Email hosting provider Microsoft (News - Alert) has set the date for the launch of its MS Surface devices to coincide with the launch of MS Windows 8. However, Microsoft and its partners expect the Surface to change what is possible with your average tablet. One unique difference between the Surface and its competitors, who obviously are the iPad and to a lesser extent Android (News - Alert) tablets, is that you will not be buying into a dedicated OS and its app ecosystem. Instead, you will be buying one solution and be able to use it on both a tablet and your Windows 8 computer.
The Surface comes in two faces: the Surface RT, that competes directly with the Apple (News - Alert) iPad and Android tablets, and the Surface Pro which targets Ultrabooks and other portable laptops. Both Surfaces have different tech specs with the Surface RT having NVidia’s Tegra 3 ARM processor, which is based on the same ARM architecture as the iPad and Android tablets. The Surface Pro will feature an Intel (News - Alert) Core i5 CPU, which contrasts with Ultrabooks’ Intel i3, Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs.
The screen and resolution of the Surface RT has been described as HD compared to the iPad’s Retina display and the Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 for Android devices, suggesting lower resolutions to its competition. Yet, the Surface RT compensates its resolution with its ClearType font-display technology that narrows the gap in pixel density between the screen and the glass. The Surface Pro on the other hand, has a 10.6-inch full HD resolution display, that when compared to Android tablet displays offers a higher pixel density at small screen displays. The Apple iPad display is also slightly smaller at 9.7 inches. The Surface RT will be about .37 inches thick, which is thinner than most competing tablets including the iPad. The Surface Pro on the other hand, will be thicker at .53 inches. This is thinner than many ultrabooks on the market.
Overall, the Surface RT is expected to offer an experience users are accustomed to only on their laptops and the Surface Pro will offer ultimate ultra portability and is powerful enough to run complex and graphics-intensive apps like PhotoShop.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein