Friday, June 22, 2012

The Microsoft Surface Tablet: An Overview

A few years ago with the release of Windows Vista also came a product by Microsoft by the name of "Surface." Surface was a large tablet-top based tablet computer. It was quite expensive, retailing for thousands of dollars, and it was only utilized by hotels and companies that wanted something to show off in their lobby. Fast forward to 2012. Tablets have taken the world by storm- with the iPad at the helm of market domination. But that was three years ago. More than three years ago. Yet, Microsoft hasn't come up with a worthy competitor to take down their fruit-based competitor.

That is, until now. The Microsoft Surface tablet is Microsoft's decided consumer and business competitor to Apple's highly successful iPad. And, surprisingly, it looks as if Microsoft will be the first company to challenge Apple. As expected, the device is powered by the soon-to-be-released Windows 8 Pro. This means that it won't be just a tablet- it's a fully baked computer.

Actually, it's a laptop. The device comes with a cover that secretly doubles as a keyboard and mouse- transforming a product that would normally be considered a tablet into a full fledged computer. However, it's worth mentioning that the keyboard will not necessarily be better than what we have today on laptops and desktops, but hey- it's better than the whole on-screen shtick isn't it?

Yes kids, Microsoft has outdone Apple. For the second time. I never thought I'd say this, but Microsoft is currently the most innovative technology company right now. Sure, Apple's iPad and iPhone are both incredible products, not to mention the new line of Mac laptops and desktops... but at the end of the day, Microsoft is the only company changing everything for the better.

For those curious code monkeys out there- yes, both devices (oh yeah, by the way, there's a consumer device with Windows 8 RT and business oriented one with Windows 8 Pro) include shiny new multicore processors, both ARM and Intel units, a USB 3.0 port, 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, microSD card slot, mini HDMI port, and a magnetic port for the keyboard/trackpad cover. All crammed into a device with a 10.6 inch display.

As of now, the pricing for both devices is unknown- however, Microsoft has hinted that the consumer level machine will retail somewhere around the price of the current ARM tablets (anywhere from $200-$700), and the business level machine will retail at a larger price (possibly $1000, but who would ever pay that for a tablet?). More details are due soon, and it looks as though both Apple and Microsoft have had an excellent month. Let's just hope the same for Google, because in the end, that's great for everyone.

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