The Surface tablets are content consumption devices like the iPad, but Microsoft is also marketing them as full-featured computers with no compromises -- tablets that you can actually use “to get things done.”
“If Microsoft can deliver a satisfying PC experience through its devices and accessories, then all those manufacturers who pegged their hopes on the super-thin, super-light ‘ultrabook’ model have something to worry about,” says The New York Times’ Sam Grobart in an article on Bits.
One of the stand-out features on the Microsoft-made Surface is the new pressure-sensitive cover. The 3 mm Touch Cover attachment converts the tablet into a laptop without adding the bulk of a traditional keyboard.
“The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard,” explains Microsoft. “Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover.”
Microsoft is yet to announce a full list of specs for the Surface tablets but has revealed one will run on an ARM processor with Windows RT and sport Office ‘15’ Apps. The second will have a third-generation Intel Core processor and feature Windows 8 Pro.
The Surface for Windows RT device is expected to launch around the same time as Windows 8 and the Surface for Windows 8 Pro will arrive three months later. Microsoft has not announced a specific dollar figure for the tablets though it did say they would be priced “competitively.”