Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What's News: Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface Looks like Windows 8 iPad with standard keyboard.
Surface was the name for Microsoft's big touch table with cool effects like a water pond which was never shrunk down to a tablet.

Here is a skeletonized highlights:

Microsoft's new Surface tablets make a solid first impression

By  | June 19, 2012, 12:26am PDT
Summary: Microsoft’s new Surface tablets are exquisitely engineered, and no one can accuse them of being me-too products. Yesterday’s launch was impressive, but it also left many questions unanswered.

Monday, at an invitation-only media event in Los Angeles, Microsoft got the tech press to do something almost unprecedented: wait with eager anticipation for a Microsoft product announcement.
Even more astonishing is that the reveal lived up to the hype.
.... The signature feature—one that probably has some Apple product designers wondering “Why didn’t we think of that?”—is the magnetic cover that snaps firmly into place and doubles as a keyboard. The Touch Cover (3 mm thin) comes in an assortment of bold colors and includes a full-size keyboard with slightly raised keys and a trackpad.  The Type Cover, at 5mm, uses the same layout, but with keys that have the travel you would expect from a conventional keyboard. To appreciate the clever design and solid working of the magnetic latch, you really have to try it.
There’s also a kickstand integrated into the case itself. Snap it open to rest the tablet open at a 22-degree angle, which is ideal for watching a movie, chatting via webcam, or typing.
..Microsoft kept this project secret, with not a single leak. One executive told me that the team working on Surface started its work three years ago, at the same time that development began on Windows 8. Using the trademark of an already-established product helped, as did a windowless lab protected by the kind of security normally reserved for government agencies with three-letter acronyms.
...Of course, one could make the case that a single Surface device is actually two devices in one—a tablet and a keyboard-equipped notebook. If prospective buyers accept that proposition, then a “competitive” price will seem like a bargain.
...How will Android device makers react? The current crop of Android-powered tablets is incredibly weak compared to the iPad. The new Surface designs offer another point of comparison where Android falls far short.
See also:
  • With Surface tablet, Microsoft breaks tradition
  • CNET First Take: Microsoft Surface RT (with video) 

  • CNET Editors' Take

    June 18, 2012 4:46 PM PDT
    (Credit: Josh Lowensohn)
    ...The Surface tablets will be available in two distinct versions. The Windows RT version -- which is effectively the "light" version of Windows 8 -- will launch with Windows 8 in the fall, and run on an ARM CPU. While it won't have the full desktop version of Windows 8 (it runs only the "Metro" apps available through the Windows app store), it will include a version of Microsoft Office at no additional charge.
    Surface RT tablet key specs
    • Windows RT operating system
    • Nvidia ARM CPU
    • 9.3mm thick
    • 676 grams/23.85 ounces
    • 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display
    • 31.5 watt hour battery
    • Ports: microSD, USB 2.0, micro HD video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
    • Storage options: 32GB and 64GB for Windows RT
    • Front and rear-facing "HD" cameras
    • The Pro will offer the full Windows 8 OS running on an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU (the same chips found in ultrabooks and other laptops). In addition to the beefier CPU and operating system, the Pro will be slightly thicker, offer a more robust battery, boast better peripheral support (USB 3.0 versus 2.0, DisplayPort, and SDXD expansion slot), and twice the storage capacity as the RT version. Expect it to cost more, of course.
      Surface Pro tablet key specs
      • Windows 8 operating system
      • Intel third-generation Core i CPU
      • 13.5mm thick
      • 903 grams/31.85 ounces
      • 10.6-inch ClearType "Full HD" Display
      • 42 watt hour battery
      • Ports: microSDXC, USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort video
      • Storage options: 64GB and 128GB
      • Front and rear-facing "HD" cameras
  • CNET: Why Microsoft built its own tablet
  • Hands-on with Microsoft’s Surface tablet (photos)
  • Microsoft, what the hell is wrong With you?
  • CNET Roundup: Microsoft tablets finally ‘Surface

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