Here at its mysterious, last-minute press event in Los Angeles, Microsoft just confirmed it will sell its own Microsoft-branded Windows 8 RT tablet under the Surface badge. Measuring just 9.3mm thick, the Surface for Windows RT is built around an angled, all-magnesium VaporMg case that weighs just under 1.3 pounds, with an NVIDIA-made ARM chip powering the whole affair. Microsoft’s hardware partner has also gone all-out on extra touches, such as a built-in stand, twin 2×2 MIMO antennas for WiFi, and a 10.6-inch optically-bonded, Gorilla Glass 2-covered HD display. Not unlike Apple’s last two generations, there’s a magnetically attached cover, but it’s more than just a protector: here, it includes a full multi-touch keyboard and trackpad. As for expansion, you’ll get one each of HDMI, microSD and USB 2.0 (sorry folks, no 3.0) as well as either 32GB or 64GB of storage, while software includes the usual Windows 8 accoutrements and a newly Metrofied version of Netflix. The Surface for Windows RT should arrive roughly in step with Windows 8, but Microsoft is only promising pricing “competitive” with similar ARM tablets — and you’re looking for a tablet with more grunt, you can spring for the Intel-packing Surface for Windows 8 Pro.
Be sure to check out our hands-on with the Surface!