Move over Apple. Well, maybe.
Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet. Likely to do for enterprise what Apple’s done for personal computers, the Surface is a smart move. With more and more employees bringing their iPads to work, the competition has been encroaching for some time, and Microsoft is past-due to up its game.
The enterprise version of the Surface—there are two models—has an Intel Core processor and Microsoft Windows 8 Pro operating system, and will be available later this year. It combines the sleekness of an iPad with the hardcore power of a PC.
The new tablet is 9 mm thick and weighs 1.5 pounds. It’s beveled edges are sophisticated and its casing is made of vapor-deposited magnesium, or VaporMg, molded metal and deposit particles that create “a finish akin to a luxury watch,” according to Microsoft.
The Surface has some unique design features as well. Digital keyboards can be a pain, especially when typing fast, but Microsoft has attempted to solve this issue with ultra-thin 3mm type keyboard covers, available in multiple bright colors.
There are two types of cover. The Touch Cover offers a pressure-sensitive touchpad which Microsoft says “senses keystrokes as gestures”, although it’s not perfectly clear what this means. The Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, “forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover,” Microsoft’s website says.
For those who prefer a more traditional typing experience you can click in a 5-mm-thin Type Cover with “pressable” keys.
Another simple but genius innovation, the Surface comes with a kickstand which disappears when not in use. The kickstand allows you to prop the tablet up and use the keyboard cover like a laptop. No more trudging off to OfficeMax to by separate stands and covers.
The Surface also has two built-in cameras and the rear-facing LifeCam is angled to 22 degrees so you can flip out the kickstand for hands-free convenience. Whether you’re Skyping with family or recording meetings and events for work, the kickstand is a great little contraption that should have been integrated into tablets long ago.
Microsoft Surface might not strike an immediate cord with loyal iPad users, but it’s got clout nevertheless. This powerful yet sleek and sexy Windows-compatible tablet fills a gap for traditional corporate laptop users (like me) who long for an IT-friendly computer that also looks cool at Starbucks.
Do you think the new Microsoft Surface will be a hit?
The Microsoft Surface was designed in Creo.
Photo courtesy of Microsoft