Microsoft Surface RT tablet is now available for pre-order

Posted by · October 16, 2012 1:42 pm

Microsoft Surface RT tablet is now available for pre-order

Microsoft announced today that the new Microsoft Surface RT tablet is now available to pre-order.

 

You can pre-order the Surface RT tablet here: Surface RT Pre-Order

The Microsoft Surface tablet is quite possibly a game changer in the tablet market as it will be the first true hybrid tablet.  There will be two versions of the Surface tablet available.  The Surface RT and the Surface Pro.  The Surface RT will be based on the Nvidia T30 Chipset and will run Windows 8 RT.  The Surface Pro will have an Intel based Chipset and run Windows 8 Pro.  As of this EE Tech News blog post the Surface RT is the only option available for pre-order.

The entry level price point for the Surface RT is $499.99 for a Surface tablet without the keyboard touch cover and 32GB of storage.  The next level is $599.99 and this version is also 32GB and it includes the Surface Touch Cover keyboard.  Then there is the 699.99 version and it has 64GB of storage and the Surface Touch Cover keyboard.  There is also a different keyboard that you can upgrade to for $129.99.  So, if you got the $499.99 version of the Surface that did not include the Surface Touch keyboard and then added the upgraded Surface Type Cover for $129.99 you would be in for $629.98 before shipping and tax for a 32GB model with the upgraded keyboard. The pricing for the Surface Pro is as of yet to be announced.

Technical specs for the Surface RT:

Source for Technical information about the Microsoft Surface RT: Surface RT Technical Specifications

“OS: Windows RT; Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote). Works exclusively with apps available in the Windows Store.

Exterior: 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in 1.5lbs
VaporMg casing
Dark Titanium color
Volume and Power buttons

Storage: 32GB, 64GB

Display: 10.6″ ClearType HD Display 1366×768 pixels 16:9 (widescreen) 5-point multi-touch

CPU: NVIDIA T30

Memory: 2GB RAM

Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); Bluetooth 4.0 technology

Battery: 31.5 W-h

Cameras/AV: Two 720p HD LifeCams, front and rear-facing; Two microphones, Stereo speakers

Ports: Full-size USB 2.0; microSDXC card slot; Headset jack; HD video out port; Cover port

Sensors: Ambient light sensor; Accelerometer; Gyroscope; Compass

Power Supply: 24W power supply

Warranty: 1 year limited hardware warranty

Apps (included): Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview1 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote); Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music, Video, and Games.

Windows RT vs. Windows 8

Source for comparison from Microsoft: Technet: Windows RT vs. Windows 8

“Windows RT contains many of the same features as Windows 8:
Fluid, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface design that you can easily customize.
Built in apps like Mail, Calendar, Messaging, Photos, and SkyDrive with many more apps available in the Windows Store.
Internet Explorer 10, for fast, intuitive browsing.
Touch-enabled so you can interact with Windows in a whole new way.
Mouse and keyboard–enabled so you can be as productive as you need to be.

Windows RT also includes some different features:
Windows Update and Windows Defender are always on and up to date making your PC more secure.
Device encryption provides advanced data protection to help keep your information secure.
The PC can turn on instantly with connected standby.
Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview is preinstalled.

Some features aren’t included in Windows RT:
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Center
HomeGroup creation (you can join an existing HomeGroup but you can’t create a new one)
Remote Desktop
Domain Join

Although you can install apps directly from the Windows Store, you can’t install apps on the desktop on Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview Edition comes preinstalled2, which provides you with touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

You can only install printers, mice, keyboards, and other devices that are certified for Windows RT.

Conclusion:

The Microsoft Surface tablet is Microsoft’s first offering in the tablet industry.  I personally think they have created a game-changer in the Surface Pro.  The Surface RT is very nice, however, I feel as though it’s missing the mark in a couple of very critical points.

  • Lack of 3G or 4G LTE that almost all of the major competitors have included.
  • Windows RT only being able to use App’s from the Windows Store.
  • USB port even though it’s USB 2.0.

The Surface Pro however is a game-changer to me.  It also lacks Cellular network support, but, It is the first true PC/Laptop/Tablet hybrid.  It will have an Intel chipset and It comes in a 64GB or a 128GB storage option.  The Display resolution is also dramatically better on the Surface Pro.  It will be the same size but the resolution will be 1920×1080 pixels vs. the RT’s 1366×768 pixels.  There is a larger power supply on the Pro as well as a larger battery.  It also will have a full version of Windows 8 installed, this means that you will be able to install any program or application that is compatible with Windows 7/8 on it making it what I am calling a true hybrid tablet.  The Surface Pro also only has the one USB 2.0 port and I am not sure why exactly that Microsoft has decided to use 2.0 over 3.0, but having USB is a huge plus on a tablet.

In the end Microsoft has a battle ahead of them with their new tablets.  For me as an IT pro I will definitely choose the Surface Pro over the Surface RT.  I am sure that the Surface RT will satisfy a lot of new owners that do not do as much with IT as I do.  Pricing has not yet been announced for the Surface Pro, but based on the RT’s pre-order prices I would say 699.99 – 899.99 is where it will land.

Direct link to the official Microsoft Surface page: http://www.surface.com