Tuesday, January 22nd 2013

Microsoft Grows Surface Family

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Surface family of PCs is growing. Its newest model — Surface Windows 8 Pro — will be available for purchase on Feb. 9, 2013, in the United States and Canada at all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com, Staples and Best Buy in the U.S., as well as from a number of locations in Canada.

Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package. Perfect as your one device - at home, in the office, or on the road — it can run Windows 8 applications, as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Starting at an estimated retail price of US$899, Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models. A Surface pen with Palm Block technology, designed specifically to work with Surface to let customers edit, collaborate and get things done, is included with Surface Windows 8 Pro.

In addition to being able to buy Surface Windows 8 Pro in the coming weeks, customers will soon be able to purchase Surface Windows RT in 14 additional markets worldwide,2 more than double the number of markets in which Surface is currently available.

"The response to Surface has been exciting to see," said Panos Panay , general manager, Microsoft Surface. "We're thrilled to continue growing the Surface family with the availability of Surface Windows 8 Pro on Feb. 9 and by increasing the number of places customers can experience Surface firsthand."

Additional Surface accessories will also soon be available, allowing customers to further personalize and customize their computing experience and get more done with Surface.

● Surface Windows RT will be available in a new 64 GB standalone version for an estimated retail price of US$599 to allow customers the option of selecting a Cover of their choice.
● Three new Touch Cover Limited Editions in red, magenta and cyan will be sold at an estimated retail price of US$129.99.
● Customers will have the option of purchasing a Wedge Touch Mouse, Surface Edition, for an estimated retail price of US$69.95 in all markets in which Surface is currently sold with additional markets to follow in the coming weeks.
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27 Comments on Microsoft Grows Surface Family

It’s a Tablet PC the likes of which has been around for some time now. The Surface Pro is simply one of the latest models, no more and no less. Asus and Samsung had some fairly good models in the past and they were then priced higher (above ~$1100 USD) then most of the current generation of Ivy Bridge / Windows 8 Tablet PC systems. So the modern price is actually reasonably lower.

I have had a 64GB mSATA SSD version Asus Eee Slate EP121 Core i5 470UM (1.33GHz Turbo Boost up to 1.86GHz) for some time now (~2011). I installed Windows 8 Pro RTM on it (Technet subscription) and consider it quasi comparable to more modern Tablet PC systems coming out now,……for my purposes anyway. One of Microsoft’s first demos of Windows 8 (early build) was on an Asus Eee Slate EP121 Tablet PC and some of its early Windows 8 advertising used depictions of the Asus Eee Slate EP121 Tablet PC as well.

So the only thing new here is the newer hardware platform (Ivy Bridge) at lower prices.
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My surface RT review

Ok, for those of you who contemplated buying the Microsoft Surface here is my review.

To be fair I have only been using it 24hrs but...

I received as a gift from my company the Surface RT with touch pad. Retails for about $599. Without the keyboard touch pad can be had for $499. Surprisingly I never researched this product before so this is my first experience using this product.

It uses a ARM CPU. Once I found this out I was disappointed and here is why. Even though it has windows 8 as it's operating system it is a different windows 8 called RT. It looks and feels like regular windows 8 but for now it is extremely handicapped IMO.

An ARM CPU cannot run regular windows OS..You cannot install regular PC programs on a surface RT. You are kept within the boundaries of the APP Store which is severely limited compared to Apples and Androids offerings.

It does however come pre-installed with Microsoft office programs, Word,Excel 2013, Power Point 2013, and One Note..

It has 2 Gb Ram and option of 32Gb storage or 64GB which is expandable. It has a mini HDMI out to connect to a monitor or TV. Resolution is not bad and has 720p front and rear facing cameras. It has a nice kick stand to prop up the tablet.

Bottom line is the hardware is as good as a top of the line Tablet, Tablet being the key word. It has the PC programs of Microsoft Office and that is it as far as PC programs and then the app store is what you will rely on for any future programs and that store is very small compared to the competition at this moment. No 3g or 4g only wifii so without a hotspot or connecting via your phone you are screwed outside of home or office wifi.

Now, all is not lost when buying a surface...there is the Surface Pro. This one is quite different and the price shows that at $899 without keyboard $999 with.

It uses a regular CPU i5. This is key, this makes it possible for you to use it as a regular PC and install whatever program you want.

Unless you need a tablet that you want to use Microsoft office on I would not defect from Android or Apple yet.
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