Microsoft did not skimp on specs for its new tablets.
More than any single feature, the 3mm-thick Touch Cover (see photos below) stands out. Using pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, allowing faster touch typing than is possible with on-screen keyboards, Microsoft claims.
The Touch Cover attaches to the tablet with a built-in magnetic connector, "forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover," Microsoft said.
There is also an option for a slightly thicker 5 mm Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing experience.
Apple doesn't offer anything comparable. Though there are plenty of third-party keyboards.
And speaking of not comparable, with Surface, Microsoft is really trying hard to bridge the tablet-laptop chasm. Apple is not (at least, not in the sense that Microsoft is). By all appearances, Microsoft's cover/keyboard may be one of the best efforts yet, especially when combined with a high-performance Intel-based Windows 8 Pro tablet.
Other attributes like VaporMG casing -- which is very thin yet strong -- could also give Apple something to chew on.
Surface for Windows RT:
- OS: Windows RT (aka, Windows on ARM)
- Display: 10.6-inch HD Display.
- Chip: Nvidia Tegra.
- Weight: 676 g (iPad 652 g)
- Thickness: 9.3mm (iPad 9.4mm)
- Ports: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video
- Software: Office 15, among other apps
- Battery: 31.5 watt-hour (iPad: 42.5 W-h)
- Configs: 32GB, 64GB
- OS: iOS 5.1.1
- Display: 9.7-inch 2048-by-1536 pixel density.
- Chip: Apple dual-core A5 (ARM) with quad-core graphics.
- Weight: 652 g
- Thickness: 9.4mm
- Ports: Micro-SIM card tray
- Software: Lots of apps, Photos, Video, Maps etc.
- Battery: 42.5 watt-hour
- Configs: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Surface for for Windows 8 Pro:
- OS: Windows 8 Pro (aka, Windows on Intel)
- Display: 10.6-inch HD Display: 16:9, 1920x1080.
- Chip: Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge."
- Weight: 903 g
- Thickness: 13.5mm
- Ports: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video
- Battery: 42 watt-hour
- Configs: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
Updated at 9:45 p.m. PDT: Corrects text.