Xbox Surface specs surface. Is this Microsoft's Tablet?

WP Central

Only for demonstration purposes

We are only a few hours away from Microsoft's media event where it is expected the software giant will take the wraps off their own tablet running Windows 8.  We have now seen leaked specs on an Xbox Surface tablet. Could this be Microsoft's tablet or is this a completely different device?

According to the specs that have surfaced on the Xbox Surface the tablet will sport a 7" 1280x720 screen, SD card support and Bluetooth/Wifi radios.  There is also indications that the Surface will have four USB ports, an ethernet port, and HDMI port.

Note when reading the specs: there are TWO devices, one tablet and one "stationary". Don't confuse the two.

Xbox Surface Specs

Again, we don't know if the Xbox Surface is what we'll see at today's Microsoft's media event but it does look like an interesting device. What makes this all a bit more interesting is LiveSide has attained a second document that has the same Xbox Surface branding, corroborating the story.

Hit the break for page two of the leaked specs and take note that under Tablet Device (Controller) specs there mention of "Kinect Workloads".  Could the Xbox Surface have Kinect motion technologies built in?

Update: We should also not that Barnes & Noble are not a part of tonight's announcement, lending credence to this idea a bit more

Source: LiveSide; StephenWagner.com

Xbox Surface Specs




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Lx23 says:

People are enjoying all these rumors. I find them annoying but that's how this industry works. Can't wait to actually hear about what they are going to unveil.

You nailed it. All this speculation and nothing to actually confirm any thing. I look forward to the announcement and hopefully it will be something really big, but we won't know until later this evening.

NaterBater says:

Wow getting excited about this news.

IceDree says:

250GB !!!!! Sign me up !!!!!!!!!!!

JamesDax3 says:

I think I read on another site that this was just a fan made spec sheet and wasn't real.

Which site? LiveSide got the 2nd document which appears to be slightly older which corroborates the leak they received...that seems a bit more conclusive.

JamesDax3 says:

Microsoft News is reporting this as a Fan Concept.  I do like the name Xbox Surface though.  I think that's the best name for a MS branded tablet I've heard yet.

A few things

  1. How about a legit news site, not one run by a total hack? 
  2. He gives no evidence that it's a fan concept
  3. It doesn't answer the corroboration part. LiveSide attained a 2nd document with the Xbox Surface branding and specs

Don't get me wrong..this could totally be faked. I'm just saying I haven't seen anything to necessarily say that it is. 

JamesDax3 says:

Looking more closly both of those spec sheets are talking about 2 devices.  A tablet and somthing else.

expectafight says:

More of a comment then it is a question but isn't it strange how no OS is listed?  What MS whitepaper have they ever had that didn't list what the hardware was running on?  I think tonight's conference is about a ridiculous reconfiguring of the entertainment division.

Im_On_One says:

It's only a concept, calm down!

expectafight says:

the $%#&? I was talking about the description, like any other "leaked internal document."
Pipe down.

Microsoft has a product called Surface, and it's a table-size computer. I have my doubts about the wisdom of naming a new product with a combination of two existing products, expecially when one was about really big, and a tablet would be about 7-10 inches. Not so sure about calling everything XBOX, either. Hopefully, they'll know where to stop.

OMG55 says:

This is gonna be sick. I do think they should simply use the glowing florescent green Xbox symbol like on the controller as the logo

jchapman01 says:

Oh, heck yeah.

baileystein says:

Last Niight? Lol.

And sounds true.

cchester93 says:

Whatever is really announced, I just hope it lives up to the hype thats been built up. They've finally got some attention and they better not mmiss this opporunity.>!

jdelroyc says:

Definitely a lot of hype.  I wonder if this potential device is the paired down Xbox 360 that's been rumored.  Basically, an "Xbox" without capability of playing retail games and a focus on Xbox Live media.

tN0 says:

I'm pretty sure this is exactly that rumored version of another Xbox. Combines with a tablet for consumption only. Windows Tablets are for productivity.

Note, though, that the ad agency was the one for Win8/WP8, not the one Microsoft traditionally uses for XBOX (per Mary Jo Foley). So, there's at least one strike against it being XBOX-related.

ccrockett says:

Pretty sure that tablet in the photo is the Acer W500 (I have one sitting right here in front of me).

stjimmie says:

Ooo running w8 preview I hope.
played with my sisters ipad3, and I must say, its only good for browsing and Facebook, apart from that, its useless to me.

Hoekie says:

No it's not. ( Sent from my Acer W500 runing Windows 8 CP )

I think he's referring to the iPad

ccrockett says:

They changed the photo, the previous one had the very distinctive blue windows button on our W500s.  And yes mine is running Win8 swimmingly!

Lobbie1978 says:

I hope this is not the tablet that is gonna be announced today. I am really excited about a true Microsoft W8 tablet, but 7,0"?? C'mon, I at least need a 12" with 1280x1920 pixels. So please Microsoft, give us a real iPad competitor!

Im_On_One says:

Here we go! You act like this is the only tablet coming out, the iPad is going to get crushed.

ben55124 says:

Mr. Gutierrez is probably getting a lot of email today.

greg2k says:

And he must be freaking out, especially because after viewing where he is on the MSFT orgchart, he doesn't seem to be anywhere near the divisions that would be dealing with this product.

Not saying it's not legit (I can't honestly tell if it is or not), but anyone can download the Microsoft logo, Segoe font and spend some time in Word crafting a document that looks somewhat credible. As I mentioned further down though, the 12 cores is kinda odd and highly unlikely to be seen on a device other than a server.

Mon-El says:

That's not the Windows 8 logo and if this is XBox branded then it wouldn't sport a Windows logo either.  If this thing is bogged down with usb and ethernet ports it's going to be chunky.  
There are more questions over the processor (not a mobile unit, battery would last 5 minutes).
I think a lot of people are going to be really disappointed later on (although I hope I am very wrong).  This is probably announcing XTV which will likely be US only for the foreseeable future.

Im_On_One says:

You are going to be wrong

Mon-El says:

Ha ha, I hope so :)

penetronn says:

Yep, I've also speculated its XTV. No hardware yet.

greg2k says:

What sucks is that Microsoft will probably release a really awesome service or product and people will feel disappointed because it doesn't live up to the rumors made up by people on crack.

The guy who made up the 12 core part...no comments

zealout says:

Yeah, 12 cores? Really? What is it a super computer tablet?

andreaci says:

I think that the light gray rows are more intresting that black rows... 

IBM Power7 SCMm can have up to 8 cores. I mean, that's just a fact. Look it up.

JamesDax3 says:

Would this be a legit CPU for a mobile device though? That's the question.

Read the spec sheet again, its a Tablet and a Stationary Device. The tablet acts like a controller, the 12 cores is in the stationary device, not the tablet.

valapsp says:

Oh that HDD sucks too. Why no SSD? To become fan-less.

valapsp says:

I just can say WOW for now. (If this is true)
Screen resolution is somehow low. No less than full HD Microsoft.

Im_On_One says:

1280x720 isn't low, it's just a rumor.

andreaci says:

I think these are specs for something more complex than a Tablet.. I think this will be the evolution of the old "Suface" product... 
it seems that is a server (not so powerful server, but 2 cpu, 4 gb ram... ) with up to four "controllers" (the tablet)...
or a console, with WiiU style controllers... but I don't think so... 
it could be a  hybrid...
If i guessed right, I want a beer!

tN0 says:

It's a new Xbox that supports the newest Ultra (!) High Devinition standards plus a 7-inch tablet.

It's not for just a tablet, the specs are for a stationary device, and a tablet controller

WixosTrix says:

If they're releasing some sort of tablet, I dobut it would have the UI of Windows Media Center, which is what it looks like is displayed in the image.  This is probably a Windows 8 tablet with a screenshot of MC.

peeder says:

10K SCSI 250GB hard drive. Seems legit for a tablet.

tN0 says:

Now read again, please. :)

There are two devices, a tablet and a stationary device. The hard drive is for the stationary device, not the tablet

JamesDax3 says:

Here is my quess.  "IF" it's a tablet then it will be a 7in media consumption device.  It will be Xbox branded and will have smart glass.  The tablet will be marketed to compete with the WiiU controller and the PS Vita.  Xbox Surface would be the perfect name for said device.

Default for Windows 8 is 1366x768. Enough said.

tN0 says:

This is an rumored Xbox device. It may run on Windows CE but not Windows 8/RT.

ChrisLynch says:

Why would MS still use a Windws CE kernel, when they are moving EVERYTHING to a Win8 kernel?  That doesn't make sense.

ChrisSnazell says:

Echoing excalibur1814's point:
MSDN : Guidelines for scaling to screens
The minimum screen resolution to enable all of Metro's functionality including snapped & fill views is 1366 x 768. It would be foolhardy of Microsoft to launch a W8 tablet that doesn't meet their own minimum specs.

greg2k says:

Well spotted. Someone should compile all the bogus bits of info from that specsheet that make the leak either 100% FAIL or the product a bad idea for Microsoft to announce if it does exist.

JamesDax3 says:

Looking at the spec sheet from live side.  That's not a tablet at all.  The NextBox?  In fact both of those spec sheets are talking about 2 seperate devices.  A tablet and a console.

dweinberger says:

10k rpm drive? 4 usb ports? ethernet? How on earth would you fit that on a 7" device? I have a bb playbook and as thick as it is, im sure adding all this would likely add at least half an inch to it.
And unless Microsoft discovered some next gen power source, this thing will likely have a 2 hour battery life. 
If these specs are legitimate, i dont think it would be a 'tablet' at all, it would probably be considered a 'mini table' (ala the MS Surface Table).

Shane says:

You guys aren't reading the spec sheet (or anything else in this post) properly.  There are two devices.  One being the actual XBOX and the other being the Tablet (controller).

dweinberger says:

Glad it was there when you read it because it seems like it was edited since i read it 45 mins ago.

trazer says:

Whatever hits I sure hope they remembered that price is king. Nothing matters as much as price.

mangoose says:

Yeah, well there's 12 cores at 3.1ghz with custom 28mm GPU. What do you expect?

Shane says:

Really, some people here need to re-read the spec sheets.  There are TWO pieces of this pie. The main XBOX device and the Tablet (controller) device. 

George or Daniel needs to edit the heading. But ya, many people that have posted need to re-read the spec sheet, its annoying hearing the 'OMG blahblahblah on a tablet? FAKE!!" posts

bigmanStan says:

Probably part of smart glass?

jabtano says:

Perhaps it's not a tablet at all. What if it's a brand spanking new WP8 device? I would much rather see this. Because soon we will be seeing all sorts of Win8 Tablets. Or if Nokia is making it for them..Still I rather see a WP8 deivce today.

ArtSooby says:

Anyway, a tablet with a 2.5" HD is not a good idea. It's too easy to broke and It's too slow compare to a solid state HD. And look at the specs ... this tablet will be a battery killer. Not for me!

Read the spec sheet again, the hard drive is for the stationary device, NOT the tablet

Im_On_One says:

Can you read?

ArtSooby says:

yeah I can read ... just missed this part :D

Christ people, this is not JUST a tablet. The spec sheet outlines a stationary device and a tablet control. Daniel, can you please modifiy the heading so that everyone that posts isn't blindly thinking these specs are all pure tablet.

JamesDax3 says:

Glad to see that there are others here who have realized that those spec sheets are talking about 2 devices.  A stationary device(console?) and a tablet.

rgbjr says:

Could this be microsoft's next gen xbox? It seems the spec sheets are talking about a stationary game system and 4 tablet controllers. I can't wait to hear the official announcement from microsoft.

Im_On_One says:

Why would it be a game system? E3 already passed

metsfan421 says:

Is this event going to be streamed live online?

CommonBlob says:

According to Mary Jo Foley, no.

metsfan421 says:

that sucks... hopefully whoever is at the event can set something up to view at a later time...

Sridhar V says:

there are live blogs galore...http://bit.ly/Mm84CH

ChrisLynch says:

This all seems plausible, but a SCSI drive?  Sorry, but SCSI drives have been replaced by SAS or SATA drives.  Unless it's a typo, why would anyone use a SCSI drive?

CommonBlob says:

As a games device, this would be "game changing", pardon the pun.  However I am extremely sceptical on its accuracy, but we shall see!

ejlee072006 says:


Though related, Windows 8 tabs =/= WP

theflew says:

I'll make my guess at this, but this sounds like a new console that has a tablet as an accessory.  Given the current Xbox 360 uses a multicore Power processor this makes a lot of sense that this is just a more powerful version, same with the GPU.  If this is a new console it's going to make the WiiU look like a toy.   
It also means Microsoft is trying to maintain compatibility between their consoles.

yeyixic says:

Quiero 2!!! Take me 2!!!!

isi mcf says:

Wow 1440p resolution! About time they start moving forward with better resolutions.

Boomwaller says:

Should be note instead of not.

d0pe_int3l says:

All I know is I hope there are two SKU's, one with a 7 inch tablet, and one with a 10 inch tablet. I woud pay more for the 10 inch one.

metsfan421 says:

What time is the announcement supposed to take place today?

pittphan says:

And if this device is real... Then it is basically a portable Xbox that can be plugged into any tv? So, this will cost what, $500 minimum? For a gaming console that is a secondary device. This all sounds very unlikely, and just not like Microsoft. Why would this not have been revealed at E3?

Lobbie1978 says:

People, read the specs carefully. These are the specs of the next XBOX. It will accompany a 7" tablet device. The stationary device (the XBOX itself) features multicore CPU's and a BD-ROM drive. How hard is it to understand. It has nothing to do with the Microsoft tablet being announced today. Besides, the new XBOX won't be released for ages.

Blackwood504 says:

Yea, I have to agree with you.  This sounds like a new console with a touch screen tablet as a controller.  The I think of it that way the more this is sounding fake to me.  I noticed also that none of this mentions WIRELESS networks as in wireless a/b/g/n but it supports 22.2 surround sound???  That set up is so rare you never see anyone mention it.
FYI: 22.2 surround "is the surround sound component of Ultra High Definition Television (a new television standard with 16 times the pixel resolution of HDTV). It has been developed by NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories. It uses 24 speakers (including two subwoofers) arranged in three layers."

jdelroyc says:

While I agree that the announcement today has nothing to do with a "next gen" Xbox (that would have been shown at E3), I read that IGN was invited which leads me to believe it is related to Xbox in some fashion, whether it's new media partnerships/functionality or a redesigned/paired down Xbox 360 with a tablet device to control it.
I can't see Microsoft releasing something that won't be compatible with its existing #1 selling console, or something that does a whole lot above and beyond what the existing 360 does.  We all know that SmartGlass is on the way...perhaps this is an official Xbox brand "tablet" more in line with the Wii U's controller?
Speculation is fun, but can't wait until this is all over at 3:30.  So many rumors at this point, could be a colossal fail (a Yammer annoucement for example).

DMBFan5 says:

It wouldn't be at E3. The 360 was announced on MTV.

jdelroyc says:

If memory serves me correctly, it was announced a week or two before E3 with the full reveal at E3.  Same with Kinect, where they had a unveiling a day or so before and the full reveal at the press conference.  It would make little sense for them to show the next gen system after E3 and talking about how the Xbox 360 is the focus for 2012.  They would have shown it before and then revealed all, this is consistent with how they've handled gaming hardware announcements recently.
Bottom line - there's no way this is a next-gen Xbox.  If it's gaming related which I suspect it is, I think it'll be a media-focused tablet/set top box or a tablet similar to the Wii U's in gaming functionality (buttons, analog sticks, etc).

Fiann says:

If this leak is legit it is absolutely a gaming console. It has at least twice the power of the 360. It uses a PPC CPU and a custom ATI GPU, same as the current xbox (hello backwards compatibility). It also  has a BD drive that won't play movies. Why would you put a BD into a media focused STB and NOT have it play movies?
There's no guarantee that this is what the big announcement today is though. It could very well be a strategic leak by MS to get everyone talking and ramp up the buzz and anticipation about whatever they're presenting this afternoon.

oldpueblo says:

Ah so it's a server tablet then.

bono5112 says:

I'll tell you what the announcement is at precisely 6:35 EST :)

dweinberger says:

This is all fine and dandy but how does Nokia factor in? They've been posting cryptic pics on their  Facebook page all weekend, referencing today's date. They're either invloved or having a separate announcement of their own.
(examples: http://on.fb.me/MJ6GbRhttp://on.fb.me/MJ6I3q , and http://on.fb.me/MJ6IAk)
Bing too, but they'd be involved in any Microsoft Product.

Sridhar V says:

Check this out...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex:el (see the artwork there and the pic on Nokia's FB page) album by 808 State
another pic there shows location Hawaii.. area code 808..
its related to Pureview 808 could be unrelated to the MS meeting or could be Pureview coming to US.

Blackwood504 says:

If any of this is true...then it sounds like it's specs for a "new" xbox and a "new" mobile gaming xbox...maybe one that plays only xbox live games.

soulzero says:

a SCSI drive? Really? Not SSD.. w/SATA or SAS or even FCP, but SCSI? this has to be an elaborate hoax... it reads more like someones dream sheet than a spec sheet.

DMBFan5 says:

This is something no one expected. Its the announcement of the next Xbox.

Its pretty simple, one spec sheet is for a tablet-esque based controller like the Wii-U and the other is the Next-Xbox, to be released next year.

sdreamer says:

Its gonna be the Courier, jk. I can see the surface team making a much more mobile product though.

cannon#WP says:

I really dig the name Xbox Surface...better than my predicted "Xbox Tablet 8".

valapsp says:

Can someone say what is STATIONARY?

Sarang68 says:

Is it being held in milk studios Hollywood?

timwp12 says:

Bye bye crappy iPad. 7inch a great size for tablet. Finally a tablet I can do my work and use for travel. Can't wait get one

timwp12 says:

Haha I know were in la it be held at. My friend has Invitation hahaha

ckeledjian says:

Call me skeptic but the IBM power 7 doesn't seem to me a CPU for a device that will be powered by battery. There is no indication that this CPU could last more than a few minutes and I don't see IBM coming up with a surprise battery efficient version of it all of a sudden. Therefore, this CPU can't be on a tablet and these specs are fake.

JamesDax3 says:

If you had bothered to actually read the spec sheets as well as the rest of the thread you would know that the Power 7 CPU is for a stationary device that is also shown.  In other words there are TWO devices being shown on those spec sheets.  A stationary device(console?) and  tablet.

Fiann says:

Assuming this is legit, it is ABSOLUTELY some sort of a game console.
Look at the specs on the stationary device:

  • 12 core CPU (PowerPC-based, same as the current xbox)
  • 4GB RAM (or 5, depending on which sheet you go with)
  • Support for up to 4 wireless game controllers (same as the current Xbox)
  • GPU with 1.4 GB of memory. Core specs suggest something close to current top of the line Radeon GPUs.
  • BD-ROM drive but notes that optical discs for movies will not be supported. I.e. it will only work for data (games).
  • Support for 4 wireless tablet controllers. No indication if these are the controllers referenced above or separate.

Then look at the tablet:

  • Small screen (7")
  • 288 MB of RAM
  • BT/WiFi
  • Custom IBM engine for "scale-out workloads" (this appears to have to do with a remote processor doing most of the work, like on web apps or, ahem, OnLive). 
  • Custom ARM engine for Kinect workloads.

My prediction: This is for a new game console. It will support tablet controllers (like the Wii-U but more than just one). It will also have some type of support for an on-live type system where the game is played on the console and viewed on the controller. You would, presumably, also be able to consume media that way.

ilLogikAL says:

Exactly what I'm thinking. This is going to be gaming hardware. Some people here are going to be let down thinking it's a standard win8 tablet. The specs scream of gaming.

Fiann says:

I was puzzled by the amount of memory on the tablet, 288 MB is a rather odd amount. Then I realized that 256+32=288. So I'm guessing that it has 256 MB of main memory and another 32 MB dedicated to something else, video or a subprocessor perhaps?

BK-one says:

Its a refrigatoast.

mangoose says:

Finally. Apple failed to realize that the exhausted heat of refrigerator can be used to heat the toast.
Did you know: For every 1 watt of electricity, there's about 3 watt of cooling in refrigerator and 4 watt of exhaust heat.

Safeabz says:

Nokia tablet, better api

elisaur says:

Steve jobs fakes his death to join Microsoft. Now the rumors can end.

The document looks good until you reach the storage. As someone who has worked in Storage since 1999 there is NO way the tablet will have a 10k RPM SCSI disk. Too expensive and way too much heat. Thermals would be off the scale.. Also, SCSI is dead and replaced by SAS. This is either fake or the creator of the doc is clueless.. :-/

Tomasz S. says:

The real Microsoft Surface tablet has just been revealed, finally confirming that this thing here was a fake.

ilLogikAL says:

Boooo...specs shown here was totally different from the real "Surface".