One thing that people in the tech industry are talking about at the moment is the new Microsoft Surface tablet that has been announced, a product that is attempting to gain some market share from Apple’s dominating iPad. This is no easy task, in fact Apple’s tablet has over 60% of the market by itself so it’ll be very difficult to compete against. However, some very exciting features and functionality have already been announced so we’re going to go through them in this article.
First of all, there are two different versions of the Surface, a Windows RT version and a Professional version. There’s a pretty big difference between them – the RT runs on an ARM processor whereas the Pro runs on an Intel processor. What this means is that the RT will not be able to run all of the programs that you’re used to on your computer at the moment as they simply won’t work. This is a tablet-only version so apps will need to be specifically written for it, so if you want to run some others that you’re familiar with then the Pro is your only option, which includes the regular interface that we’re all used to by now.
Both of which include the “Metro interface”, a feature that is new to the Windows 8 desktop operating system as well as the Surface. Instead of the ordinary Start menu that was used in all of the previous versions of Windows, an interface full of huge icons has been added to make accessing your information easier – you can see a list of your friends, lists of music and movies and all of your applications from this one interface. It’ll definitely take a lot of getting used to but if enough developers get behind it, it could be something that really takes off and is useful for users. This is what the main screen of the Surface tablets will also be, with no method of removing it.
Perhaps the thing that has gotten people most excited (something that isn’t yet included in the iPad) is a case accessory for it which also acts as a keyboard. It looks similar to the Smart Cover but has a QWERTY built into it, a very useful feature that a lot of people will take advantage of. It comes in 5 different colors too so people can really customize how it looks, a nice extra considering the device itself is only available in black (at the moment). As Apple did, they could decide to release more colors at a later date but for the moment we can only supply confirmed details about it.
Both versions offer very similar hardware – front and rear webcams are included for taking photos and video calling, dual microphones for recording audio, a kickstand is also available removing the need for a dock. As far as input goes, you can benefit from the USB port and the microSD card slots which can be a good way of expanding the storage capacity. You’ll be glad to know that the hard drive sizes are fairly good too, with the RT coming in either 32GB or 64GB and the Pro coming in at 64GB or 128GB. These are fairly high for a tablet, you could even connect an external hard drive if you really wanted to giving you access to terabytes of data.
In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface boasts some very impressive features but we aren’t sure if it’ll be able to compete, mainly because they haven’t had much luck in the market when they create the hardware too. Great examples of this are the Zune music player and the Kin smartphone, both of which never really gained any popularity at all. The Surface could add to this list. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when it’s released. At the moment, no specific details have been announced – all that is known is that we need to wait until the official release date of the Windows 8 operating system to get our hands on one so if you’re in the market for a tablet, you’re best off either getting an iPad or simply waiting.