Microsoft is making a First-Party Windows 8 tabletAt a big, well-hyped press conference today, Microsoft finally unveiled its answer to the iPad. It might have taken them a bit longer to get to market than Google's product did, but the early screens and demos make it look promising.
The new tablet is a thin laminated affair much like the iPad. It has a gorgeous screen, good profile... And that's about all we can tell at the moment. It will run Windows 8, of course, and will come in both ARM and X86 varieties. Though the X86 version seems to be marketed as the upper tier, offering more storage (32-64 GB). The ARM version of Windows, if you recall, doesn't sport the desktop mode that the X86 does for legacy.
Oh, and the tablet has a kickstand. A nice and sturdy one at that.
As great as the tablet looked, the coolest thing that Microsoft showed off was a very novel cover. In addition to covering your tablet, it also doubles as a keyboard and trackpad. Yes, really. And they managed to make it a mere 3 mm thick, thanks to the fact that the entire contraption is a capacitive touch screen. The keyboard attaches to the tablet with magnets a la Apple's Smart Covers.
There still isn't any word on pricing at this point, though the ARM version will be cheaper.
If you want a complete rundown of the specs, a spec sheet leaked prior to the event and it looks pretty accurate. You can get it here
Overall, I'm quite impressed with what they have done here. If Microsoft manages to make the experience compelling enough, I could see getting one to act as my next computer. Granted, one of the major benefits of a laptop is having the keyboard attached to the screen. If it is like that, then you can adjust the angle of the screen with ease and also have it sitting on your lap, which is how I do all of my writing. This relies on a kickstand and a loose capacitive keyboard. So no lap.