After a weekend of rampant speculation reaching a fevered pitch, Microsoft announced Surface – a Microsoft designed and built tablet. There will be 2 versions of the tablet, one designed for ARM, and thus running the Windows RT version, the other designed with Intel’s Ivy Bridge and running Windows 8 Pro. The ARM based tablet is set to ship along side the Windows 8 launch later this year, while the Ivy Bridge version will hit stores 90 days after the ARM based version.
For the ARM based version, you’re looking at 676 grams, 9.3mm thin, 10.6” ClearType HD Display, MicroSD, USB 2, Micro HD Video, and it comes in 32 or 64GB versions. The Ivy Bridge version, running full Windows 8 Pro, will be 903 grams, 13.5mm thin, 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display, MicroSDXC, USB 3, Mini Display port Video, and comes in 64 or 128GB versions. Both tablets will have a built in kickstand as well as 2 HD cameras – one front facing and the other rear facing.
Microsoft has yet to share pricing on these tablets, but we do know the Windows RT (ARM) version is set to be competitive with existing tablets on the market. The Windows 8 Pro (Ivy Bridge) version is going to be priced along the same lines as an UltraBook. Basically, it sounds like $600 and $1000, but of course, those are just a guess.
Microsoft also showed off a detachable keyboard in two different flavors and 5 different colors. The Touch Cover comes with the tablet and works both as a protective cover and as a keyboard/trackpad. This version is just 3mm thin and doesn’t have keys that move up and down when you type. Instead it looks like a capacitive based keyboard. The Type Cover offers a more traditional keyboard experience with keys that actually move as you type. Both keyboards offer a magnetic connection to the tablet so they can easily snap on and off. However, only the Touch Cover comes in multiple colors, including Cyan, Magenta, Black, White, and Orange(ish). The Type Cover appears to only be in Black at this point.
Interested in learning more? Well, you’re not alone! Check out this teaser video Microsoft posted yesterday, and stay tuned for more details as it gets closer to availability!