Microsoft has finally ventured into the world of tablets, following the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and Asus. The flagship brand of Microsoft will be the “Surface”, a tablet with a difference which aims to challenge the market by being unique. The Microsoft Surface is a hybrid, blurring the line between tablet and laptop with its innovative detachable keyboard and solid table stand.
The surface currently comes in two models, 32Gb and 64Gb, however due to the amount of space taken up by pre-installed software the memory is more like 16Gb and 32Gb respectively. If you do find that you are in need of more memory then the Surface comes with a micro SD port for upto 64Gb of extra storage.
In terms of hardware Microsoft has kitted out their new device with a 10.6 inch HD screen, two 720p HD cameras, 2Gb of RAM, a full sized USB slot, Quad core Tegra 3 processor and a HDMI slot. The USB slot is something yet to be seen on a tablet and will come in handy for those who wish to use a mouse or USB key. Although the 10.6 inch screen isn’t anything to write home about it certainly packs a punch and is the perfect size for the operating system to function well. You can buy the surface without an attachable keyboard but if you would like the luxury of a real typing experience you have two options. The first is the ‘Touch Cover’ which comes in various colours and doubles as a lightweight cover, it is the cheaper option of the two. The ‘Type Cover’ offers a more classic typing experience and is of higher quality, recommended to those who will be using the Surface as a ‘fixed’ device for extended periods.
So does the Microsoft Surface RT compete with the tough competition? In many ways yes, but it has also carved out its own groove, with the additions of clip on keyboards, USB slots and built-in stands it caters for the tablet user who likes to take things a little more seriously. The die hard Microsoft fans in Ireland might want to wait for the release of the more expensive but higher performing Surface Pro but the RT is a quality product in its own right. It remains to be seen whether the Windows store will offer the selection of apps akin to the Play or App Stores but if it does then the Surface could become a major force in portable computing.
The Microsoft Surface RT is currently available in Ireland from €479 at the Microsoft Store, as well as Currys and PC World.