Saturday, June 23, 2012

Microsoft Surface Tablet

  It takes a lot of effort to build a product capable of taking its stand against the I-pad 3 and Microsoft has revealed that it has a tablet which is capable of doing this. In an press event this Monday, Microsoft gave more than mere glimpses of devices which are full-fledged tablet but are also capable of doing the job of a notebook. The two devices are known as Microsoft surface and are extremely identical in looks yet run on two different versions of Windows 8(yes, windows 8!). One of these run on Windows RT version of Windows 8 while other runs on Windows 8 pro. The pro version tablet sports a lot more features while RT model is created to put a little less strain on the pockets of the consumers. So, what's so unique in it? Isn't it just like the ASUS TF300 Transformer pad which has an optional keyboard dock? Well it surely isn't! Read on as I give detailed specification about both devices, their strong points, their minor weaknesses and a lot more.

So What's Surface exactly?  Surface is a 10.6-inch tablet running on two different versions of the upcoming Windows 8 OS of Microsoft. The tablet has been developed and is being marketed by Microsoft itself and is targeted to compete with the likes of other similar tablets particularly the I-pads. The tablet can be attached to either a pressure sensitive touch Keyboard or a usual type keyboard. These keyboard docks attach with the tablet in a single magnetic click. The tablet has a kickstand which can be used to make it stand like a notebook or laptop to completely eliminate any differences between the notebook and the docked surface. The keyboards are available in five lively and funky colors. The surface tablets are expected to ship after the official launch of Windows 8 which is rumored to be around the October this year.
What's with two different versions? The two different surface tablets are quite identical in looks but they as different as chalk and cheese in terms of features. Here are the specifications of the two-
Surface for Windows RT tablet
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra-based ARM chip
  • Weight: 676 grams
  • Thickness: 9.3 millimeters
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD capacitive touchpanel
  • Battery: 31.5Wh
  • I/O: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
  • Software: Windows RT + Office Home & Student 2013 RT
  • Accessories: Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Capacity: 32GB / 64GB
  • Availability: "Around" the Windows 8 launch (fall 2012)
  • Pricing: To be determined
Surface for Windows 8 Pro tablet
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge)
  • Weight: 903 grams
  • Thickness: 13.5 millimeters
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD (1080p) capacitive touchpanel
  • Battery: 42Wh
  • I/O: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2x2 MIMO antennae
  • Software: Windows 8 Pro
  • Accessories: Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand, Pen with Palm Block
  • Capacity: 64GB / 128GB
  • Availability: "Three months after" the Windows 8 launch this fall 
  • Pricing: To be determined
 Pros of the surface: Clean and neat finish and colorful keyboard docks make the Surface beautiful. 10.6-inch HD display makes sure that you get enough space on the display to enjoy its features. Windows 8 as you might know has been developed to make sure that its a perfect tablet OS. App giants such as Netflix have extended their partnership to Microsoft and hence a lot of reputed and necessary apps would also be available for the Surface users from the word go. Competing the I-pad is the sole focus of the tablet and hence its pricing is also expected to be much less when compared to the respective variants of the I-PAD 3. Innovation in the form of a pressure sensitive keyboard would also be well received.

A few Drawbacks: As with other gadgets, Surface is also not 'perfect'. First, a lack of enough info about battery capacity puts forth doubt as to whether the new OS is capable to manage battery resources properly and whether users would get 6+ hours of battery life. Similarly, there is no info about CPU speeds and available memory. The surface running on pro version of Windows 8 is also a bit bulky compared to its rival I-PAD 3. The rumors are also doing rounds that Surface at the time of its launch would come with a Wi-FI variant only and these of course won't be liked by users who like to be connected to the web on the go and also would be a big minus point for surface's sales since I-pad already has 4G variant in the market.

VERDICT:Keeping everything aside, whatever has currently been revealed about the Surface has created a buzz in the market. It already has got a tag of I-pad killer and consumers are happy since they would now get more options while choosing a tablet to purchase. Competition among manufacturers would surely result in cheaper and better products in the future. It can be said that Surface has brought a breeze of expectations along with its revelation.

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