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Microsoft Surface: Can't Wait for this Tablet, or Late to the Party?

Microsoft announced its Surface tablet in Hollywood, Calif., Monday. Is it a viable challenger in the tablet market, or an also-ran?

Microsoft just announced its new "Surface" tablet today, according to GeekWire.

The Redmond-based company made the announcement at a Hollywood, Calif., event on Monday.

The new product has an cover that acts as a stand and a pressure-sensitive keyboard for typing.

According to the company's announcement:

  • Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out. 

  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.

  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.

  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel. 

    According to the company, there is will be two models of Surface: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro.

    They'll both be available at the company said in its announcement.

    What do you think? Is Microsoft pushing tablet technology forward or is it a little late to the game, after the success of the iPad and other tablet computers?

  • Venice Buhain June 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM
    I'd love to hear from people who have been waiting for a tablet that runs Windows. I've typically chosen Apple products for the past 12 years -- including two iPhones. But when I purchased a tablet computer, I purchased a Nook Color specifically to get away from iOS (I already knew it didn't do everything I needed it to do) and because of the price.
    Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM
    . I too have a NOOK Color- enhanced- but will volunteer to be a MSFT Tester. Jerry-
    Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 19, 2012 at 05:02 PM
    . Here's what I wrote before on the subject. J- http://mercerisland.patch.com/blog_posts/a-net-worthy-low-cost-tablet-computer
    Venice Buhain June 19, 2012 at 06:46 PM
    Hey, if Microsoft is looking for volunteers to try it out, I'd do it too. That said, I really like my Nook Color. Thanks for the comment, Jerry.
    Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
    Venice- We both know our SuperNOOKs are a somewhat limited- and a "CheapoSolution" to what we really want- a MSFT "Surface"- at an affordable price. J- (many years a Main St.Bellevue based architect).

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