Microsoft's 40-inch "Surface" Priced at $8,400, Available for Pre-order
November 17, 2011 11:42 AM
The SUR40, as a wall hanging device
Surface is primarily targeted at education, business users for table, hanging, and kiosk installations
Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Surface multi-touch computer was first
presented to the public in May 2007
, more than a year before Apple, Inc. (
rewarded a patent for multi-touch gestures
. It launched in
prototype form in April 2008
, a full two years before the
market launch of the iPad
But the device is
(dubbed the "SUR40"), and you can buy one for the lowly price of $8,400 USD (roughly 17 10-inch iPads).
I. SUR40 Hardware and Software
That's actually about what you'd expect if you considered the LCD the driving factor on price and assumed linear scaling in cost per square inch. You get roughly 685 in
out of the 40-inch (diagonal) 1,920x1,080 (16:9) display, compared to 45 in
for the iPad's 1024x768 (4:3) 9.7-inch display. The display features an 8 ms response time and 300 cd/m
The packaging and device display are manufactured by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
). The device without a stand measures 109.5x10.25x70.74 cm (43.11x4.04x27.85 in.) and weighs 39.5 kg (87.1 lb).
an AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 245e (2.9GHz), a 45 watt (low power)
processor which debuted in May 2010. The GPU is also provided by AMD and is an AMD HD6750M, a low-power mobile GPU that
performs roughly between an NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) GeForce GT 540M and GT 550M.
The system draws 230 W (by Microsoft's estimate) when fully loaded and 2 watts when in standby. There's 4 GB of DDR3 onboard; 320 GB of SATA2-connected storage; 1 HDMI port; 4 USB 2.0 ports (what no USB 3.0 love?); and the standard 100/1000 ethernet jack.
The operating system du jour is Windows 7, with the Surface 2.0 software built on top of it (Surface 1.0: Vista; Surface 2.0: Windows 7). This is an identical configuration to the model
showed off at CES 2011
. Microsoft offers a Surface SDK, allowing third party app makers to develop commercial solutions and businesses to develop internal touch-software.
II. Target Audience
Prices vary slightly outside the U.S. A Microsoft spokeswoman explains, "The Samsung SUR40 will be distributed via the Samsung distribution channel and the estimated street price will be $8,400 in the U.S. for the base unit. Outside of the U.S., pricing will vary based on country-specific duties, taxes and fees."
At the price point Microsoft is clearly targeting the device primarily at business and educational users, though a few cash-endowed enthusiasts may jump at the novelty of owning the world's biggest multi-touch device. Microsoft's press release suggest the device can be displayed as a table (perhaps in a lobby or meeting room); as a wall-hanging device; or even in an angle kiosk enclosure.
Microsoft sees the Surface as the ideal collaborative business device. [Source: Microsoft]
The device is available for preorder in:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States
Microsoft suggests it already has received deployment promises from multiple interested business, writing:
Automotive, education, finance, healthcare, hospitality, and retail are just some of the industries that will soon be able to take advantage of Samsung SUR40’s PixelSense technology, new, sleeker form factor and horizontal and vertical orientation options. Many new and existing customers, such as Aéroports de Paris, Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm Corp. and Royal Bank of Canada, have big plans for the Samsung SUR40 and are preparing to deploy units in locations early next year.
The ship date was not announced by Microsoft.
Microsoft small-screen tablets will
debut in earnest with Windows 8
, which launches late next year. They will
pack the Metro UI
, Microsoft's GUI of choice for small mobile devices.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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