Microsoft Announces Surface Windows 8 Pro and RT Tablets with Touch Cover and Kickstand (Specs, Video)

June 18, 2012

Microsoft announced an intriguing line of products at an ultra-secretive press conference in Los Angeles tonight. Steve Ballmer and friends took to the stage to unveil two upcoming tablets, both classified as “Surface,” which will run Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro, respectively.

The two devices feature a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display, full-sized USB ports (2.0/3.0), internal storage configurations ranging from 32GB to 128GB, expandable storage through microSD card slot, front and rear “LifeCam” cameras, and unique VaporMg casing with built-in kickstand and a revolutionary 3mm thin, pressure sensitive cover that doubles as a fully functioning keyboard and trackpad! The innovative Touch Cover, which comes in 5 different color choices, can connect to or disconnect from the tablet with a single magnetic click. Also, an alternative “Type Cover” will be available for those who prefer a more traditional typing experience with pronounced keys that offer better feedback.

Surface with Windows RT is an ARM-based tablet that’s geared for the average consumer. This is the device that will go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad and tablets running Google’s Android OS. It’s streamlined in a 9.3mm thin body and weighs only 676 grams. It also comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT for those who need to mix work with play. Surface with Windows 8 Pro is an Intel-based machine built for professionals. It’s thicker at 13.5mm and heavier at 903 grams, but it also touts a more feature-rich experience with Windows 8 Pro, higher storage options and a capacitive pen with palm block. In terms of power, it will supposedly be comparable to high-end Ultrabooks currently on the market.

Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t reveal pricing or potential release dates, so we’ll have to stay tuned for the time being. We have to assume the RT model will at least arrive in time for the Windows 8 launch this fall though.

Surface with Windows RT Specs:
ARM-based (Nvidia) processor
Windows RT OS
676 g in weight
9.3 mm thick
10.6” ClearType HD capacitive touch display with Gorilla Glass
31.5 W-h battery
microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover
VaporMg Case & Stand
Stereo speakers and dual microphones
32 GB, 64 GB

Surface with Windows 8 Pro Specs:
Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor
Windows 8 Pro OS
903 g in weight
13.5 mm thick
10.6” ClearType Full HD (1080p) capacitive touch display with Gorilla Glass
42 W-h battery
microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
VaporMg Case & Stand
Stereo speakers and dual microphones
64 GB, 128 GB

Video Demo of Surface kickstand and Touch/Type Covers:

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