Friday, June 22, 2012

Surface could have a poorer battery life than iPad.

It’s a little strange that Microsoft never revealed many of the critical specifications of their new Surface tablets and we can draw two conclusions from this – One is that they know some of hardware components are not up to the mark and won’t be able to compete with others or second being, they haven’t actually finalized on some of the components, which could change by the time the tablet actually launches. Many were wondering about what sort of battery life the Surface would offer? According to Computerworld’s estimates, it may not be as good as that of Apple’s iPad.

Enter the all new iPad killer (?)

According to the Surface specifications up on Microsoft’s site, the Surface running Windows RT has a 31.4Wh rating, which is good 10Wh less, as compared to the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface, which has a rating of 42Wh. This is understandable, since the Ivy Bridge running Surface will be a bit more power hungry. When comparing the RT Surface to the new iPad, Apple’s tablet seems have a stronger battery life, since it also has a 42.5Wh rated battery. If the new iPad can last about 10hrs (according to Apple), then we should expect the Surface to clock out somewhere around 7 hrs. The Surface Pro cannot be compared to the iPad since it’s designed to take on Ultrabooks, at least that’s what Microsoft says. If we compare it to Apple’s MacBook Air, which has a 35Wh battery, then the Surface does have about 20 percent more battery capacity, so in theory, it should last longer. Ultrabooks may still have an edge over the Surface, but then again, they do come with bigger screens and bigger battery packs. CEO of iFixit, Kyle Wiens, has cautioned against reading too much into the estimates as there are simply too many unknowns that will determine Surface's battery life.

In case you missed it, Microsoft unveiled on Monday, their new tablet PCs designed as a platform to showcase the capabilities of Windows 8. These tablet PCs are designed and built entirely by Microsoft and could serve as a possible reference to OEMs designing their own tablet PCs. 

Here are some of the highlighted features of the Surface:

  • Software: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

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