Here it is, Microsoft Surface, the all new, Microsoft-made tablet. We just had our hands on the sleek new device, and we must say — it does feel incredibly well designed.
Microsoft is only showing off the Windows RT version of the Surface, which means ARM CPU and a thinner, 9.3mm form factor. The design and build of the tablets the company has here feel very polished, with tight, clean lines. The device was also surprisingly light, barely feeling like it reached the full 1.5 pounds Microsoft is quoting. The 10.6-inch, 16:9 display also looked crystal clear at a variety of angles. We tried out the kickstand and had some trouble popping it out of the back of the tablet — but apparently there’s a side cutaway which makes it easier to flip it out. Just as promised, it does close with a reassuring, expensive sounding click. The “VaporMg” finish on the case of the Surface feels like it’ll be easy to grip, although we do wonder if the edges will feel just a little sharp with extended use.
Microsoft was eager to show both of keyboards it will be selling. The key travel on the physical keyboard is actually quite nice for the thinness on the Type Cover. As far as the Touch Cover goes, while we’d like to believe Microsoft when it says that the touch typing experience on the multicolored version will feel natural, we’ll wait until we can spend more time with it to render judgment. The magnetic attachment is just as satisfying as the kickstand, with a strong magnetic click that can’t be misaligned.
On the software side, reps are demoing much of what we’ve already seen in Windows 8, but the attractive housing does make us want to spend just a little bit more time playing around. If you were expecting any software surprises, we have yet to find them. As far as specs go, Microsoft is saying it will come in 32GB or 64GB versions, and we’ve also learned that it is using an Nvidia Tegra processor.
We’re getting more detail and fleshing out as we go, so stay tuned for more (including video)!
Joshua Topolsky contributed to this story.