A few days ago, I was reading my friend Ewan MacLeod’s tech blog, Mobile Industry Review.
Ewan was talking about folks’ reaction to the Microsoft announcement about the pricing for their new tablet.
Microsoft? New? Tablet?
I was confused, so I read on.
Essentially, Ewan was trying to gauge how moved folks were (or were not) about the tablet, and how the price point Microsoft set for the tablet would (or would not) impact their opinion.
Opinions ran the gamut.
Um, excuse me…
Did you say that Microsoft has a tablet?
Apparently, there have been commercials and advertisements, promoting this new device, but I have yet to see one.
Incredulous, I searched around, and lo and behold…
Microsoft has a tablet!
On October 26th, Microsoft will launch Surface, their tablet offering, in retail locations throughout the country.
The Surface will also be available for pre-order at the 34 holiday pop-up stores Microsoft plans to open.
In addition to the US, the Surface will be available for sale online in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and the U.K.
The device, which is already available for pre-sale, is supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to the iPad.
Let’s talk specs, shall we?
- The Surface measures 10.81 by 6.77 by 0.37 inches.
- It weighs less than 1.5 pounds and runs an Nvidia T30 processor with 2GB of RAM.
- It has front and back cameras, and the back camera tilts, when on the kickstand to shoot straight ahead.
- The Surface offers both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options.
- The Surface has a full-size USB 2.0 port and a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display.
- The Surface display also has five-point multi-touch capabilities.
According to eWeek, a version of the Surface running the full Windows 8 OS (not yet available), will have 10-point multi-touch—a resolution of 1366 by 768, and an aspect radio of 16:9.
For about $120 extra, you can trick out your Surface with a magnetic keyboard cover, which comes in a touch version or a type version (with mechanical keys).
Both are spill proof, and mimic the magnetic covers of the iPad with (obviously) build in utility beyond just protecting the screen.
I can dig it.
Microsoft claims that the Surface will outperform the iPad in almost every area, and rival the resolution and screen clarity of the iPad’s retina display.
Now I don’t have a Surface tablet on me, but I’d definitely be interested in running a side-by-side comparison between the Surface and iPad, just to see which device really performs better.
While I see the iPad as a pure tablet, I see the Surface as a replacement for the (wack) netbook.
Microsoft is definitely pushing the Surface as an alternative to the tablet, the netbook and the desktop PC, giving you the features of all three, in a small, portable package.
The Surface is priced at $499 for the 32 Gb model, $599 for the 32Gb model with the touch cover, and $699 for the 64Gb model with Touch cover.
Which brings it right in line with iPad pricing, generally.
While I’m no fan of Microsoft or the Windows operating system, I am genuinely intrigued by the Surface.
We’ll have to wait and see if the market is too.
Would you buy a Surface?