Even though Microsoft has infirmed numerous times the rumors about them entering the tablet market, the company from Redmond has recently showcased a new product called Microsoft Surface which is designed to compete with the Android tablets and the iPad. This new tablet is Microsoft’s first attempt to directly compete with other hardware manufacturers like Samsung or Apple, which have been fighting for a couple of years for that number one spot. We’ll just have to wait for the product to be officially available for sale, in order to see if they will be able to grab some of the market share from both competitors or if it will just be a small dent.
Right from the start, we can clearly say that Surface has an interesting approach on the design of a tablet, as the device comes with a 22 degree bevel angle and a built-in kickstand at the back which allows the user to make it stand on its own vertically.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that it has a very light body made out of magnesium on the inside, while on the outside you will find a liquid metal finish overall with a Gorilla Glass display on the front. Steven Sinofsky, the man overlooking all the current products released by Microsoft, says that they decided to use this type of design and such materials so that it would “feel natural in your hands” while you’re using it.
When the product was unveiled for the first time, the audience was presented with a hybrid – part keyboard part cover, which resembles quite a lot to the one that Apple has for its iPad. The main difference between the two is that the cover for Surface, called obviously Type Cover has two purposes – to allow you to type in when using the device and to protect the display while not using it. It will be interesting to see how Apple is going to respond to this because the Type Cover clips on to Surface in a very similar way as their cover does on the iPad, meaning magnetically. What’s really interesting about this feature is the fact that this multi-purpose cover does not increase the overall thickness of the tablet that much, being only three millimeters thin.
The Type Cover is not the only accessory which clips on magnetically to the Surface body, because Microsoft decided that users would like to use a stylus as well. Similar to their body design concept, the company from Redmond claims that using the stylus is going to feel very natural, when touching the Gorilla Glass display.
In terms of hardware size, we have to point out the fact that the upcoming device will have a 10.6 inch display, which means that it will be larger than the new iPad with approximately one inch. Comparing with the current line-up of tablets available on the market, Microsoft’s Surface will offer the biggest screen work space.
The device will be offered in two versions, one with 32GB of storage space and one with 64GB so that you can choose the one which fits better your requirements. The tablet will obviously use a version of Windows 8 and the Windows Store is going to be the center media piece around which Surface will focus on, as it will offer you everything in terms of entertainment like downloading games or movies.
Even though Microsoft’s intention is to compete with Apple’s iPad and with other Android tablet range of devices, some market analysts say that it could be a threat to ultrabooks due to several reasons. For starters, Surface comes with Intel processors that are capable of running full Windows apps and moreover, the device has that interesting Type Cover.
If you would like to see the first Surface video showcase, you can check it out below.