Every time a big company like Microsoft or Apple sends out an invitation, people stop and listen. And then the speculation starts. That’s exactly what happened this Friday when Microsoft sent out invitations for their next event. Rumors were sketchy at best and nobody seemed to have a clear idea of what Microsoft was going to announce besides that it would probably involve the realm of tablets. Now the event is over and we’ve got a good look at Microsoft’s latest concoction, the Surface.
In fact, there’s two versions of the Surface tablet. There’s the lower-specced Windows RT version and then the more professionally equipped Windows 8 Pro version. Both feature mouthwatering features and there’s no doubt that the Windows 8 Pro is going to be an incredible tablet but for the sake of this article I’m sticking with the RT version. You may ask yourself why and I’ll answer that simply. Android.
It’s obvious that Microsoft is gunning after both iOS and Android tablets with the Windows RT surface. It features an NVIDIA-made ARM chip, a 10.6″ 1366×768, microSD card slot, USB 2.0, microHD video port, and several very unique accessories that make it easily stand out among the crowd. One of these accessories happens to be a cover that acts and looks strikingly similar to Apple’s Smart Cover with the exception that this has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. It’s labeled the Touch Cover and it falls back to reveal a pressure-sensitive keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard bears traces of the old silicone fold-up keyboard designs in being that the keys don’t actually have travel. They just respond to your taps on them and while it may sound similar to touch screen typing, it’s actually much faster and more accurate. Just one magnetic clip and your tablet is equipped with a full cover, pressure keyboard, and touchpad. But say you prefer the satisfying click of a physical keyboard. Microsoft’s got an answer for that too. It functions the same as the Touch Cover but is thicker to contain an entire physical keyboard and plastic trackpad. Pretty nifty if I may say so myself and easily pushing out the rest of the tablet market in the productivity sector. The only real rival is the Asus Transformer Prime which requires a full plug in keyboard dock to add a USB port, SD card slot, extra battery, and keyboard and trackpad. Obviously the extra battery is nice but it comes at the sake of some of the portability that the Touch and Type Covers give you.
The point in all this is to say that this is an extremely tempting tablet that manages to outperform the competition thus far. And that makes me want it. Badly. And I’m not the only one who shares this point of view. Twitter was chock-full of people tonight talking about how they wanted one of the new Microsoft Surface tablets. Even our own Joey Lehto tweeted from his @Droiddog_Joey account that he wanted a Surface tablet. Every single response of this sort reinforces the fact that Microsoft did something right with their latest tablet offering. Other manufacturers need to take a leaf out of their book and follow their example. If they do then competition will erupt and that will help to drive the prices down for everybody. That’s what needs to happen and I hope that it will. A Surface tablet that dual-booted Android and Windows 8 would be a miracle tablet that I would do a whole lot of things to get into my possession. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened but the Surface tablets are tempting enough on their own to get me to look at them. I gave away my OG Transformer just today and will be in the market for a new tablet in the next few months. If the competition hasn’t stepped up to the plate by then, the Microsoft Surface will be a hard offer to resist. Obviously pricing is still unknown but Microsoft says it will be competitive which indicate somewhere around a $600 price tag for the 32GB RT model. That would be a difficult price to turn down for a device that ran Windows 8.
We’ve yet to hear all of the final details on the Microsoft Surface but as of now, both versions are tempting myself and whole lot of others included. If Microsoft can set good pricing, they could have a hole-in-one for the tablet market that might actually dethrone Apple’s current reign. I’m sorely tempted by the Surface. So much so that it could draw me away from my beloved Android. What about you, the readers? Do you share my pain of being tempted by the Surface? Or do you have your interests set somewhere else like an iPad or Android tablet? Give us your opinions down below in the comments!