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)
OS: Windows 8 Pro (x86)