So the “Surface” part of the rumor was right and Microsoft did in fact debut a pretty snazzy tablet today: Microsoft Surface, the company’s new tablet that seamlessly doubles as a PC thanks to Windows 8 integration. Surface will launch as two versions, one equipped with Windows 8 Pro and the other with Windows RT. The WinRT version is expected to launch around the same time as Windows 8 later this year, with the Win8 Pro model shipping a few months later.
The thing that everybody’s probably going to be talking about is the impressive integration of a magnetic cover, Touch Cover, that doubles as a ridiculously thin keyboard replete with a touchpad. Surface itself is 9.3 mm thin and as you no doubt noticed in the lead image, Microsoft spent a lot of research and development time designing a kickstand that smoothly meshes with the design (the stand is insanely thin, about as thin as a credit card if not smaller). So yes, you won’t have to buy any accessories to prop it up to go into PC mode.
The spec sheet doesn’t immediately say whether or not it’s going to have 3G or 4G connectivity, but Surface does come with a 2×2 MIMO antennae, implying that the tablet may have that capability (it’d be foolish if it didn’t, right?) in addition to wireless connectivity. And yes, it will be interactive with Xbox.
Also, there’s going to be a stylus available although it’s uncertain whether this will ship with both versions or with the workhorse version only, Windows 8 Pro.
The WinRT model weighs about 676 grams, which translates to a little less than a pound and a half. The screen is a 10.6″ ClearType HD Display. The WinRT model will ship in 32GB and 64GB variations. Also, this model will run on an ARM processor.
The Windows 8 model will weigh a little bit more but you’ll be getting a bit more firepower with this model. It’ll have more memory, shipping as 64GB or 128GB models, will run on an Intel Ivy Bridge i7 chip processor, and will have a full HD 1980×1020 display.
For either model there’s no concrete information on how much they’ll cost.
It’s worth noting that you will have a variety of Touch Covers to choose from, which look pretty sharp from today’s event and from the promo video that Microsoft just released, which is below so feast your eyes.
Also, if you were actually doing something else other than geeking out about technology this afternoon/evening, here’s WPN’s live blog of the event.
Note: this article has been updated from its original copy. Some specs for the Windows 8 Pro model were corrected.