My 5 Favorite Features of Microsoft’s New Surface Windows 8 Tablet

Many Different Keyboards For The Surface Tablet

Microsoft is offering a very striking, and very different Windows 8 tablet, the “Surface” has many cool features.

The Surface tablet is releasing in conjunction with other OEMs, and here’s what features I like

Microsoft’s hype-inducing conference yesterday caused a frenzy of speculation even before it was announced, from an Xbox Live tablet to the resurrection of the Courier. Those didn’t appear (so much for my predictions!), and Microsoft instead revealed the Surface Windows 8 tablet’s interesting features.

#1: Design

The Surface is super thin and light, measuring 9.3mm and weighs just 1.5 pounds – that’s hand-holding material – and the Windows Pro versions measure 13.5mm thick and weighs just under 2 pounds. The Windows Pro versions is probably heavier and thicker and the Windows RT counterpart because it’s more powerful. Still, that’s incredible portable and I bet something OEMs are going to be feeling the heat from.

#2: Physical Keyboard

Yes, they’re optional, like Apple’s, but the physical keyboards draw attention for their form factor and unique functionality rather then being announced. Microsoft announced the Touch Cover and Type Cover for Surface, which offers gesture-based and traditional tactile typing respectively. The Touch Cover include an accelerometer that measure key presses and the force, which Microsoft says increases productivity. If sounds like Swype for Android, but for keyboards. That’s pretty cool, and I can’t wait to see more.

#3: Connectivity

We’ve touched on this, but Microsoft is somehow offering the holy trinity of performance-design-functionality in a single device. We’ve got microSD support, mini display output, USB 2.0 and 3.0 and optional keyboards. The iPad is great, but it doesn’t offer any of this functionality. Quite embarrassing, really.

Promising Features, No Details

#4: Display

This is more of a potential winner, before the HD and full HD screen for the RT and Pro Surface respectively haven’t been detailed. Therefore we can’t compare them to the iPad’s whopping Retina display, which is still the benchmark.

#5: Kickstand

A small feature, but undoubtedly useful: the kickstand on the back of the Surfaces will mean using the keyboard for long sessions won’t have it randomly falling over when you have deadlines to meet. Of course we don’t know how sturdy is, so this is another potential winner.

No release or pricing announcements, but estimate October.

Published: Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 Last Modified: June 19, 2012

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