Microsoft showcases Windows 8 Surface tablets

Microsoft showcased a new lineup of slick Windows 8 powered “Surface” tablets at an event today in Hollywood, California.

Clearly designed to challenge Apple’s wildly popular iPad, Surface boasts a 16:9 aspect ratio, edges angled at 22 degrees, an integrated kickstand, along with HD front- and rear-facing video cameras.

During the demonstration, Surface was paired with a 3mm detachable keyboard cover (aka “Touch Cover”) which senses keystrokes as gestures – enabling users to touch type significantly faster than with a traditional on-screen keyboard. The Touch Cover can also be swapped out for a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for those interested a more traditional typing feel.

As expected, Microsoft will be rolling out two primary classes of Surface tablets: one loaded with an ARM processor (Nvidia Tegra) running Windows RT, and the other with a third-generation Intel Core chip running Windows 8 Pro.

Surface for Windows RT is scheduled to launch with the general availability of Windows 8, while the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Microsoft says it will be “competitive” with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.

Additional specs include:

OS: Windows RT (ARM)

  • 676 g, 9.3 mm
  • 10.6″ ClearType HD Display
  • 31.5 W-h battery
  • microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Office ’15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • VaporMg Case & Stand
  • 32 GB/64 GB

OS: Windows 8 Pro (x86)

  • 903 g, 13.5 mm
  • 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display
  • 42 W-h battery
  • microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • VaporMg Case & Stand
  • 64 GB/128 GB