Yesterday I watched the live blog announcement of Microsoft’s new tablet code named Surface.
It may have left some questions but I was highly impressed.
These tablets are beautiful and the technology in the keyboards (there are two you’ll be able to buy, a touch keyboard and a regular keyboard), is very impressive.
Onuora Amobi didn’t seem to share the excitement and thinks its vaporware. I think these tablets are going to come out.[Editors Note – No doubt they will come out 🙂 ]
Onuora said “Microsoft does this all the time and it’s heartbreaking. They set up a really exciting concept and when you scratch the surface (pun intended), you see less than you thought was there.”
I’m guessing he’s talking about Courier, but the thing there was never a working model of Courier, it was just a computer generated video.[Editors Note – I was talking about the Windows 8 Previews]
These Surface tablets are working, every pit of the technology is working now which tells me it has a very good chance of coming out.They even let the press use them for a short time.
The Surface tablets look just about ready now, Microsoft seems to be just waiting on Windows 8 and Windows RT. I’m even willing to guess they’ll come out around the holiday season.
Here are some observations and guesses I made while watching the live blog and listening to the commentary on Cnet.
- Pricing for the RT tablets is going to be closer to Android and iPad tablets, $300-350 (I’m not sure if the keyboard is going to come with the tablet or if its going to be more like the Asus Transformer and come separately). Windows 8 tablets are going to be priced comparable to Ultrabooks so guessing about $700-1000+.
- They didn’t mention Availability, but as said above I’m guessing they’ll be available around the holiday season. I’m guessing maybe a couple weeks to a month after Windows 8 and RT go gold.
- Battery live I think for RT tablets is going to be on par with Android and ipad. The Windows 8 tablets on the other hand I’m not sure.
- Hardware Partners. I think this is only going to be made my one partner and my guess is Nokia. I’m guessing this because the colors they showed are the exact colors you can get the Lumia 900 in. Nokia said they were working on a tablet and I think this is it. I’m guessing may not have the Nokia name on it, kind of like certain phones from carriers are branded by the carrier (like the T-Mobile My Touch is actually an HTC phone). I could be wrong, maybe Nokia was in agreement with Microsoft to not say who makes Surface yet. This was a Microsoft event and they were showing off the technology so by not mentioning them it brings more focus on the technology and less on who made it.
- They mentioned it uses USB 2.0, but later said that transfers are going to be five times faster than USB 2 so that makes me think maybe they’re going to have something else. My guess is its going to be Intel’s Thunderbolt http://goo.gl/XSsED. Thunderbolt uses the display port to transfer information and Microsoft did say Surface is going to have a display port. They may not have mentioned Thunderbolt for legal reason, maybe something they have to iron out with Intel. I just found the wording “five times faster than USB 2.0” interesting.
- They mentioned Windows 8 Surface tablets are going to have “perimeter venting” which is a vent band around the top of the tablet. I’m on sure if this will eliminate the need for a fan, but at least it will use a smaller quieter fan.
- Surface has 2 digitizers, one for touch and one for digital ink. Someone in the blog had said this could be a Wacom killer (I don’t like to use those words but it could go head to head with Wacom tablets).
- The Windows 8 versions are going to have Core i5 Ivey Bridge processors. My guess is they’re going to go with i7 right away because of heat and power consumption issues. Maybe the next iteration of processors they’ll use the i7. There was no mention if they were using Nvidia or ATI GPU. I’m thinking Nvidia because ARM tablets are going to use Nvidia chipsets.
- Surface tablets will have 2 WiFi antennas so no matter if you hold it landscape or portrait orientation you’ll get good WiFi connection.
This is what I got out of the event and I really want one.
You can watch it yourself here and make your own judgment.
What do you think?