After Apple and ahead of Google, Microsoft has entered the tablet market with its own brand of device, dubbed the Surface.
The software giant revealed the new device on Monday after plenty of hype and rumour-mongering, and to keep us on our toes it revealed two models. We have the Surface, which runs a more basic Windows 8 RT operating system, and the Surface Pro, which is a meatier tablet with full PC spec and running Windows 8 Pro.
Both seem very similar to look at, but the differences lie inside. Let’s take a look at what each Surface offers.
Surface: – 10.6-inch ClearType HD 1366 x 768 resolution display
Surface Pro: – 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display
Screen sizes are the same, although the Surface Pro packs in an impressive Full HD display. ClearType technology features in both however, which means crisp text and bright and beautiful-looking movies and pictures.
Surface: Nvidia ARM chips
Surface Pro: Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor
A massive difference here, which leads on to our next category of the OS used. The Surface Pro is designed to be able to run full PC apps such as Photoshop, so it has a powerful Core i5 processor from Intel inside. The Surface runs a slimmed-down version of Windows – Windows RT – and so features an ARM chip, like the iPad does.
Surface: Windows 8 RT
Surface Pro: Windows 8 Pro
Rather than do everything your Windows 8 PC will be able to do, the Surface is limited to Metro applications that have been designed with tablet computers and smaller smart devices in mind. If you want your tablet to do everything your PC can, you’ll need the Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro.
Form Factor and Construction
Surface: 9.3mm thick, weighs 676g, VaporMg Case and Stand
Surface Pro: 13.5mm thick, weighs 903g, VaporMg Case and Stand
With the more powerful components inside, the Surface Pro is inevitably thicker and heavier than its more basic counterpart. Both feature the same impressive design that incorporates a slim pop-out kickstand and tough construction of magnesium and Gorilla Glass 2. The Surface is much lighter and will therefore suit those who need something very portable, whereas the Surface Pro is more aimed at a laptop replacement.
Surface: 32GB or 64GB
Surface Pro: 64GB and 128GB
With full PC software and applications in mind, Microsoft has doubled storage space in the top-end Surface Pro model. If plenty of storage isn’t necessary for you, the Surface 32GB is obviously the better model. Both will offer cloud storage with Microsoft’s Cloud Drive system.
Price and Availability
Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface will be available to buy when Windows 8 launches, which should be this October. Those who want the Surface Pro will need to wait a further 3 months for its launch, which should hopefully be just in time for Christmas.
Prices for both haven’t been given, but Microsoft has let us in on an estimate: The Surface will be comparable to other tablets – so probably around £500 – while the Surface Pro will be priced similarly to the Ultrabook notebooks on the market today – so around £800.
We think the Surface tablets look great, but which one will you get?
Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.