Microsoft Surface

Microsoft's tablet begins to Surface

Microsoft has announced that it is taking pre-orders for the new Surface tablet with Windows RT. With the Surface, Microsoft has entered another ongoing hardware competition where it has only one real success – the Xbox line of video game consoles.

Surface has a 10.6-inch 16:9 widescreen 5-point multi-touch display, which is not the typical aspect ratio for tablets. Microsoft decided to go with an Nvidia T30 processor, which should run the Windows RT; this appears to be a subset of the Windows 8 OS that is scheduled to be released next week. Surface tablets with Windows 8 will apparently need to have an Intel Core i5 processor, which definitely will have more kick.

One of the most intriguing features of the Surface is the keyboard that is built into the cover, which will make it a good device for creating, as well as consuming, content and which could appeal to public sector agencies considering tablets as work tools. It will be interesting to see how well the keyboard works and how well it holds up.

Another feature Microsoft really seems to be proud of is the Surface’s full-size USB 3.0 port. With this port users can plug in accessories --  such as printers -- directly to the tablet instead of using a desktop computer as an intermediary.

Microsoft is selling the Surface starting at $499, putting it in the iPad price range. Find out more about it or pre-order at the Microsoft website.

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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