Microsoft unveiled a new product today in tablet form called the Microsoft Surface. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer came to the state around 4:15PST and began talking about new hardware. My heart started racing in anticipation of the new Xbox 720, but I became quickly disappointed when Microsoft revealed a tablet. My thoughts of dread quickly turned to intrigue, to excitement throughout the next 45 minutes.
The Surface will be the next tablet in an oversaturated tablet market since the iPad took the world by storm. There have been many imitators of the tablet, but the Surface brings some new things to the table that previous imitators didn’t bring.
Surface has a built in case complete with a kick-stand for starters. As an iPad user for the last two years, I’ve gone through two different cases (and needing a third now) with a need for a stand. Surface will solve that problem with the stand built into the device. The best part about it is that the cover will host a multi touch keyboard on the cover itself. No longer will someone have to buy a third party case so that they can type effectively on their iPad.
The cover was the first thing that sold me on this device. I’ve always wanted a keyboard cover for my iPad but I didn’t want to shell out $100+ on another cover. The great thing about this is that it won’t add unnecessary thickness to the tablet as well. The device is listed as 9.3mm and 13.5mm thick for each version of the tablet.
Microsoft compares this hardware to its Ultrabook lineup of PC’s. Surface will be able to play any game off of it’s Windows Store (meaning AAA titles and REAL games) and will come with MS Office for it’s Windows 8 Pro iteration of the device. Consumers now have the ability to have a legitimate tablet PC available on the go.
This could be a device that changes the shape of the tabletosphere. With Apple releasing the New iPad in March, some people were let down and saw it as a refresh on the iPad 2. If Microsoft plays its cards right, Surface will force Apple to make changes on its own tablet.
There was no price or release date mentioned during the conference, but we were told to be patient:
From Microsoft’s press release:
Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT
My initial guess is somewhere around $899 for the Windows 8 Pro version. The Windows RT version which will be more in line with the average tablet may go for $499 to $599. Keep in mind that’s my own opinion which means nothing.
Stay tuned for more information on this new Microsoft bombshell as time goes on. Check out the links below for more information on Surface.
Surface Webpage: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx