Microsoft blends PCs and tablets with new Surface devices

Microsoft has entered the tablet race with its new line of Microsoft Surface Tablets.

Steve Ballmer took to the stage at Milk Studios in Los Angeles to show off the new devices, which run Windows 8 and are designed to blur the line between tablets and PCs. Surface tablets come in two options, RT and Pro. Both devices include a 10.6-inch display, giving them a slightly larger screen than an iPad, which has a 9.6 inch diagonal screen. The RT is 9.3 mm thick and Pro is 13.5 mm thick. The RT Surface tablet comes with 32 and 64 GB of storage, the Pro includes either 64 or 128 GB.

During the press conference Ballmer drew special attention to the devices’ molded magnesium case, which includes a built in stand, and the 3 mm thick cover, which also includes a full keyboard and touchpad and comes in five colors. The Pro version of the tablet also includes a stylus that blocks touch input while in use.

Microsoft did not reveal the price of the devices or when they would be available for purchase. The company did say the RT version of the tablet will be available with the release of Windows 8, with the Pro following shortly afterwards. Microsoft will announce retail pricing for the devices closer to their release. According to the company’s official press release, the pricing “is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.”

The full technical specs of Microsoft Surface tablets are as follows:

Surface RT

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Weight: 676 g
  • Thickness:  9.3 mm
  • Display: 10.6” ClearType HD Display
  • Battery Life: 31.5 W-h
  • Connectivity: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Other: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Case: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Storage: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Weight: 903 g
  • Thickness: 13.5 mm
  • Screen: 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
  • Battery Life: 42 W-h
  • Connectivity: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Other: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Case: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Storage: 64 GB, 128 GB