At a press event today, Microsoft announced a new Tablet PC called 'Surface.' As you can see from the images in this post, it's got a nifty keyboard built into its screen-cover. Also, pretty colors!

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky introduced it thusly: "It's a tablet that works and plays the way you want to. A tablet that's a great PC. A PC that's a great tablet. Surface." Microsoft's Michael Anguilo described Surface's specs as being comparable to a high-end ultrabook. According to Surface's press materials, pricing will be announced closer to the release date and will be "competitive with a comprable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC."

On a gaming-related note, Skulls of the Shogun's Jake Kazdal tweeted that Surface will be able to play his studio's upcoming Wu-Tang-Clan-meets-Advance-Wars strategy game.


In case you're wondering how lovely and colorful this thing is (very lovely and colorful!), take a look at the super dramatic, borderline dubsteppy trailer up top, or check out this design rendering:

Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet PC

Oooh. Colors.

Microsoft was sure to say on the Surface website that the images are design renderings and not photographs.

Getty has a photo of the actual device:

Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet PC

This image of Sinofsky holding the device comes courtesy of Gizmodo's ongoing live coverage of the event:

Microsoft Announces New 'Surface' Tablet PC

Microsoft has also issued the following press release:

LOS ANGELES - June 18, 2012 - Today at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.

Advances in Industrial Design

Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company's 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:

  • Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.

  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.

  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.

  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. 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. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

An Amazing Windows Experience

Two models of Surface will be available: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. From the fast and fluid interface, to the ease of connecting you to the people, information and apps that users care about most, Surface will be a premium way to experience all that Windows has to offer. Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.

Contributing to an Expanded Ecosystem

One of the strengths of Windows is its extensive ecosystem of software and hardware partners, delivering selection and choice that makes a customer's Windows experience uniquely their own. This continues with Surface. Microsoft is delivering a unique contribution to an already strong and growing ecosystem of functional and stylish devices delivered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring the experience of Windows to consumers and businesses around the globe.

Additional Product Information

Surface for Windows RT

  • OS: Windows RT

  • Light(1): 676 g

  • Thin(2): 9.3 mm

  • Clear: 10.6" ClearType HD Display

  • Energized: 31.5 W-h

  • Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae

  • Productive: Office ‘15' Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover

  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand

  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro

  • Light(1): 903 g

  • Thin(2): 13.5 mm

  • Clear: 10.6" ClearType Full HD Display

  • Energized: 42 W-h

  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae

  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block

  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand

  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB

(1), (2). Actual size and weight of the device may vary due to configuration and manufacturing process.

Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT.

For more information about Surface, visit www.surface.com

Wow, they got "Surface.com." Nice grab, Microsoft!

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty)