There’s been some confusion regarding the two new Surface Tablets that were recently announced by Microsoft and what those differences mean, if anything. Of the two that have been announced one will come running Windows RT and the other will use Windows 8 Pro as its operating system (OS).
Windows RT is aimed at the more casual end of the market; at users who are after a more iPad or Android Tablet-esque experience. Like all tablets that have come before it is a tablet for consuming content, rather than creating it. Yes, tablets do offer options for expressing creativity, but when put up against a full PC or laptop there can be no comparison.
Windows 8 Pro is aimed at users who want a fully functioning PC that has greater portability than a laptop and that also boasts the functionality of a standard tablet, if need be. As such it boasts the creativity potential of a PC, as it can run programs and applications designed for Windows; a PC OS and not a Mobile OS. Adobe Photoshop was given as an example of this during Steve Ballmer’s presentation. Alternatively the Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface can also act as a content consumption device, much like the Windows RT Surface, the iPad and various Android tablets.
Basically the Windows RT version is a simplified, dumbed-down tablet while the Windows 8 Pro version is a PC in tablet form, reportedly boasting the strengths of both PCs and tablets in one package. Both Surfaces will utilise the new Windows Metro interface as their default option and both will look very similar at first glance.
Specs Comparison of the Microsoft Surface Tablets
Windows RT Surface specs
- Processor: NVIDIA-made ARM chip
- Display: 10.6 inch ClearType HD
- Software/OS: Windows RT. Office Home & Student 2013 RT
- Storage: 32GB or 64GB
- Known Physical Parameters: 9.3mm thick and 676 grams.
- I/O: MicroSD slot, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Windows 8 Pro Surface specs
- Processor: Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge
- Display: 10.6 inch ClearType full HD; 1080p
- Software/OS: Windows 8 Pro
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB
- Known Physical Parameters: 13.5mm thick and 903 grams.
- I/O: MicroSDXC slot, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2×2 MIMO antennae
- Availability and Pricing of the Microsoft Surface Tablets
The Windows RT model is set to hit sometime around the Windows 8 launch later this year that will probably take place around October. Pricing will reportedly be comparable with the current high-end tablet market.
The Windows 8 Pro model will be released around 3 months after Windows 8 is launched. Pricing will be comparable with the current UltraBook market.