Microsoft announced a new hardware today named Surface , which essentially is a tablet aimed at bridging gap between tablet and laptop. Building up to the big announcement event , there were rumors of a tablet , but Microsoft somewhat succeeded in putting in front of us a quality product that can deliver , which is my first impression of the device. Few years back a device stormed into the world of computers called Netbooks , which rather did not have the full capabilities of a laptop, but served the purpose of a casual user his main goals of browsing and checking mails on the go. But with the launch of ipad , tablets took their position , and slowly netbooks moved to the back of stage. Even with the entry of ipad and other tabs , the major issue remained unresolved , the computing power , this is where Surface hits the nail.
Design and Specs: Flaunting a 10.6 HD display , Surface gives us the impression of a wide photoframe at he first glance, but the interiors of the device tells a different story.
Two versions of this device launched earlier today , one runs a Windows 8 RT OS and the other Windows 8 Pro OS with Full HD display. The RT version weigh similar to iPad (676g) , but the Pro version is close to 1 kg in weight. They also differ physically in thickness also , 9.3mm to 13.5mm. That raises the question whats inside that Pro?
Microsoft is putting an ivybridge core i5 processor inside Pro version,and ARM processor from Nvidia inside RT , RAM and GPU are all unknown at this point of time. The rest of the specs looks like this
Another major highlight of this event was launch of an accessories for this tablet , which includes a Touch cover , Type Cover , Pen Stylus .. Touch Cover functions as a cover as well as keyboard! and the Stylus works on the tablet like a digital ink pen.
A cute little feature of this Surface is a 0.7mm kickstand , which snaps back on to the body by magnet is a simple yet innovative design , that do not add much thickness to the whole device.
Availability and Pricing : Though no specific date has been mentioned , a reference of it being available along with the official release of Windows 8 came during the announcement event. But the event ended without giving any remark on the price except a promise that it will be comparable to ultrabooks, so my guess is Pro version will cost somewhere between 1000 -1299$ and the RT version will be between 499-699$ ,Microsoft will be careful enough to price it near to iPad and at the same time a very aggressive pricing is not something we usually associate with the company.
Final Impression from Surface Announcement : Microsoft has been pushed to a corner during the last few years by giants like Apple , now they have entered a territory held exclusively Apple and by some other giants like Samsung , but to me , this is a game worth playing for ,as Microsoft has nothing to lose in this. Will this challenge iPad ? That purely depends on the pricing , but from the design and specs , what this device will do is bridge the gap between a tablet and a powerful laptop , so is this the end of road for laptops? Too early to say ,but definitely a possibility . What this means to iPad and Apple is something what I am really excited about , for the last 3 years , they ruled the tablet world , but with Microsoft trying to set a foot on their territory, things will change and will definitely push iPad for more innovations , after all that is all what we consumers want, A good competition between giants with no definite monopoly.
How close can I get with the pricing.... yes , I hit the nail on its head...
Microsoft priced Surface at price range 499-699$, and its now available for preorder...
Microsoft Surface Preorder