Microsoft held a conference tonight. It was a bit hurried, and had lots of people speculating. Well, once it all got started, we quickly realized it was all about tablets. Specifically, how Microsoft wants to be on yours. Aside from introducing a bit of nice accessory – which we’ll get to – they showed off what appears to be their flagship tablet. It’s running Windows 8 on an Intel Corei5 Ivy Bridge processor. Yes, that means it’s a full version of Windows, and it gets a full Office treatment as well. And heat? That’s dealt with by the perimeter venting – a vent that goes around the entire edge of the tablet, meaning you won’t block them with your hand.
“WAIT!” you say, “How am I supposed to use all of that on a tablet?” Well, they answered that. It’s a nifty snap-in keyboard, which pairs nicely with the magnesium case and attached kickstand. A multi-touch keyboard, only 3mm thick. Like “typing on glass.” What if that’s not enough? Well, there’s a pen input which is sampled at 600 dpi, and has a separate input system than touch, allowing it to ignore errant palms. There’s also the “Type Cover” pictured at right.
The Type Cover is a typical laptop keyboard, complete with touchpad. This means you can truly have that laptop experience with Surface. The Touch Cover (multitouch keyboard) come in many colors as well, and change the theme color when snapped in. Cool, I guess.
Overall, the product is very nice and complete. It was noted that a built-in kickstand breaks the seamless lines of the product, but they “needed to do it,” and I agree. A complete package in one purchase is quite nice. It doesn’t hurt that it’s thin, beautiful, and will run any video game that’ll do with Intel HD Integrated Graphics (there’s quite a few that will). It will come in 32GB and 64GB flavors and will be priced “like comparable tablets based on ARM.”