Presenting... the Windows Surface tablet

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Microsoft have finally released their first tablets which will run on the Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that this is something "new" and "different" from Microsoft, but will consumers want one? Let's take a closer look. 

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Presenting... the Windows Surface tablet

Microsoft have finally released their first tablets which will run on the Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that this is something "new" and "different" from Microsoft, but will consumers want one? Let's take a closer look.

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So what are the specs?

Microsoft have released their first offerings to the tablet market yesterday. The Surface comes in 2 versions - the Windows RT tablet (shown here) and the Windows 8 Pro tablet. The Windows RT tablet has a 10.6-inch widescreen, a ClearType high-definition display and comes with a 3mm thick, pressure-sensitive cover that doubles as a keyboard.

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Size and weight counts

Although Microsoft has said that the size and weight of the Surface could still change once production starts, at the moment the technology giant's first offering to the tablet market weighs in at 676g for the Windows RT version, which is just slightly heavier than the iPad's 652g. The Windows RT tablet is also 0.1mm thinner. Check out this video for a closer look at the hardware.

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Challenging the ultrabook market

The version of the Surface tablet that runs Windows 8 Pro is thicker and heavier than the RT edition (13.5mm as opposed to 9.3mm thickness), and seems to be designed to compete directly with hardware makers like Asus, Lenovo and Acer in the steadily burgeoning hybrids / ultrabooks market.

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Features and structure

The Surface tablet comes with microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video and 2x2 MIMO antenna for the Windows RT edition and offers 32GB or 64GB storage, while the Windows 8 Pro edition has microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae and comes with 64GB or 128GB storage. According to our reviewers, the keyboard in Microsoft's innovative "smart" cover is the tablet keyboard you've always dreamed of: versatile, lightweight and functional, while the kickstand is very stable. For more in-depth info on how the tablet works and feels, check out our review here.

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Still interested?

Ironically it was Bill Gates who first started pushing for tablet PCs when he showed a prototype off in 2000, yet it now feels like Microsoft are trying to make a "better" iPad. Expected to be priced on par with the iPad, if you're still interested you should check out our Q&A with Corporate VP of Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond about the prospects for enterprise with Windows 8 OS.

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Latest UK Updated 7:54pm

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