Jun 19, 2012
In the latest move by Microsoft, the Redmond based company has just unleashed their first line of tablet to compete with the likes of tablets from Apple and Amazon. The newest tablet codename “Surface” is of course powered by Microsoft operating system and comes in two flavors. The first one is the Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 RT and Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro. At first glance you won’t notice the difference between the two because the screen size of both tablets measures at 10.6 inches. So let’s see what the Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro can offer to the computing public. In addition to this let’s try comparing some of the Microsoft Surface’s attribute to the iPad and find out if its viable as an alternative tablet.
Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 RT. The beauty and power of Surface for Windows RT was enclosed in an all-magnesium casing dubbed as VaporMg case that provides protection to its 10.6 inch ClearType HD display. When it comes to sleekness, Surface for Windows 8 RT is thicker only by 1.3 mm (at 9.3mm) than the second generation iPad (iPad 2) and almost exactly the same thickness with the third generation iPad (iPad 3 a.k.a new iPad). Located at the edges are the expansion ports like HDMI, microSD and USB 2.0 that are not yet incorporated even in the new iPad. Looking inside this 1.3 pound slab there’s a 31.5 W-h battery and plenty of storage space that is available in 32GB and 64GB options as well as the NVIDIA-made ARM processor that is rumored to be a quad-core chip. Yes, both CPU specs of the Surface tablets are not yet disclosed by Microsoft so we will update you as soon as the information becomes available.
Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro. This is the Full HD version of the Surface tablet for Windows 8 RT that features a 1080p capable display screen enclose in the same VaporMg case powered by Intel Core i5(Ivy Bridge). Similar to Windows 8 RT, complete screen resolution and CPU speed was not yet disclosed by Microsoft but we can hope that these specs are similar found on most ultrabooks available today. The Windows 8 Pro version comes in at 13.5mm thicker than Windows 8 RT maybe due to its battery that now runs at 42Watt-hour to support the Full HD touchpanel. At the edges the USB and SD card was now upgraded to USB 3.0 and microSDXC respectively. Internal components also receive the same treatment; the storage capacity was now expanded to 64GB and 128GB. Of course good things come with a price. Aside from increased in thickness with Windows 8 RT at 4.2mm, the Pro version is now heavier at 676 grams or 1.49 pounds. As we have said before there are no specifics yet about screen resolution, processing power, availability and pricing so we have to wait for Microsoft to announce these information in the future.
Touch Cover & Type Cover. Aside from the VaporMg case unveiled in Los Angeles, you will also notice that a keyboard was already attached in the Windows Surface tablets. These keyboards called the Touch Cover and the Type Cover that serves as a screen protection to your tablet. Unlike the Smart Cover or Smart Case, these covers from Microsoft also functions as a keyboard. Both cover can be used interchangeably between the Pro and RT but each has its own characteristics. The Touch Cover is thinner and capacitive in nature while the Type Cover is much thicker that incorporates movable keys for better typing.
In summary the newest Microsoft Surface tablets seems to have the qualities that can compete with Apple’s iPad and Android tablets in the market today. Equipped with powerful processors like the NVIDIA Tegraand Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, it’s safe to assume that it can be at par and may even surpass the computing power offered by other devices in similar category. Aside from its power, its minimalist and sleek design brings out its beauty that is further accentuated by Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system and the Touch/Type Cover that functions as a keyboard. Though it cannot replaced the functionality provided by high-end laptops, Microsoft Surface tablets can still fit in your lifestyle if you prefer mobility over power.
The only problem now lies in their pricing strategy and the information that are yet to be revealed that will be the basis of the computing public in their decision. Would you consider buying a Microsoft Surface tablet if it’s reasonably priced compared to the newest iPad? Share your thoughts by posting your comments below.
UPDATE: June 23 2012 – Microsoft Surface Windows RT will be priced at $599 while the Windows 8 Pro will be priced at $999.