In a press conference on Monday, Microsoft have revealed their response to Apple’s iPad tablet computer. Labelled the Surface, the device has been developed with several key points of difference set to usurp its competition.
According to Billboard, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took to the podium to unveil the gadget, which has a 10.5 inch screen capable of displaying 1080p content, two USB ports, and a magnesium external case. The Surface is also constructed with Corning’s flexible break-resistant Gorilla Glass and includes a built-in stand. When paired with better Wi-Fi reception and an inbuilt digital pen, it has taken the common concept of tablets to new standards. Users will also be able to connect keyboards and other accessories magnetically.
The entry level version will run Windows RT software, though the pro models will run Windows 8. Both RT and 8 have been constructed with specific use for mobile, hand-held touch devices. For now, both will be available in 32Gb and 64Gb models, though within three months it is expected that a 64Gb and 128Gb pro model will be released.
There is no word yet on an exact price for The Surface, though Ballmer did state that it will be comparable to ultrabook PCs. The new entry-level Vizio ultrabook will cost you around $900 – not including the bells and whistles. Compare that to the entry-level price of the iPad at $399 and it looks as though Apple may have won that battle.