Microsoft has been working on a tablet since very long time, and they finally came out with Microsoft Surface which is a tablet but feels and looks different from lot of contemporary tablets out there. Microsoft has launched the Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 pro will be coming early next year. We will see how Surface with Windows RT is different from Surface with Windows 8 Pro later on in this post, first let us talk about the current Microsoft Surface with Windows RT.
Microsoft Surface is a very well built tablet and it is somewhat different from the tablets that have been around in the market for couple of years now.It is made up of VaporMg casing and comes in Dark Titanium colour.
From distance it might look like a normal tablet but when in hand it feels a lot different. With the solid build and tapered edge design we get a sense of strength and durability of the product. Surface is little thicker from its competition out in the market also it packs in a reasonable amount of weight with it, but this gives a solid feel to the tablet.
However Microsoft Surface has a 10.6-inch screen with 16:9(Widescreen) aspect ratio, which makes it slightly longer in width when held in landscape mode compared to other tablets. Due to this face it is slightly odd to hold it in landscape mode and it is super awkward to hold it in portrait mode. Holding this tablet with two hands and in landscape mode it is difficult to reach the Capacitive start button and some areas on the center of the screen.
Microsoft Surface is powered by 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and includes 2GB of RAM. It comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities.
Surface is packed with a 10.6-inch screen which is full 0.9-inch larger than the iPad’s screen. This larger screen manages an aspect ratio of 16:9 at the screen resolution of 1366×786 pixels. On holding the Surface in landscape position at the top there is a front facing 1MP front facing camera besides which is a LED to indicate that camera is in use and there is a capacitive Start button below the screen.
Surface is 9.4mm thick – this is not bad, considering you get a full sized USB 2.0 port on board. It also packs in a 3.5mm headset jack, microHDMI port and micro SD card slot under the kickstand on the back, which can support upto 128GB sdxc cards. At the bottom there is a proprietary magnetic accessory connector.
There is a 1MP rear fixed focus camera which can shoot in 720p HD. There are two microphones in the tablet and stereo speakers.
At the back there is a built-in kickstand which is very useful, it also allows to use the Surface with its touch or type covers.
Microsoft is not yet providing 3G or LTE based models of the Surface so you would be limited to use WiFi as connectivity option, you get a 802.11 a/g/b/n with 2×2 MIMO sending and receiving. It also has Bluetooth 4.0.
Microsoft Surface comes with Windows RT and another version with Windows 8 Pro is due in coming few months. What exact is the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro?
Both the versions have Desktop pinned on the Taskbar. Windows RT has limitations to what softwares could be added to it, you cannot add your old windows software in the RT version of the tablet but Windows 8 Pro behaves more like your desktop or laptop and allows you to add in your software to the desktop. So there is the major difference. Windows RT has limitations in terms of adding your old software and the applications you are left with are those available on Windows Store (Which are not too many). So if you are looking for a tablet with many applications then look elsewhere.
Windows RT also lacks the support for Start button so touching the Start button your Surface will only take you back to the Home screen. You will find all the native apps like Mail, Calendar, People, Camera and Internet Explorer 10 on Windows RT.
Performance wise Surface is somewhat slow in opening applications, but once open apps run smoothly without any lag.
Video support is also somewhat limited at this moment. Flash is included on the OS but while streaming videos in Flash we found some problem with video running smoothly even on a high speed wifi network, HTML5 videos on the other hand had no problem.
The application store is packed with too little apps so that would be a big concern for people adopting to Microsoft Surface tablet.
Touch and Type cover.
Touch cover or Type cover is an essential accessory clubbed with Microsoft Surface, this is also clear from ads that Microsoft has for Surface and it was integral part of the launch event presentation of the Surface.
Both these covers attach magnetically to the lower end of the Surface.
Type cover has physical buttons and feels more like a traditional keyboard, Touch cover on the other hand has keyboard as a touch interface and it takes a bit of getting used to this type of keyboard.
According to Microsoft Touch cover may take 4-5 days to get used to it.
Microsoft Surface comes in 32GB and 64GB built-in models.
The 32GB model comes in at $499 but it dose not include the keyboard, for $599 you get it bundled with Touch cover. The 64GB model comes in at $699 and is packed with a Touch cover.
If you buy Microsoft Surface without a keyboard and later decide to buy in a keyboard, you will have to shell out $120 for a Touch cover and $130 for a Type cover. Touch cover comes in few variety of colours but the Type cover will only be available in black.