Moments ago, at Hollywood’s Milk Studios, Microsoft finished and hour-long presentation to unveil what we all knew was coming: their first homemade tablet. But as we learned, it’s so much more than that. It’s a launch platform for Windows 8 and it literally doubles as a PC. In fact, the term “PC” was synonymous with “tablet” throughout the unveiling ceremony and perhaps rightfully so.

Say hello (again) to the new and improved Microsoft Surface, the full-sized 10.6 inch Windows 8-powered tablet device from Microsoft.

The original Microsoft Surface debuted back in 2008 as a multi-touch input device but as of today, it’s been re-branded for Microsoft’s entrance into the growing tablet market. While today’s event was met with plenty of preliminary skepticism, Microsoft brought their A-game and succeeded to impress those watching the conference in LA live and following from home.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the nitty gritty and talk specs (we’ll look at the basic Windows RT model to start).

  • 9.3 mm thick
  • Weighs 1.5 lbs
  • 10.6″ screen
  • Built-in kickstand (compared to a car door in the sound it makes and to a book in how it feels)
  • Case doubles as a touchpad keyboard with trackpad
  • Includes USB 2.0
During the presentation, there was a lot of emphasis placed on the Surface’s one-of-a-kind case, and not only because of the slick kickstand.
  • First PC/tablet with magnesium case.
  • Edges are beveled at 22 degrees with a durable physical vapor deposition (PVD) finish
  • Ultra rigid and ultra light frame from liquid metal
  • Damage resistant Gorilla Glass
  • Cover and stylus pen attach to exterior via magnetic connectors
  • The Intel (Windows 8 Pro) Surface features perimeter venting so your hands/fingers will never block the air ports.

Microsoft Surface runs on Windows 8 with full Windows Desktop and Microsoft Office included. There are two models offering different software/hardware however, one for the (basic) Windows RT and the other for the Intel ones featuring full Windows OS. Complete official specs on Microsoft Surface models:

Microsoft Surface Tablet Specs

The Windows 8 Pro version is thicker and heavier. It’s less than two pounds and less than 14mm thick but it’s a full PC that uses less power than today’s Core i5 chips, meaning Microsoft Surface – with its keyboard cases and stands essentially makes laptops obsolete. Now of course, that depends on software support, but from a functional perspective, there you have it all. And with USB 2.0 (3.0 for the Windows 8 Pro Surface) you can even plug in a mouse or gaming peripheral.

The presented included look at the Windows 8 OS along with a few apps. Netflix is confirmed for Microsoft Surface and we saw Windows Reader, along with someone using the Stylus pen to edit a blog post.  The Stylus Pen is sampled at 600 dpi for super accurate detailing and sits only 0.7 inches away from the screen when writing, creating an even closer feeling to actually writing with a real pen.

For users who prefer tacticle feedback with their typing, that’s available too through the ‘Type Cover,’ which is a thin case keyboard with a full trackpad and clickable keys which Microsoft claims is as responsive as any keyboard out there. They also claim that the multitouch case keyboard measures touch twice as fast as any other touch keyboard.

For a better, dubstep-enhanced look at Microsoft Surface, watch their trailer.


Smart movies on the built-in kickstands and keyboard cases. Interested? Check out the official Surface website for more.

There are no details on pricing just yet, only that the Surface will be “priced to compete,” meaning expect it to retail around what the iPads sell for. More than any other tablet however, the Surface is competing against laptops so consumers will be able to take that into account when price comparing.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Microsoft, The Verge