Surface – Microsoft Windows 8 for Tablets

The Windows Surface tablet will be available on the Oct 26 retail launch day of Microsoft Windows 8. Surface for Windows 8 Pro will come out later. The body of the tablet is a magnesium alloy chassis where the magnesium is chemically bonded on to produce a well-fitted, durable feel.

The screen is 10.6 inches and it has four edges of half-an-inch bezel allowing it to be comfortably held. The keyboard covers snap securely in place. A built-in stand fitted into a hinge runs along the back of the tablet. It is easy to flip out.

There is a Touch Cover and a Type Cover. The Touch Cover is ultra-thin and emphasizes portability while the latter provides keys that physically move when depressed. The covers are attached firmly to the Surface by a magnetic latch. Closing the cover against the Surface turns the tablet off. When it is folded against the back side, the keyboard is turned off by an accelerator.

The keyboard covers could prove to be revolutionary in design for Microsoft and, in a word, “cool.” This would be quite an acknowledgement for a company whose CEO was recently criticized for not being of the tight leather-pants wearing crowd.

The feel of typing on the Touch Cover is like typing on a less slippery and more comfortable surface than that of a screen. At the top of the keyboard are keys representing the Charm bar options of the Modern User Interface  Search, Share, Devices and Settings.

The Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor allows the surface Pro to run as a more powerful tablet for most of the legacy power-demanding Windows programs. The touchpad on the Pro tablet allows extra-fine multitouch ability on the screen – you can reach into screen brackets or parenthesis.

Surface ARM tablets runs the less power-demanding ARM processors. They represents the specific tablet-friendly operating system created by Microsoft. With the Modern interface groupings of tablets, it derives directly from Microsoft Windows 8.

A power tool is that enabled by use of Semantic Zoom. It allows you to pinch in or out to decrease or enlarge the view of grouping sizes of the tiles. Seen as small groups, it is easy to move tiles from group to group and to switch and rename groups.

Specific RT apps from the Windows Store may be run on Surface RT. The Windows desktop in the RT configuration allows you to use Office applications and desktop IE. Full use of student and home versions of Office 2013 for RT will probably require the touchpad and the keyboard.

Surface Pro has a groove running around the edges to allow more air flow for cooling the Ivy Bridge Core i5. The Screen resolution is described as ClearType Full HD. It’s 227g heavier than the RT and 4mm thicker.  Surface RT is 676g and 9.3 mm thick. Its battery life is scored at 31.5 W-h compared to 42 W-h for Pro. Both tablets have two antennas for better Wi-Fi reception.

Surface was created to give Microsoft an edge in the tablet market, now controlled by the Apple iPad and to a smaller extent by Amazon’s Kindle. The company has done an excellent job in designing the tablet as a well-made Microsoft Windows 8 vehicle.

Two considerations that could suddenly propel Surface into the tablet market would be its entrance price and its hook-up with Microsoft’s Xbox that has become a stable with home entertainment systems. Surface has an Xbox app that could make it an Xbox touchscreen controller. Rumors have also circulated that Surface could enter the market at at $199 price level. Such a price should quickly give it market share.