Microsoft announces the Surface tablet

It’s not often that I become giddy at the announcement of a new piece of technology. I mean let’s face it; everything is pretty run of the mill these days. But tonight I am giddy.

In case you missed it, today Microsoft announced the Surface tablet. And no, it has nothing to do with the Microsoft Surface we’ve come to know over the past several years (now PixelSense). Why they’re calling it “Surface” is beyond the abilities of mere mortals to decipher. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing folks it’s that they don’t know dick about a great many things. The “new” Microsoft Surface is a slate tablet PC.

The Surface tablet will be available in two models, RT and Pro. Both will run full versions of Windows 8, RT and Pro respectively, but will utilize different hardware; RT for machines with ARM-based processors and Pro for Intel processors.

I have little interest in the Surface RT model, but the Pro model has me chomping at the bit. Unfortunately Surface RT is scheduled to be released first followed a few months later by Surface Pro.

Surface Pro specs:

  • A 13.5mm think Windows 8 Pro slate tablet weighing in at just under 2 pounds
  • 10.6-inch HD 16:9 ratio display with native resolution of 1080p made from Gorilla Glass
  • Front and rear facing cameras
  • Magnesium casing
  • A built in kickstand. Believe it or not I was just mentioning to my wife and kids that my BlackBerry Playbook needs a kickstand like some of the HTC smartphones. I was kicking back on the floor watching YouTube videos and got tired of holding the Playbook up. A kickstand is a great idea.
  • Touch Cover that doubles as a fully functional keyboard. Yes, I still think a keyboard is the best way to do certain things.
  • HDMI output for those times when you just need something bigger.
  • USB 2.0 port because who doesn’t need a peripheral now and then.
  • microSD slot. Yeah, expandable storage.
  • An Intel Processor
  • 64GB or 128GB SSD. I worry about this as 128GB simply isn’t enough room on a full blown Windows machine these days. I have a 160GB SSD on my Lenovo T410S and I’m hurting for space. Fortunately Surface has a microSD slot.
  • …..and…wait for it….pen support. Tah-da! The pen is the best part about a tablet PC.

For the first time in a long while I’m excited about the prospect of getting my hands on a new tablet. The Surface tablet contains many of the features I’ve been wanting in a slate without compromise. It’s a full blown operating system with production level software, not a toy. Throw in native support for Skype, full browser capabilities, complete Office suite, among other things and you have a winner. At least in my mind.

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3 thoughts on “Microsoft announces the Surface tablet”

  1. I made a best of video about the Microsoft Surface Tablet event which shows the feaures you mention perfectly on my Youtube channel http://www.Youtube.com/SurfaceTabletTips

    And It is quite clear that Microsoft made a great Tablet computer product this time.(Except for the RT Tablet version which seemed broken during the Launch event…

    It is Probably Best idea to buy the Ultrabook Microsoft Surface version then. can’t wait

  2. Hi Jerry, great summary. I watched the Keynote as well, and the Surface looks solid. I like the direction MS is going. With Win 8 they are converging the mobile and desktop OS, and the Surface is the hardware complement. My only concern was that they touted it as a desktop PC replacement, yet the storage capacity is up to 128 GB. I guess an SD card can bump that up, but for professional business users the space may be a challenge. The Pro is an awesome piece of technology, and I am very excited to get my hands on one. For business productivity you just can’t beat MS Office products. After hopelessly using the iPad in every way I can think of in business practice, it just isn’t good enough for the office environment.

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