realize that they need some other desktop only program for work? That $500 surface tablet you just bought becomes an expensive paperweight or toy and many people will have been angered and alienated.

    There should be one unified pro version (w digitizer) but with differnet cpus, ssds for each price point. So $500-$600 would get you a core i3 and 64gb ssd. $700-$800 would get you a core i5 and 128gb ssd. $800-$900 core i7 and 256gb ssd. Surface has to be price competitive with ultrabooks! And either version of the cover/keyboard thingy should be less than $50–no exceptions!

    Include office with the pro version too! This alone would make these things sell in insane numbers. If they are willing to do it with winRT then do it with all of win8. In one fell swoop they could dominate the market. But alas, they seem to stumble along on the verge of a breakthrough but never quite able to get there.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    A number of things puzzle me about this, but two especially:

    1. I have yet to see a picture of anyone using this as a tablet. All the pictures show it as a small laptop.
    2. If the cover/keyboard detaches, so you can use this as a tablet, what is the user you going to do with that cover? Does the cover somehow attach to the back and become part of the tablet?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      you just flip it around, same as you would on any other tablet.

    • Auril4
    • 7 years ago

    I want one that I can feel good about. ARM will need to be inside to do that.

    • Washer
    • 7 years ago

    They couldn’t have just called the x86 model Surface Pro? It seriously had to be Surface for Windows 8 Pro?

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    Another tablet I most certainly will not buy.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Meh.

    I think a relevant question here is:

    Are these designs compelling enough to merit alienating the OEMs?

    My initial reaction is “no”. I see no reason to think that MS has come up with designs that their OEMs couldn’t have come up with on their own. So what does this buy MS other than OEM resentment?

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      OEMs don’t want anything to do with Windows RT. For Microsoft to have a chance they need to create an install base.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    Did someone eat Vulk’s breakfast ?
    The guy looks like he is pissed about something.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      IT WAS ME

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    A lot to say about this but to hell with all of that,i’ll just limit myself to something nobody is saying yet.

    Regulators shouldn’t allow the Intel based product.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Because?

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Because he’s an idiot who yaps on and on about “consumer choice” and “competition” while simultaneously throttling any consumer choices or competitors that he does not personally approve of.

          • 5150
          • 7 years ago

          REGULATORS!

            • cheddarlump
            • 7 years ago

            Mount up.

            • cynan
            • 7 years ago

            [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1plPyJdXKIY<]Obligatory Youtube link[/url<]

    • End User
    • 7 years ago

    Argh. I wish there was no need for Windows RT.

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    A few quick hits:

    1. The industrial design is nice, but it remains to be seen if they can manufacture it in its present form.
    2. Segmenting into Pro and consumer is a mistake. Apple hasn’t had to do that and they rule both markets. All this does is doom one of the two to failure, and I suspect it will be the intel one.
    3. The desktop has no place on a tab. MS has tried this repeatedly and failed repeatedly. Putting this on the intel tab is a mistake.
    4. More on point 3, there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for convertable Tabs. I know ASUS is doing it, but no one else seems to be following them on this. I don’t see this changing, although having a keyboard is nice for when you need it. It becomes necessary when you have a desktop in the OS.
    5. Metro on a tab will be awesome. I like the interface on the tablet, not as much on the PC. Again, it goes back to MS’s desire to mix tablet and desktop OS, which I still think is a bad idea.
    6. Price point will be key, and I don’t mean that it has to be cheap. It has to be perceived as a real competitor to the iPad and being the cheapest won’t do that. If the hardware is up to the same quality, then the OS becomes the selling point and I think Metro (RT version) can be competitive. Price it just under the Apple product. Not a lot less.
    7. This will cause Apple to make some much needed updates to the iPad to keep it a step ahead. I am not talking about higher resolution screens, I am talking about missing functionality that Android already has.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    i like the keyboard/cover idea, and glad crapple didn’t come up with it. the kick stand didn’t need to be that large and neither did the tablet thickness.

      • obarthelemy
      • 7 years ago

      a full-length kick stand will be much more sturdy than just a “leg” as on the Archos tablet.

      I never got the importance of a tablet’s thickness. reverse e-peen ?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      RT is THINNER THAN AN IPAD.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 7 years ago

    This is it? This is the famed Microsoft iPad killer? All I see in these pictures is a flimsy netbook running god-aweful Windows 8. Disappointing.

      • Hattig
      • 7 years ago

      A netbook with the innards behind the screen and a detachable crappier keyboard/touchpad that doubles as a display cover.

      And it’s not even an IPS display? Oh FFS.

      #77, during all of that time it was total and utter shit too. Hard reset to lose ALL of your settings? Fun fun fun.

    • fredsnotdead
    • 7 years ago

    Sucks to be on the Atom design team.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I want one. The Intel-powered one.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      You lie!

        • flip-mode
        • 7 years ago

        I want a Sandy or Ivy based desktop too! Running Windows 8! With a touch screen monitor! Don’t like it? Then tough.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          I want a Maserati with WiFi and autopilot

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Doesn’t autopilot kind of defeat the purpose of a Maserati?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            That’s a very good point

    • Flatland_Spider
    • 7 years ago

    I was hoping they might be joking about the Windows 8 logo, but they weren’t. Good god that thing is ugly, and to think they got rid of a perfectly good vibrant, dynamic logo for that thing.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Great! Now I can re-buy all my apps on another platform!

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      The issue Microsoft faces is microeconomics. Imagine if most of the coming buyers behave as you say. These folks will be captured into buying apps mostly priced from 99c to $29, on platforms which are steadily cannibalizing ever higher segments of the mobile x86 computing segments. If there is a general shift among the population of spendy computing users towards tablet ecosystems and their low-priced apps, the overall market for high-functioning OSes and productivity suites traditionally priced at hundreds of dollars will be badly undercut.

      Continued sales in the industrial, education, and public sectors won’t be enough to sustain the revenue base maintaining MSFT’s current market valuation. Balmer and his people did not see this coming soon enough and thus couldn’t implement demarketing like they managed with precursor H/S platforms like OS/2 or Alpha or MacOS.

      They settled on the old IBM strategy of Systems segregation by structural and pricing umbrellas manipulated via bundling schemes. It’s a traditional attempt to influence the market into thinking, x86 Win consoles for pricey but full apps, ARM Win tablets for a free OS and cheap yet less-featured apps. Because this bifurcated scheme isn’t going to artifically pop into being on its own, Microsoft is trying to seed the RT garden with a compelling bundle in order to entice enough people in.

      And I’m kind of enticed already. If they’re smart, they’ll keep their price of entry low, evolve Office RT capabilities just enough to satisfy consumers but deter corporate defections, and light a fire under x86 development to help them find some newer, finer paradigm to get them out of the mess.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    The Surface RT looks good; Apple-good.
    I am actually very impressed by how tasteful the design is (cue apple lawsuit in 3…2…1…)

    However, it’s competing with Android and IOS tablets so the success or failure of this [b<]will not[/b<] be based looks or build quality - the important questions are: [list<][*<]Will there be enough Metro apps compared to the huge choice on Google Play or the Apple Appstore? [/*<][*<]Will it be priced competetively with the most [i<]popular[/i<] (not necessarily the newest) tablets?[/*<][/list<] [url=http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/24/idc-q1-2012-world-smartphone-share<]Let's not forget that Windows Phone 7 has [b<]only 2.2%[/b<] of the mobile marketshare[/url<]. Android and Apple have 82% between them. A tablet is only as good as what you can do with it. To be worth premium money, it has to offer a premium experience, not limited choice and shaky 1st-gen niggles. With the Xoom2 selling well at half the price of an iPad3, the discounted iPad2 outselling the iPad3 still at a 3:1 ratio in the UK and the Kindle Fire/Playbook/Chinese ICS clones filling in the budget end of the market, there's not going to be a lot of room for another wannabe 'appstore' in an established market with two unstoppable juggernauts.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      1. [url<]http://bluestacks.com/[/url<] 2. god only knows.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Bluestacks is for Windows x86, won’t run on RT.

        Nice way to salvage the x86 tablet, though at that price you don’t need Metro apps because you’re running [i<]real[/i<] applications instead 😉

      • jdaven
      • 7 years ago

      +1 very good analysis

      • obarthelemy
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not about the number of apps, it’s about how good the 20 apps the average user will ever need are. By offering a true Office, they’re already 2/3 there.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Whenever a company announces a new product that’s coming pretty soon, but doesn’t announce pricing, you know it’s really going to devour your wallet’s soul. Like your wallet’s going to go to hell where money is burned away frivolously and you use your new Surface x86 tablet to light your way through your powerless, darkened house at night.

    You use your new Surface tablet to warm yourself when you can’t afford kerosine anymore. And you charge it every day by going to the nearby Starbucks where the dozens upon dozens of iPad users all mock you and laugh between rounds of Angry Birds, Farmville, and an innovative new game by the Farmville team at Zynga called, “Plantationville.” Every day, you linger long enough to charge your Surface and then the Starbucks management sees what you brought in and how your’e dressed and recognize you as “that hobo who has a MS branded tablet.” And they run you off again.

    Wandering the streets, you stop by some shop’s free wifi and browse a few sites, reading articles titled, “Surface: MS’s Next Zune?” or “Apple Continues to Own the Industry, MS Yesterday’s News,” and you sigh wistfully. You loved your Zune, didn’t you? Scrolling down, you begin to froth at the mouth. You read a new headline. “MS Announces Windows 9: Windows App Store Changing, Incompatible with all MS tablets.”

    They’d done it to Windows Phone 6 users. To Windows 7 Phone users. To Zune users. To Kin users. To PlayForSure users. You thought they’d NEVER do it again, but then it hits you. It wasn’t that you were right and the world was wrong. In fact, you were wrong and the world was right. Weeping, you begin the long process of freeing yourself by smashing that Surface into the street again and again, crying, “NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!”

    Behind you, a kid walks up and offers you a used iPad, patting your shoulder. “Welcome back to humanity, guy. I already beat the first few levels in Angry Birds for ya. Considerin’ yer condition and all…”

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I like your style 🙂

      Sadly, there’s a lot of truth in that message, even though the overexaggeration was for artistic reasons.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]...there's a lot of truth in that message...[/quote<] I'll say! The Surface is going to have wicked awesome battery life seeing how it's going to be able to serve as the sole source of illumination for an entire house, for the entire night, and still have enough juice left for a full day of "street browsing" on a single charge! With such a proprietary top-secret power source, it'll be a bargain at almost any price.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Wow…
    I was really impressed for a minute, then I realized they sorta missed the boat. The asus keyboard dock offers more utility than just a keyboard and as such this implementation is sorta a waste. Simultaneously that kick is just not as useful as the apple cover and makes me feel like they might have sacrificed some thickness and weight or potentially battery life, to include it. Without more detailed specs there is nothing to get excited about, its apparent the core design is a let down.

    IMHO they’d have done better to peddle a straight forward tablet in the vein of the original ipad and focus on cramming features, hardware and polish into it for a start.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      I’m wondering how the kickstand is attached, and how long it will take for the latch to break.

      A detachable and collapsible dock with USB ports would have been better. Maybe include a small keyboard based on a laptop keyboard as well.

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/microsoft-unveils-new-tablet-for-uncool-people-2012061931075[/url<]

    • kyboshed
    • 7 years ago

    I feel that I’ve seen most of this before, but I do like the whole “keyboard is the cover” idea.

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    The Good (ARM version):

    The cover with a keyboard and touchpad will make using the tablet as a computer viable, and make apps like Office 2013 usable. On screen keyboards are fine, but not so useful for certain text input applications.

    Large capacities for internal storage. None of this 16GB crap. Also a slot for expanding the internal storage.

    The Unknown (ARM version):

    The display resolution. If it’s 1366×768 then it’s immediately noticeably inferior to the iPad 3’s display, and the entire tablet will have to be priced accordingly ($299 – $399).

    Applications. How many applications are available on WinRT, especially those optimised for tablet?

    The Bad (ARM version):

    Tegra 3 is last year’s SoC. Not bad, but not great compared to current SoCs. Hopefully WinRT and apps compiled for WinRT will make use of all the cores.

    Not out NOW. Later this year it will be up against even better competitor tablets.

    What we can hope is that the product will bring some meaningful competition to Apple, thus ensuring that they continue to improve the specifications of their tablets instead of sitting on their arses.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 7 years ago

    It’s all about price… MS, come take my money, I dare you…

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      It’s the pricing differential for Microsoft Office across Win8 and WinRT appstores which may decide the fate of RT. The safe premise is that a useable Office suite is highly desired by most tablet buyers. The unknown is whether this RT version of Office will offer a desirable experience on a 10.6in 1366×768 screen.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Hence the keyboard smartcases. I mean, don’t you WANT to type on a piece of plastic for hours on end trying to finish your thesis? Doesn’t that sound great?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          man, you’re as bad as end user… you know they’re releasing a tactile keyboard? this beats the PANTS OFF AN IPAD in terms of productivity. quit justifying your “the new ipad” purchase. i would NEVER buy one just because the name is SO stupid.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Which, like he said, “Hence the keyboard smartcases”. 😉

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            ssk has trouble reading. We must type slower.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            no, his point was that the keyboards would suck. i was merely saying his point is dumb, as they’re releasing “real”keyboards for them.

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            Don’t bring me into it. I like the Surface.

            Which one are you going to buy? I assume you will buy the day it comes out. Right?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            not likely. i’m poor.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            You know* you can attach any bluetooth keyboard to an iPad, right? And there are plenty of productivity suites available on them as well?

            *(of course you do)

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            of course, but they suck. hence all the reviewers saying “bluetooth on ipad sucks”.

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          Assuming the rest of the design is on par with Apple’s, success may well rest on the combined useability of Office RT and its smartcover keyboards. Presumably Microsoft will bundle every RT tablet with at least the Touch cover, to maximize the chances of success. If they don’t, they might as well have let their ecosystem partners do the launch unit. Perhaps they lack confidence in their partners’ designs. Or don’t have any who are committed enough.

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            Price and availability are key. Microsoft stores only? US only?

            • trackerben
            • 7 years ago

            The US and a few key countries in East Asia and Western Europe first. Including online orders, as there are too few stores to push launch sales. If sales take off then supply constraints will shape availability. Ballmer likely bargained hard with Tim Cook to keep Apple from destabilizing the supply chains around Surface and Lumia, like what happened with HP’s WebOS tablet. A decent iOS version of MS Office might have even been promised once Microsoft’s own tablet was done. The two companies have a common interest in demolishing Android’s footprint in mobile devices, and the lack of a free yet renowned productivity suite is not going to be remedied by Google’s acquisition of QuickOffice.

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            Where does it say that? Over at The Verge they state “Surface will be available through Microsoft’s physical retail stores in the US and through select online outlets of the Microsoft Store.”

            • trackerben
            • 7 years ago

            I meant US stores and online outlets, which could include a few key countries served by Amazon. I could be wrong, but Microsoft would be dumb not to sell into market-making cultures like Japan or the UK.

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    Too bad about the weight, an RT tablet lighter than an iPad2 would have turned eyes. But it’s a design that can be productive, particularly if they get the feel right on the tactile cover/KB. When I need to get a bit serious I configure my old iPad similarly although with wireless keyboards.

    The RT model will succeed if they price it not more than $50 above the equivalent iPad2 AND if they bake in a useable Microsoft Office RT.

    All other things equal, that’s all they really have to do.

    Edit: Oh, and the RT better have a standard USB port and not just a micro-USB for sync/charge/dock.

    Edit2: Yes! The verge has text of Sinofsky’s speech claiming a “Full size USB 2”!

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 7 years ago

    It’s unique, or it isn’t. It’s not “fairly” unique.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 7 years ago

      Your definition is unique is useless.

        • Anomymous Gerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Time for you to read the dictionary?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          something about something

          Anom(?)ymous ssk

      • Sahrin
      • 7 years ago

      “Unique means ‘one of a kind’ – something can’t be ‘very unique.'” – Aaron Sorkin

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        It has a dollop of uniqueness.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Unique:

        3 : unusual <a very unique ball-point pen> <we were fairly unique, the sixty of us, in that there wasn’t one good mixer in the bunch — J. D. Salinger>

        ‘All’ American kids read J. D. Salinger works… how many English teachers tell their students that he wrote in bad English and you should not use adjectives with unique like he does??

        BTW, the Unique definition is taken straight from the Merriam Webster dictionary.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Clearly this is a sign of the Apocalypse……and people didn’t believe it will happen this year.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    Assuming the manufacture’s weren’t lying when they quoted $85 per license, and given that the OS maker is also in direct competition with it’s ODMs… I’m going to be interested to see how many device makers really get on board with Windows to the point where they stop supporting Android.

    It doesn’t seem like a very lucrative market since the iPad puts an effective cap on the price of your machine, and the OS costs almost as much as the hardware. Given that WinRT doesn’t have any backwards compatibility with existing software for either Windows Phone or normal Windows (which was a policy decision, not a technical limitation imposed by the hardware since Windows CE ran on ARM with any CLR program), I’m going to be interested in seeing how well, if at all, these devices sell.

    I’m also interested in seeing if the ivybridge full Win8 tablets are any good. It still seems like Ivy is to big, to hot, and to power hungry to play well in the tablet factor. Atom doesn’t have that much more performance than ARM A15s… And the cost is going to be prohibitive.

    A lot of MS’s decisions lately have really left me scratching my head.

    It doesn’t seem like a good time to promote your own line of hardware, and pretend to be Apple when you’re not. It seems like promoting openness, and supporting your ODMs to make the launch as successful as possible was the better move. Essentially screwing them by bringing your product to market FIRST, especially for a vapor launch that doesn’t even have prices doesn’t really seem to serve a larger purpose. Then again promoting a locked down walled garden type OS is an attempt to out apple Apple seemed like the sucker play as well..

    I’m not sure how abandoning their roots where they gave their users and device makers more options than the commercial competition will work out for them. Everything they’ve posted in their dev blogs has certainly cooled any excitement I had for the OS, and is very much forcing me into a wait and see mode rather than making me eager to break out my wallet.

    Time will tell of course. But from the outside looking in, this just looks stupid.

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      You don’t mention Microsoft’s plan to bundle an RT version Office with its ARM models. Why so?

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    Ah, new Microsoft hardware….

    What will we call the anticipated RRoD on this product?

    SFoT – Shiny Frisbee of Tossing
    NJaC – Now Just a Coaster

    • yokem55
    • 7 years ago

    A few things –
    1) The kick stand & keyboard is going to require a table or desk to be usable. This is not lap friendly typing as the kick stand is all that keeps the tablet at the right angle relative to the keyboard, and it looks to me like it will need a flat surface to work right, which a lap is not. The Asus Transformer gets this right by making the dock a lot more substantial and thus the whole package is a lot more “lap-able”.

    2) MS is being very coy about the resolution on the RT version. I suspect 1280×720 or …shudder… 1366×768.

    3) To throw a big event like this and not have a near future release date or pricing information, especially when you’re in control of those factors is a real dumb move especially since next week Google will be launching the Nexus 7 for a sub $200 price.

    4) The OEM’s have to be seriously wondering if RT based devices of their own will even be worth trying. Intel tablets will probably be a lot more common since the OEM’s can command higher price points and margins.

      • mcnabney
      • 7 years ago

      It is 1366×768… on an almost 11″ screen. It will look like ASS next to the new iPad. Hell, the Nexus 7 will have about the same number of pixels with half the screen size.

        • tviceman
        • 7 years ago

        By your logic, my 27″ 2560×1440 screen looks like ass.

          • Vulk
          • 7 years ago

          At least try to have some sort of logical argument if you’re going to troll.

          • Firestarter
          • 7 years ago

          Hold a new iPad next to it before you judge to quickly.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          He oviously does not share your taste for aspect ratios.

          If you don’t like it, then tough.

            • Rza79
            • 7 years ago

            What do aspect ratios have to do with their discussion of ppi?
            He’s referring to the fact that his monitor has a 108 ppi vs the 148 ppi of the Surface RT.
            Personally i feel this whole debacle of ppi’s is being blown out of proportion.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            It’s my take that people who say this are the very same people who don’t own the new iPad or used it extensively. Pretty hard to not love the PPI once you use it. If Jobs had one great idea in the last 20 years, it was truly that displays matter. OEM’s tried to give us the cheapest display possible, but if he did one thing I truly respect and appreciate before he left this planet for computing devices, I think it’s his emphasis on quality IPS displays and how he brought them back from the brink of extinction/high pricing more than touch.

            I think touch is nice, but I think an extreme PPI with great viewing angles and great color reproduction is just meat and potatoes. Basics.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i think people who say that the new ipad is SOOOO OMG AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111 are old men, justifying their expensive purchases. it looks marginally better, and while it is an improvement in some usage situations, it’s not as important as a great many other things.

            • Hattig
            • 7 years ago

            I’ll wait for reviews. It’s available today, right? That’s why they announced it?

            Oh wait, why would I buy a Microsoft mobile device, given their history of abandoning pretty much every device they have released.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_mobile[/url<] windows mobile lasted 12 years. that's longer than windows xp. How long should it be supported for? the xbox lasted a long time. xbox 360 is going forever. the zune and kin are the exceptions to [i<] devices [/i<]

          • albundy
          • 7 years ago

          what logic?

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      Minimum resolution for Win8 is 768 vertical lines. So 1366×768 seems like a safe bet. It’s that or 1024×768 like the iPad 1 and 2. I think they would have mentioned a retina display if they could have stuck one on there.

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6016/microsoft-surface-we-go-hands-on[/url<] Confirmed: 1366x768 10.6" LCD Type Cover ~5.5mm thick sping-loaded hinges in kickstand

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        It is the iPad1&2 display, letterboxy, and without IPS. Why would I want that in Q42012?

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          Depends on whether you think MS Office on a tablet is relevant and marketable. Google bought QuickOffice on those grounds, and yet QuickOffice is no MS Office.

            • funko
            • 7 years ago

            agreed, for people who need to present and communicate with organizations that use Word, Excel, PP, etc… the Office-alternatives are largely unreliable, and can be embarrassing to use when formatting errors come up, and fonts are jumbled in a public setting. It may not be for most common folk, but for many working professionals working with the vast majority of MS powered organizations, the selling point for MS Office that runs native-ly can be a very compelling selling point. PP may be ho-hum but I personally think Word and Excel are excellent programs with no equals, and no one in their league when it comes to professional work, or heck, even throwing out your Resume/CV I wouldn’t want to use anything but Word these days.

      • gmskking
      • 7 years ago

      I hate it when people start off with “A few things.” DON’T do that!

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    I saw the blue neon and almost vomited in real life. It’s like they extended the trash metro interface ONTO the keyboard.

    Black one looks ok though.

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      That’s exactly what they did, they even specifically said the keyboard colours were chosen to be a precise match for the Metro colour options.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      wife LOVES it. you forgot about girls. they’re 51% of the planet, and they LOVE TEH PRETTY.

        • ermo
        • 7 years ago

        “[quote<]wife LOVES it. you forgot about girls. they're 51% of the planet, and they LOVE TEH PRETTY.[/quote<] ... for a suitable definition of 'TEH PRETTY' -- YMMV as they say. As an aside, what does your wife do for a living? EDIT: Am I the only one who is actively annoyed by the fact that the collapsed version of a post doesn't show some sort of easily identifiable sign that I'm quoting the above poster? [i<]*grumble*[/i<]

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          my wife works in a bank when she’s not in school.

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            Oh, so she’s One Of Those Wall Street One Percenters, then…

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            at one dollar more than minimum an hour, PART TIME, WE’RE FIRMLY ONE PERCENTERS!!

      • DPete27
      • 7 years ago

      You gotta hand it to them for putting a keyboard on the cover. Very clever idea to utilize the extra space. I hope it’s flexible though.

    • humannn
    • 7 years ago

    Is that a touchpad connected to a touchscreen device?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Yo dawg, we put a touchpad on your touchscreen so you can input while you input.

    • Xenolith
    • 7 years ago

    1) I really like this. It is a bump up above an Ipad as far as productivity. This showcases what Windows 8 is for. Weird, but I think MS is showing a cohesive vision with Windows 8.

    2) The price will be high, so not to compete strongly with partners. The main purpose of this device is to show OEMs the way, not to sell millions.

    3) There will be quality knock-offs at cheaper prices, with ASUS leading the way.

      • bthylafh
      • 7 years ago

      Eh, one has been able to get keyboards & cases for iPads for a while. The ZaggFolio has an especially good kb.

        • spuppy
        • 7 years ago

        Which does nothing to make iOS even a little bit suitable for productivity

          • mcnabney
          • 7 years ago

          1366×768 is not suitable for productivity. Apparently no Bluetooth, which means you can’t use a real wireless keyboard.

          • Vulk
          • 7 years ago

          And WinRT is somehow better? With it’s utter lack of software compaitibility with the desktop because it only supports Metro Apps? What am I supposed to load onto my shiny new WinRT tablet? There’s Angry Birds, but what else? All my CLR apps require x86. So far the x86 tablets don’t seem to be price competitive with other tablets or laptops, so… Where does that leave us?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            office?

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      You lost me with the cohesive vision with Windows 8 comment. Have you played with the RC? Have you seen the bastard step child of Metro and the Windows Desktop that is Win8? Cohesive isn’t the word I’d use when a design team takes two radically different things and mashes them together without seeming to think about how they’ll interact besides simply re skinning one of them to look more like the other.

      It just offends me as someone who works with real UI designers, and gets to see what quality design looks like on a regular basis.

      I’m really trying to control my knee jerk reaction to hate and wait until I actually play with one. But I’ve gone from looking forward to the next release of Windows, and Windows Server, and Visual Studio to disliking the one, liking the other, and being very tepid about the last. Maybe once I play with one I’ll change my mind. But if WinRT turns out to be the joke it’s shaping up to be, and the full Win8 tablets are as poor a mix of compromises as they appear to be,

      If this is what thy’re going to try and challenge the iPad with, and all the Android tablets on, I don’t see how things are going to get better from a productivity stand point for this form factor. It still looks like even the worst laptop would be better. Which leaves consumption and entertainment where Win8 has some pros and some cons. I’m waiting to see how ASUS’s offering plays in this space before making that my final judgement, because that device looks to have some promise, but only if they get the specs, performance, and price in line to slot in logically with their Android cousins.

      That’s my honest, and fair assessment, without trying to take sides. These devices underwhelm me. If they’d come out even a year ago, they would have had a chance to be special, but they didn’t.

        • Vulk
        • 7 years ago

        I originally thought the keyboard was probably a rubber dome type flexible keyboard, and assumed it would suck. Apparently it’s much cooler than that, so I redacted the comment. We’ll see how nice those are once they launch and people get to actually play with them.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    If they can bring their Windows Phone 7 app store to the ARM version of this, Microsoft can have my money.

      • feek
      • 7 years ago

      i believe it’ll be on x86 and ARM. it’s all winRT

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah… About that. You can only get apps from the Windows Store. Windows Store Apps can only be Metro. Metro does not support Silverlight. Windows Phone Apps are required to be Silverlight. Get where I’m going with this? Windows Phone Apps, unless they change their policies, will never run on WindowsRT tablets. On the full Win8 ones, maybe.

      MS threw a LOT of developers under the bus with this policy. I’m still rather pissed about it.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        you don’t know what you’re talking about. windows phone apps are not required to be silverlight. most code can be easily deployed to windows 8. i’m surprised at your failure to even bing to check what you’re saying. windows phone apps

        ” It is built upon existing Microsoft® tools and technologies such as Visual Studio, Expression Blend®, Silverlight®, and the XNA Framework.”

    • RickyTick
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not completely sure why, but I find myself really hoping that they are successful with this.

      • Jigar
      • 7 years ago

      Because you are sick of reading only Apple news ?

        • Dygear
        • 7 years ago

        I hope it does well not to thumb their nose at apple, but because it looks like a good product. I agree that it looks to be a cut above what you can do from an iPad just because it has a full version of windows on it. But the same could be said of an iPad running a full version of OSX. Apple has not done that, and Microsoft now has done that with their OS. I can’t fault them for aiming high, in fact, I would like to encourage it. All of the products that have come out have always had an achilles’ heel, be it price, performance or functionality. This seems to have not one of those problems, at least until we find out a price on it. If they set the Windows RT Surface Tablet with 32GB in the $399.99 range, and the 64GB in the $449.99 range they will do well. If the setup the Windows Pro Surface tablet with 64GB in the $599.99 range, and the 128GB in the $699.99 I think they will do very well indeed!

        Oh and I’m posting this from an 3rd Generation iPad with LTE.

        • RickyTick
        • 7 years ago

        Nah, I really don’t care much about Apple. My wife has an iPhone and iPad. They’re nice, just not my thing.

        I have a 5yr old MS keyboard that has been an excellent product. I have a Zune HD that is a outstanding device. I’ve heard from others that the Kin is really a decent phone. Maybe it’s been MS’s poor marketing strategy, or just bad timing, but these products have failed miserably and it doesn’t seem to be because of product quality.

        It just seems like a lot of people poo-poo anything that MS does simply because they hate MS. I don’t get it. I’m not a MS fanboy, I’m simply a satisfied customer. So, like I said, I hope they’re successful with this.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft really brought their A-game! I doubt it’s going to hurt Apple [i<]that[/i<] much early on, but it's nice to see some well-designed differentiated competition. That being said, I don't like the (appearance of, so far) differentiation between both models. Apple's strength is consistent experience, and Google is being pulled down by a weakness in that same concept. Experience is everything. And I'm really uneasy about that integrated kickstand... it's just asking to break.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 7 years ago

    I hope Microsoft kicks Apple’s arse. Looks like a beautiful tablet!

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      You going to buy one when they launch and support the cause?

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        i might. i’d go x86, so i could still play hon when i need to.

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    if MS can do RT version for less than $300 by x-mas then that may have a chance. The pro version will likely be discontinued by sometime next year.

    Mark these words, … Balmer will get fired or will be forced to resign before March 2013.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      With an x86 CPU that isn’t Atom and a digitizer I am certain you are wrong about the ‘Pro’ version unless they stop production of all versions. It might not sell in big volume but there is definitely a market for that combination.

        • Vulk
        • 7 years ago

        So you’d rather shell $1000 out for that tablet instead of a new laptop or even one of those over priced ultrabook thingies? Is that what you’re saying? To me that sounds like an awfully niche market.

      • holophrastic
      • 7 years ago

      I presume that the RT version will be $700ish. But I’m totally ok with that. Especially since I’m looking for the x86 version.

      But remember, this is Microsoft. It focuses on partnerships, not direct sales. You aren’t going to get these, and you aren’t even going to want these. These are just specs for asus, gigabyte, intel, and a few dozen others to follow as examples.

      By March 2013, there will be at least 50 windows 8 tablets.

      It’s a’gonna be great.

        • DancinJack
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] Both devices "will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores," the company says.[/quote<] We won't be able to buy them?

        • Jive
        • 7 years ago

        I would assume Microsoft is trying to mimic Apple by releasing their own hardware so they can control the quality of the product rather then having it degraded by low end manufacturers. However this will put a premium on the product (No such thing as premium build quality with low cost).

        I would also imagine Microsoft allowing OEMs to release their own versions, however i assume a majority of these will be low end products and would actually compete with Google for market share, rather than Apple.

        • tviceman
        • 7 years ago

        If the RT version is $700ish, then they might as well just call it quits and fold their tablet division before getting a product out at all. No way a $700 arm based windows tablet will be able to sell as well as the $250-400 android tablets. Android has a foot in the market now and it’s not going to fade away. Microsoft is the one with an uphill battle in this market segment.

          • Vulk
          • 7 years ago

          Android can’t compete against the iPad at $500. What is WInRt bringing to the table that they can compete at $700 for worse hardware?

          I agree with tviceman… They need to be at or under $400 with these. Because they tied Metro into the desktop as well as tablets, they really do need these tablets to be a success. Either their own or their ODMs, because it has serious long term implications for their platform that impacts every aspect of their OS sales.

          Also if the RT version is going for $700, how much is the x86 version going to go for?

          I really wish they gave some numbers out and hardware specifications. I kind of really hate vapor launches. It makes everything so speculative.

            • BabelHuber
            • 7 years ago

            IIRC Android´s tablet market share was 50% in Q4 2011 and 32% in Q1 2012. I assume that these sales were mostly in the consumer space, though.

            In the corporate sector, Windows tablets can become some sort of success, if they can be easily integrated in existing IT infrastructures.

            But then it remains to be seen if Windows RT is liked by corporations. X86 tablets probably make more sense here.

            In the consumer space, I doubt it will be a success. With the much cheaper Nexus tablet round the corner, Google has an ace up its sleeves.

            Also, Windows is an utter failure in the mobile phone market right now. When I have an Android phone and tablet, I can buy one App and use it on both devices (probably also when using an iPhone and an iPad).

            So, somebody who is already using iOS or Android will probably stick to that. Probably the 2% Windows Phone users will also buy such a tablet, though 🙂

        • HighTech4US2
        • 7 years ago

        You presume wrong.

      • jdaven
      • 7 years ago

      +1 you hit the nail on the head perfectly

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