The Microsoft Surface RT is the brand’s flagship Windows 8 device, but does it bring enough to the table to take on its iOS and Android rivals?
We managed to get our mitts on a demo sample to give it the quick once-over - we'll bring you more details as soon as we have a finished model in our possession.
Microsoft Surface: Build
The Surface uses an alloy known as VaporMg which makes it three times lighter than aluminium but also manages to retain all the strength. This definitely came across in the short time we were able to hold it. In fact it's probably one of the nicest materials we'eve ever seen on a tablet, that said we have no idea how well it'll survive scratches and scuffs so hold on for the full review to find out.
A fingerprint-resistant coating helps keep it looking flawless while the matte effect adds a real premium feel to the Surface. Of course the Surface also has a built-in Kickstand, something which at first glance seems very risky.
We were quickly proven wrong however, the action is sturdy and despite numerous attempts it is frankly idiot-proof. OK, it's not the magic bullet of the tablet world but it's certainly a solution to the problem of wanting a keyboard as well.
Microsoft Surface: Screen
It's not Full-HD. Right, now we've got that out of the way we can focus on the positives. The 10.1-inch display boasts a resolution of 1366x768, add to that ClearType HD Display technology and we honestly couldn't see individual pixels on the display.
Microsoft Surface: Keyboard
While the Surface gives you a onscreen keyboard we'd actually recommend you go with one of the Covers as your main input for text, in particular the Touch Cover, wafer-thin (at just 3.25mm) and much more practical than either the screen keyboard or the more bulky Type Cover.
Microsoft Surface: Windows 8
With the current Surface you get Windows 8 RT, a version of the Windows 8 operating system which has been optomised for ARM tablets. It also gives you a more tablet-friendly streamlined version of Windows 8.
You won't be able to install programs that run on previous Windows editions or indeed the non-ARM normal Windows 8, instead however you get full access to the Windows Store and all the games and apps that are available.
You'll also get Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview, which despite the ridiculous name gives you a touch-friendly suite of Office all for free.
Microsoft Surface: Performance
The Surface is no sloth. Under the hood is a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor along with 2GB of RAM which we found was more than ample with the Surface breezing through.
Microsoft Surface: Verdict
While we only got a brief spell with Microsoft's flagship tablet it's clear that there is definitely a market for the Surface. By staying touch-focused the Surface looks to be a brilliant tablet, however by adding a truly usable keyboard cover you can then switch and use the keyboard and mouse for the only apps that matter in that regard, Office.
We'll let you know more as soon as we get a proper looks at a full review sample at T3 Towers.
Microsoft Surface release date: Available now
Microsoft Surface price: From £399