During a somewhat mysterious event held earlier this evening, Microsoft officially announced that they’re getting into the PC hardware business. They’ve dusted off the Surface brand and applied them to two Windows 8 tablets that appear to be poised to go head to head with the top Android and iOS contenders.
First up is the Surface for Windows RT. Obviously powered by an ARM processor, this tablet has a 10.6 inch “ClearType HD” display and is 9.3 mm thin. It’s also promising to be light as well with a weight of 676 grams. Of course, since it’s a Windows RT device, Office 15 will come preloaded as well, and the tablet will be available with 32 or 64 GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot available for expansion
For those who require something a bit more powerful, there’s also Surface for Windows 8. This is a X86 tablet with Windows 8 Professional running the show on the software side. It bumps up the screen resolution from the Windows RT version to 1080p, but is slightly thicker and heavier…as expected for a X86 tablet. To make up for the higher power consumption, the battery is larger than the Windows RT version at 42 watthours. Storage options include 64 or 128 GB models. There’s an microSDHC slot as well.
Both Surface tablets are built with a case made of VaporMG material. Made from Magnesium, Microsoft claims that the material allows these tablets to be thin, light, and strong. Furthermore, each will come with a built-in kickstand, as well as optional “touch” and “type” covers that double as keyboards and trackpads.
Availability and pricing haven’t been announced, sadly, but Microsoft says to expect pricing of the Windows RT version on par with other ARM based tablets. They also suggest that the Windows 8 Pro variant will likely be priced competiviely with Intel’s 2nd generation Ultrabook platform.