On Monday at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows 8, including two Windows tablets and accessories. Microsoft’s 10.6-inch Surface tablet is 9.3 mm thick, weighs just under 1.3 pounds, features a magnetic case that incorporates a full multi-touch keyboard, and will be able to access all Windows applications, including Xbox.
The company claims that these new machines have been conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise, with an extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience yielding the following benefits:
Software Takes Center Stage
Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
The casing of Surface is created using a technique called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), which Micriosift says is a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
Microsoft says 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, which Microsoft claims will enable you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. 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. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
An Amazing Windows Experience
Two models of Surface will be available: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. Surface for Windows RT will expand the general availability of Windows 8 into tablet space, while the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later for more power/productivity oriented users. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.
Contributing to an Expanded Ecosystem
One of the strengths of Windows is its extensive ecosystem of software and hardware partners delivering selection and choice. This continues with Surface, adding to an already strong and growing ecosystem of functional and stylish devices delivered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Light: 676 g
Thin: 9.3 mm
Clear: 10.6 ClearType HD Display
Energized: 31.5 W-h
Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Productive: Office 15 Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB
Surface for Windows 8 Pro
OS: Windows 8 Pro
Light: 903 g
Thin: 13.5 mm
Clear: 10.6 ClearType Full HD Display
Energized: 42 W-h
Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB
Surface is expected to, well, surface in the fall along with Windows 8. retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT.
For more information about Surface, visit