Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market (with its own hardware) launches October 26 with the 10.6 inch “Surface” that starts at $499.
You may remember Microsoft previewed the Surface and Touch Cover in June, but it announced pricing and full details on Tuesday, and at the same time, commenced pre-order sales via Surface.com.
The Touch Cover is only 1/10th of an inch thick. When you “tap” on its keyboard it uses sensors to determine your keystrokes. The Touch Cover will also be sold separately at $119.99.
The basic Surface tablet has a screen about an inch larger than the iPad. The tablet has 32GB of memory although a 64GB Touch Cover version will be available at $699.
The Surface puts Microsoft into the computer hardware business after years of letting others make devices that ran its software.
The tablet uses a new “VaporMg” metal case to make it more durable and less likely to break when dropped. Microsoft’s screen is also specially made to accommodate a wider keyboard.
The Surface runs Windows 8 and will come with Microsoft Office 2013.
Microsoft is also launching an ad blitz for the tablet and the release of Windows 8.