With Microsoft having unveiled its first ever own-branded tablets that are set to challenge Apple's iPad, V3 breaks down the key features of the new devices.
The new Surface comes in Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro versions. The RT version runs using an ARM processor while the Pro version features a third-generation Intel Core processor - unfortunately there's as yet no word on either chips' speed.
Size and dimensions
As well as their processors the two different Surface versions are also very different physically, despite featuring the same 10.6in ClearType HD display. The RT comes in at 9.3mm thick and weighing 676g and the Pro a heftier 13.5mm and 903g.
Additionally the Pro will feature more storage, coming with 64GB and 128GB storage options. The RT surface by comparison will be release in 32GB and 64GB models.
Big boy ports
Another differentiating factor separating the two versions of Microsoft Surface is their connectivity, with both housing very different port options.
The RT version is by far the most basic featuring microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video ports. The Pro by comparison features microSDXC, USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort Video inputs.
Despite their differences the two Surface versions do have some common features, one of which is the VaporMg casing.
The two are reportedly made using a combinations of molded metals and "deposit particles" - though what these are exactly remains a mystery. The effect, Microsoft promised will be to create a "finish akin to a luxury watch", which presumably is intended to convey something more impressive than simply 'metallic'.
Microsoft's promised that the new casings will be super light and strong, even when compared to Apple's fairly premier feeling new iPad.
Touch cover cases
Another common factor is the two devices Touch Cover cases. The two come with either basic 3mm cases or thicker 5mm covers that include integrated keyboards.
The 3mm version reportedly features unique pressure sensitive technology - though we're yet to see a demo of the tech - that recognises key strokes as gestures, letting users type on it without the need for physical keys.
Another interesting touch is the use of Digital Ink technology, with the two boasting support for a pen accessory that looks fairly similar to a stylus.
Microsoft’s demo showed the tablet recognising and shutting down all other input options when the pen came close to the screen - a useful feature if using the pen to draw pictures or edit photos in Photoshop.
Price and release date
Microsoft's remained tight lipped about the two release dates, merely promising that the RT model will launch alongside Windows 8, with the Pro model following 90 days later.
The same is true regarding price, with Microsoft stating:
"Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT."
Check back with V3 closer to the time for more details regarding the two new Surface tablets.
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