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.
Yes, you can still buy a new PC with Windows XP installed on it. Windows XP ceased to be available at retail on June 30, 2008 but there are a number of exceptions. The relevant exception for a consumer or a small business owner is that "OEMs can downgrade Vista Business or Vista Ultimate licenses to Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC versions for customers indefinitely," where OEMs are the large PC manufacturers.
However, there’s a difference between "can" and "will" or "will with no hassle" so Christopher Null at PC World tried to purchase a PC with XP from Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Asus and reports on the very mixed results. Hit the article for the full details on each, but the best bets for an machine with XP preinstalled are:
Consumer PC: Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo
Business PC: HP, Fujitsu, Lenovo
If you are willing to pay extra or install XP from a CD, the choices are even more numerous. Also Asus has its line of Eee ultra low-cost PCs (ULPC) which come with XP under a different exemption in the rules.
Solid state, non volatile disk storage replacement has been a dream for a lot of years and while flash disks are finally killing the floppy, advances in hard disk technology have always kept the price per byte low enough that solid state didn’t have much leverage except for special use devices. That may be starting to change as laptop manufacturers have started introducing new models with flash disks instead of hard drives in some notebook models. Martyn Williams at PCWorld:
Sony will replace hard disks with flash memory when it launches a new model of its Vaio U laptop next week, it said today (June 27 – ed.).
Flash has long been eyed as a potential replacement for hard drives because it is lighter, runs silently, offers faster data access, and uses less power, but price has always been an obstacle.
The Vaio UX90 will come with 16GB of flash memory storage in place of the 30GB hard drive on the original model. It will cost around $1805, or about $345 more expensive than the disk-based model, and go on sale in Japan on July 3.
The UX Micro PCs look like a PDA on steroids, but they run Widows XP Professional and regular Windows applications as well as having some media player functionality.
Samsung Electronics launched a couple of PCs with flash storage earlier this month. The Q30 laptop and Q1 ultra mobile PC both use Samsung’s “solid state disk,” which packs 32GB of NAND flash memory into a case the same size as a 1.8-inch hard drive.
Sammy just announced that their sweet, sweet NAND-based Q30-SSD we first got down and dirty with at CeBIT will hit the shelves in Korea (only) from early June onward. Yeah, it’ll fetch a steep $3,700 US-equiv (a roughly $900 premium) on that aging 1.2GHz Celeron M Q30 platform, but that 32GB of NAND reads 300 percent faster (53MB/s) and write 150 percent quicker (28MB/s) than normal hard drives while offering better protection against shock, 25-50% faster boots and sleep recovery times, longer battery life and reduced weight all in a completely silent, fanless package. Hoozah!
To which, I guess I have to add, ouch! The prices still have a way to go to attract the average consumer. More on Samsung’s solid state hard drive here.