Microsoft unveils its own tablet: the Surface

The Windows-makers have just unveiled a new slate called the Microsoft Surface.

Described as a “tablet that’s a great PC, and a PC that’s a great tablet,” the Surface looks to be much more than an iPad competitor. It has a 10.6-inch display, magnesium casing, and weighs in at just 1.5 pounds…

Other features of the Surface include a full-sized USB 2.0 port, 9.33mm profile, and a built-in kickstand. And Microsoft has also introduced an interesting accessory for the slate, a multitouch keyboard with a built-in trackpad.

It looks like the Surface will be available in two varieties: one, built on the ARM architecture, running Windows RT tablet software. And a Pro version, which uses Intel CPUs, and runs a full version of Windows 8.

Obviously, you’ll have to make a few trade-offs when going with the Surface Pro. It’s thicker, at just over 13mm, a bit heavier, and has onboard fans. But you also get the benefits of a higher-res display and the added power.

So far, there’s no word on pricing outside of “it’ll be competitive with other tablets,” and nothing regarding a release date. Microsoft did, however, say that the Windows RT version will be available in 32GB and 64GB models, and the Pro version will have higher capacities.

Overall, this looks like a strong, bold play from the Redmond company. And we’re interested to see how well the Surface does with consumers. If nothing else, it’s intriguing that Microsoft is now in the hardware business.

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