At an exclusive press event in Los Angeles today, Microsoft revealed the Surface – a pair of slick tablets.
The Windows 8 native Surface (yes, it shares a name with Microsoft’s coffee table touchscreen device) is just 9.3mm thick, including a built in 0.7mm kickstand which lets you prop it up like a photo frame, and weighs 576g.
The tablet comes in two flavours. Surface for Windows RT will come in 32GB and 64GB models and support a tablet-optimised version of Windows. Surface Pro will have 64GB and 128GB models.
The tablet has an “optically bonded” 1920×1080 resolution Gorilla Glass touch screen display, with support for digital ink making it seem ideal for artists and editors on the go.
USB 2.0 and HDMI ports make it easily compatible with existing tech and cables, and Windows App support means you’ll have access to Office, Netflix, Lightroom, and the Windows 8 Xbox apps.
Two 2×2 memo antennas give the Surface what Microsoft claims is the best WiFi performance of any tablet to date. The device has front and rear cameras and vents through a groove running around the perimeter.
The venting is important because the Pro version of the tablet packs a third-generation Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor. The RT will use an nVidia ARM core.
The full magnesium body sports magnetic connectors for an official Surface Type Cover which will sound familiar to Apple fans – but this one comes with a built-in multi-touch keyboard, track pad and Windows shortcut keys. Other Touch covers come in a variety of colours.
Observers have noted that the tablet’s USB support means you ought to be able to connect controllers do it, and that by running Windows natively, it should be able to handle PC gaming. Apart from a nod the the Xbox app, Microsoft didn’t detail the tablet’s gaming capabilities or whether to expects the Surface to enter the mobile gaming fray, but stay tuned over the next few days as hands-on previews come in.
Check out a video sizzle on the Surface’s newly-launched website.