The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is now available at the Microsoft Store for preorder with delivery by 10/26. The pricing was announced to be competitive with the Apple iPad:
And note, if you want a different color Touch Cover that will be extra.
Unclear on the difference between the Touch Cover and the Type Cover? Here’s the skinny:
As far as the other specs, hit the link above for the full details, but here’s a brief summary:
VaporMg™ casing: Made with VaporMg, Surface is precision crafted to be tough yet elegant, without excessive bulk. At less than 1.5 pounds, with a watch-like finish that’s incredibly smooth, and durable, Surface is a delight to hold and touch.
Integrated Kickstand: Integrated Kickstand provides uncompromised support and flexibility. Flip out the Kickstand for hands-free entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, or shooting video, Surface stands on its own.
Windows RT and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview: Work anywhere, anytime with Windows RT and Office Home 2013 RT2 (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote). Keep tabs on news, friends, and entertainment with pre-loaded Microsoft apps including Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games. Visit the Windows Store to discover more apps and games.
Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB depending on model
CPU: NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Front and rear-facing 720p HD video cameras: Capture life from all sides with LifeCam. The rear camera is angled to shoot straight ahead when the Kickstand is flipped out. The Kickstand also enables hands-free Skype video chat or recording. Custom lens design and an ambient light sensor maximize light intake while providing sharp focus so you’ll never miss a shot
Audio: Two microphones, stereo speakers
Sensors: Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Power Supply: 24W power supply
Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty
It will be interesting to see how well Microsoft can play in the tablet hardware game on it own versus Apple. Reportedly they have placed orders for 3-5 million during the 4th quarter.
For years I had a Caller ID adjunct box attached before an older landline phone with answering machine that sits on the line for our DSL service. Aside from the small hard-to-read display, the darn thing ate batteries at a ferocious rate. I suppose I could have bought a new phone/answering machine with Caller ID (although many of those displays are hard to read too), but first I thought I would look around to see if I could find a Caller ID box with a large screen that I could plug in to the wall. After a little searching at Amazon I found the oddly named Fans-Tel Type II Large Backlite Screen (actually the Fanstel Model G99M Caller ID Adjunct Box) which fit the bill quite nicely:
The 3 line backlit LCD screen is 3 3/8″ wide by 1 1/2″ tall (viewing area 3.1″ x 1.5″ ) and the large font characters are easy to read since the backlight on the display lights when a call comes in or you are reviewing calls. Better yet it has an AC cord and a brick that I plugged into the same power strip that the phone plugs into. You can optionally insert 3 AA batteries to back-up the memory and run caller ID during power failures. As you might expect, I have not had to replace them in the 6 months I have had the unit.
I do not use the call or message waiting features, but I got just what I wanted: easy to read Caller ID without the battery bill. The price is currently $24.98 at Amazon.
A perennial favorite iPad app for the younger generation around here is Pocket Zoo. There is a cartoon zoo that you can visit and see photos of the animals and hear the sounds they make. Not surprisingly, it’s a lot of fun to startle your friends and siblings with an elephant’s trumpeting.
However, the real winner is the live animal cams at zoos around the world. You mostly have to visit during daylight, of course, but the kids find it endlessly amusing to try to spot the animals, some of which are much tougher to see than others. The penguins pictured below always seem to put on a great show, but your young ones may need more patience to spot some of the larger animals. On the other hand, when they do catch a glimpse of the tiger, for instance, the reward is even greater.