What makes the Microsoft Surface tablet different? (poll)

Can Microsoft distinguish itself in the tablet market? It seems to be off to a good start, but proof is in the pudding.


Despite Microsoft's best efforts on Monday to demonstrate why Surface is different, it's a crowded market out there.

All of the first-tier players like Samsung, Amazon, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Motorola (not to mention a Google-branded device that is expected) have already saturated the Android tablet market.

And then there's the iPad, which is simply shorthand for tablet in a lot of consumers' minds and commands most of the market. And has a two-year head start, to boot.

So, it's a tall order for Microsoft and Windows 8.

That said, the rollout of the 10.6-inch (16:9 widescreen HD) Surface tablets on Monday succeeded at the very least in showing that Microsoft has come up with a good idea.

Surface with 3mm cover that functions as a keyboard and trackpad.
Surface with 3mm cover that functions as a keyboard and trackpad. Microsoft

The catch with tablets is the lack of a physical keyboard, which doesn't appeal to some consumers. And keyboard docking solutions to date have typically not been very elegant, with a few exceptions.

Microsoft's 3mm pressure sensitive cover doubles as a keyboard and trackpad and connects to Surface with a "single" magnetic click, according to Microsoft.

And price. It's hard to win either way. Go low and you have to cut corners, strip out features. That ultimately gives the product a bad rap. Go high and, well, the problem is obvious.

Microsoft appears to be leaning toward the higher end of the market, with pricing rumored to start at $599 for RT (ARM chip-based) models. Intel-based versions with 1,920x1,080-pixel displays could run a lot higher.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Microsoft demos wearable holograms on HoloLens

Microsoft shows off holograms you can hold with a mixed-reality game called Project X Ray. The new game runs on the company's HoloLens platform.