In a big press event just now, Microsoft unveiled the Surface, the company’s first Microsoft branded tablet. The Surface is 7” diagonal, a high res display, weighs less than 2 pounds, has a full sized USB 2.0 port and a sleek foldout keyboard integrated into its cover. Apple’s Smart Cover? Oooh magnets. Check out this fucking keyboard.
As Microsoft led up to the big unveiling, Steve Ballmer was sounding very Steve Jobs-like, talking about the beauty of when hardware and software are engineered to work well together, while recalling Microsoft’s hardware history. And when Microsoft puts their mind to it, they do make pretty good hardware, so it will be interesting to see how the Surface integrates into a total vertical ecosystem, through a Windows 8 PC, a Windows phone, the Surface tablet and the Xbox.
Much like the Courier prototype from a couple years ago, the Surface will not only use capacitive touch, but will come with a very nice stylus, made to feel just like a pen, as opposed to the crappy selection of third-party styluses for the iPad.
Another nice little design touch is the Surface’s integrated kickstand. If you have the keyboard rolled out, you can flip out the kickstand to keep the whole thing level. It looks like a lot of thought definitely went into the design of this thing.
And since this tablet runs Windows 8, Microsoft is touting it as a full PC experience in the palm of your hands. It also integrates seamlessly with a Windows 8 PC, so you can use your Surface as a controller, notepad or drawing device for any app in Windows.
Microsoft didn’t mention an exact price, but did say that it would be “priced competitively”, and will be available in 32GB and 64 GB flavors. At some point.