As speculated, Microsoft announced the Surface Tablet today, their entry into the slate computer market. The Surface (not to be confused with the Microsoft Surface table-based computer) will run Windows 8 and come in two variations – one with an NVidia processor (ARM architecture) and Windows 8 RT, and the other with an Intel Core i5 processor and Surface for Windows 8 Pro.

The ARM model will come in 32GB and 64GB, while the Intel model will come in 64GB and 128GB. Each model features front and rear cameras, a 10.6-inch full HD display, and a built-in kickstand for propping the tablet up. When closed, the kickstand “seamlessly” fits back into the tablet. The tablet is 9.3mm thick and uses Gorilla Glass 2.0 which should help protect it from scratches.

My favorite feature they showed off was the Touch Cover, which is similar to the iPad Smart Cover except that it features a built-in keyboard and trackpad. It attaches to the tablet magnetically and comes in a variety of colors. Remember there’s also a tactile keyboard for those who like to feel the click.

What Microsoft didn’t announce was release date and pricing, though they unsurprisingly said that the prices would be “competitive.” Our guess is around $499 for the NVidia and $899 for the Intel. Microsoft claims that the power of the Intel will be right up there with the ultrabooks, so they’re going to carry a hefty price tag. Even so, I’m already impressed with what Microsoft is showing despite the fact that they’ve barely discussed the software side of things. As someone who’s yet to own a tablet, I might jump in with Microsoft.

via Microsoft

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