Monday, August 3, 2015

Microsoft Introduces Surface Tablets

Microsoft took the wraps off its long-awaited new tablet computer today. Make that two, both called Surface.

Microsoft Introduces Surface Tablets

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Microsoft took the wraps off its long-awaited new tablet computer today. Make that two, both called Surface.

Both are built around a high definition 10.6 inch "optically bonded" (for extra clarity) screen. One model runs on Windows 8 Pro, suggesting good compatiibility with programs for Microsoft's new desktop/laptop OS. There's also an equally up-to-the-minute Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 Processor driving the show, plus 64 or 128 GB of storage. Arriving three months after the launch of Windows 8 for PCs/laptops, these models of Surface will be priced in the same range as UltraBook-class laptops (now starting around $750.)

The other, slightly smaller and lighter Surface will introduce a mobile minded Windows RT operating system and uses the same breed of energy sipping ARM-based processors found in rival tablets and smartphones. It will arrive sooner than big bro, in 32 and 64 GB varieties, also packing an RT version of thr Office Home & Student suite and priced “competitively” with other tablets. So we’re guessing $600 and up. (See the specifications for both Surface tablets - PDF.)

Surface tablets share snazzy design elements like an all-magnesium enclosure and built-in stand. Coolest is the magnetically-connected cover that opens to reveal a fully functional keyboard and touchpad – shades of Microsoft’s pioneering “convertible” tablet which long pre-dated iPads. The more business-minded Windows 8 Surface even packs a stylus for optional use – unlike ye old Windows convertibles which demanded stylus use (a major shortcoming.)

More coverage
 
PDF: Spec sheet for the Microsoft Surface

Getting revenge, both Surface tabs boast individual ports for HDMI, USB 2.0 (or 3.0 in the “Pro”) and MicroSD cards - among the biggest "wish-fors" ciited by users /abusers of iPads.

Microsoft will surely spend a bloody fortune to make consumers aware there’s more to a Surface than first meets the eye. Yet it clearly has its work cut out, to turn the tide from the category dominating iPads, as most sales-deprived makers of Android based tablets have already learned. 

Maybe this time's the charm?

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them..

Jonathan Takiff Inquirer Columnist
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