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Microsoft fills in some details on Surface RT during Reddit IAmA

Surface

Although we know a lot about the Surface RT from Microsoft, there are still gaps in the finer details that you may want to know—either just for curiosity or because it factors into your decision on whether to buy one.

Luckily for you the Surface team to a Q&A session on Reddit yesterday and they answered quite a few question about the upcoming tablet. To help you sort through, we’ll summarize some of the main points…

  • Surface supports Xbox 360 USB controllers for gaming
  • USB will recognize almost all devices, including cameras and will charge your phone
  • No NFC due to the Mag case interfering with the antenna
  • 32GB device will have 20GB available for storage for apps/games; SD card is for movies, pictures and music
  • SDXC is supported; cards can be swapped on the fly
  • Touch Cover has a Microsoft invented smart digitizer, can infer if you meant to press the key or not
  • TouchCover/TypeCover detect orientation relative to the Surface, so it will disable the KB when closed or flipped back
  • Why no 3G/4G mobile broadband? Microsoft looked at tablet sales data: 2/3 WiFi, 1/3 Mobile Broadband. Of the 1/3 sold, only1/2 were ever activated.
  • On the display not being super high resolution, Microsoft addresses this through a three pronged method: ClearType for pixel smoothing, Custom designed 10.6” high contrast wide angle screen and optically bonded the screen with the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market. In turn, the reflectiveness of the Surface’s display is much lower than the iPad, resulting in higher contrast of colors and more visible detail
  • Why no USB 3.0? Microsoft chose USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 based on capability of the ARM SoCs during their development timeframe.

Source: Reddit

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Comments

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dinod says:

No NFC is a mild bummer.

ghoti00000 says:

Yep, that's my only real reason for disappointment.

sholokov says:

I think its not a big deal, but its a personal choice. A lot of people are waiting for a Pro, but i got the RT because i will be using the Surface as a tablet and not like a full fledged desktop hidden in a tablet.

NFC is the only decision that I dislike.  Of course, I would love to have seen a super high res screen to shut up the iSheep but when Belfiore was demoing the NFC on WP8 with a W8 tablet I was expecting it to be in the Surface.  Oh well, still have 100ish days to wait for the Pro version anyways.

Munkeyphyst says:

the Pro will have the same VaporMag case, so that means the Pro won't have NFC either. Now non-MS Win8 tabs, that's a different story.
BTW, the ASUS Vivo Tab and the Samsung Ativ Tab both have NFC

Bnlf says:

i still cant find a reason for that. why nfc is so important? 

Tomasz S. says:

Because it looks cool and potentially useful.

tissotti says:

You can use it for fast payment, synch some of your device by just touhcing the NFC.
It's great feature that's really surprising it's missing from tablet. It's a must on WP8 and default on higher end Android's. 

inteller says:

with a tablet...making a payment...really.  If I saw you trying to pay with a tablet at mcdonalds I'd slap you.  seeing people do it with a Galaxy Note is bad enough.

Luc4 says:

Reminds me of people taking their iPad to take pictures.... Looks so weird (and quality is not anywhere close to decent small P&S especially with lack of optical zoom).
For NFC I think most people have a smart phone which makes more sense to me.

Odog4ever says:

Yeah, on the rare occasion I've seen someone taking pictures with an iPad I say in my head,
 
"Can't tell if your an idiot or just douchy".
 
Because chances are if you have an iPad you also have a smart phone...that has a freaking camera on it that's better than the iPad camera. It's like they couldn't be inconvienced to reach into their skinny jeans and pull out their phone? Really? Naw, you just want everyone around you to notice that you are holding up an iPad...
 
NFC on a smart phone make sense FOR MOBILE PAYMENTS, not so much on a tablet.

niyoko says:

It's a great idea on paper, but it's not in reality. NFC in laptops has been around for years in Japan, but my wife and I never use it. It has been more a source of annoyance due to buggy software and driver support,, plus I couldn't put my phone near it because it always set it off.

admatt says:

I can see that in the future NFC may be useful on a phone. However I can't see how it would be relevant on a tablet. Its a bit like the camera, whenever I see someone take a picture with a massive tablet they just look stupid IMHO.

admatt says:

I probably should add that a camera on a tablet can be useful for other things other than picture taking, like Skype for example. But taking a picture, really!

I was at a wedding where someone was running around the reception taking video and pictures with an iPad.  I couldn't believe that they carried around that thing to do that.
Seemed more like showing off that they had an iPad than anything.

jaybee says:

I ran the Chicago Marathon a couple weeks ago and couldn't count the number of times I saw people in the crowd holding up iPads to shoot video or take pictures. But at least they were holding them in landscape. I would have stopped running to smash them on the ground if someone were shooting portrait videos with a tablet.

"I can see that in the future NFC may be useful on a phone. However I can't see how it would be relevant on a tablet."

Pairing a phone AND tablet seems relevant for sharing apps, urls, pics, files, etc? Doesn't make sense to send a file from your phone to a remote datacenter, and back down to the tablet sitting inches away from each other.

NFC makes pairing devices easy and more natural then setting up bluetooth connections or network shares. People usually default to emailing the files around because the effort isn't worth it.

Hopefully someone will create an NFC USB dongle for the surface and other devices like older computers that don't have the antenna but run Windows 8.

camstreet1 says:

Agree - easy sharing of data with my next nfc-enabled phone etc through NFC was exactly the feature I was hoping for too.

StuartV says:

Why not use WiFi Direct for that?

sholokov says:

...SkyDrive is the best option for me. I keep auto upload on.

hvakrg says:

You can already send things from one phone to another without NFC with that "bump" thingy

ryangadz says:

especially since they demoed nfc at the windows phone 8 dev conference in june with a tablet (not surface)

cannon#WP says:

After the big Lumia 920 NFC demo live, I just knew they'd have NFC in the Surface...

OMG55 says:

Why? They know every will continue to carry a mobile phone which they are not likely to leave at home as opposed to a tablet or surface. The L920 has a top notch camera & NFC, so why wouldn't you use it?

cannon#WP says:

I'll give you two reasons, 1. it'd be nice to run your business from your Surface tablet and take payments by letting someone tap their phone to your tab (and honestly, it'd be cooler than having the card reader dongle that the ipad/iphone has to use. cool counts for something); 2. the transfer of content from someone else's phone/tab to your Surface tab. I could give you more if you'd like.

RayWP7 says:

The first point was one that I think has the most value.  Especially here in Austin, where mobile food vendors are everywhere and "in" right now.
Otherwise, I would posit that NFC isn't ubiquitous enough now to be a make or break feature. Same with USB 3.0, as nice as both might be (for a mobile device).  Subsequent generations of devices will have better acceptance and hopefully a more mature market (adoption would have been faster had Apple adopted NFC).  Is Surface competing with iPad, Kindle, Android or all of the above?  People are already balking at the cost of the Surface for the features that are available.  Knowing and managing consumers expectations will be very important.
Otherwise, dongle CC swipers, WIFI streaming and BT connectivity do meet those needs.  For transfers, BT and WIFI is already used, NFC just facilitates these connections (ref).
All I am saying is that the market isn't as ripe as it should be for NFC (or lack thereof) to be a deal breaker.  If you're using your tablet for business, you're already connected to a network - certainly there are other mechanisms available for sharing and sending data - device to device seems like a collaboration version sprawl nightmare.

they should have an nfc touch cover

likes! or a usb dongol that sits flush with the case.

Ordeith says:

Can't I just use an NFC USB reciever?
 

volcane2004 says:

That's why I am still not sure if I will get this or the Asus Vivo Tab RT.

TechAbstract says:

Maybe we can get an external NFC card.

xirsteon says:

Decent. I would have loved a GPS chip so I can download maps and use this while traveling. Sure, I can buy a GPS receiver and plug it in the USB port. but still it would have been  nice to have for offline map navigation.

touchpad4760 says:

Could there maybe be a solution to pair it with a phone/device (that has GPS) wirelessly?

sholokov says:

WinMo used to be able to do that.

EDDS says:

For me the only downside is the lack of 3G modem, but it's not that big of a deal as I will just use my phone to tether when I'm out and about.

Mifter says:

The nice thing about USB is that if you really want to, you can attach a USB modem to the device and use that. (As opposed to tethering)

SteggyDad says:

But would you be able to do that with the Surface RT? Unless there is an app in the store I don't think it will work. Non-RT it will of course.

Someone will be able to make money off of it so it will happen.  Because it is standard USB and no need to develop a proprietary device there is no development necessary except a driver.

Jeff Kibuule says:

It will work on Windows RT. That's the whole point of class drivers, so you don't need a specific driver for each individual device: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/20/engineering-windows-8-for-...

SteggyDad says:

Thansk for that bit of information I missed. Just means giving up your USB port if you want this functionality.

As with almost everything else to day, there's a solution :D http://store.valueaccessories.net/images/products/detail/LXUSBSPL.JPG

In Canada, all but the lowest Rogers data plan has tethering.  The OpenMedia.ca group and others pressured the hell out of the CRTC to do something about them restricting how we use data we already pay for.  In lieu of this, Rogers included it in 90% of their new data plans.

 
With that in mind, I can use my phone to share the internet connection when WiFi is not available.

ChrisLynch says:

Completely agree.  With most carriers in the US, paying for another data plan is rediculous.  I have WiFi sharing on my Lumia 900 and a Verizon 4G/LTE WiFi hotspot, so I don't need a cellular option for my slate or laptop.

jagu says:

OMG, why did they not include a GPS Sensor?!?!?!
Is the pro version gonna have GPS sensor? It is sold as a portable tablet and most people will benefit from a GPS receiver!

johnnyfiive says:

Because its not a phone, its a tablet/slate. Name any popular tablet or slate that has GPS (that isn't for a carrier).

Bnlf says:

the ipad doesnt have a gps receiver. It uses cell phone network (if available) or wifi to detect your proximity position. Probably the RT will do just the same running wifi.

ymcpa says:

The specs say the 3g ipad has assisted gps and glonass

erasure25 says:

iPad WiFi model does not have GPS.  It triangulates from WiFi.

ymcpa says:

Only the 3g version of the ipad has gps. The wifi version doesn't have it.

SteggyDad says:

But does it have a GPS chip or use the cell towers?

ChrisLynch says:

aGPS uses cell towers to get it's location data, then it does either a guestimate or use triangulation to calculate the position.  So, unless it truly has a GPS chip in the iPad, it's all assisted via the cell network.  But there is no way to confirm this without Apple coming out and stating clear facts.

Munkeyphyst says:

You're misinformed.
A-GPS uses BOTH the wifi traingulation AND the GPS receiver. The advantage to the "A" is that is speeds up the ability to find you.
If it list A-GPS, it does have a GPS receiver.

futurix says:

It has GPS chip AND it uses the towers when possible - this is done to speed-up initial search for location as GPS is slow when it is just turned on (I think I read that it takes at least a minute for it to get initial fix on satellites).

I don't know about popular, but my Asus Transformer has GPS and it's Wi-Fi only.
 
That said, I rarely EVER use it.

Munkeyphyst says:

the ASUS Vivo Tab has A-GPS and the Samsung Ativ Tab has GPS and GLONASS
The Microsoft Surface Specs from MS don't mention any GPS at all.

cannon#WP says:

Asus Transformers & the Nexus 7 have GPS and they seem pretty popular.

StuartV says:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
 
And I use it pretty often. When I'm out and about, I often just turn on the hotspot on my phone, so my Note has an Internet connection. Then, it's pretty common for me to pull up Google Maps on the note to search for a nearby place (e.g. auto parts store, Thai restaurant, nearest Walmart, etc..). Some times I will then have it Navigate me where I want to. Or just let me then go directly to the place's website to check stock, if I'm looking for something specific.
Having GPS built into my WiFi-only tablet is definitely very handy.

thpsrulr says:

BlackBerry Playbook has GPS even w/o WiFi!

erasure25 says:

At first I thought the same thing.  Then I was like, wait... I have a phone with me all the time (WP7 naturally).  Surface RT can triangulate your location from WiFi.
 
FYI, iPad (WiFi model) does not have GPS either.

Odog4ever says:

Exactly.
 
I'm waiting for people to explain the COMMON scenario of having their tablet but not their smart phone available for navigation. The Surface will charge a phone through USB so you can't even use your phone died as an excuse...

Munkeyphyst says:

Have you ever used the find my phone feature with WP? My wife's phone fell out of her purse from the stroller while we were at a festival. I was able to connect to her live account on my phone and walk directly to the location of the phone. My daughter has forgotten her phone at "grandma's or mom's house?" several times. Again, I was able to sign into her live account, bingo, bango, we knew exactly where the phone was. Now, if your tablet is misplaced or "walks away," a GPS chip would be able to do the same thing.

operand says:

Apps use the WiFi signal to defect where you are. The same applies to desktops where you set the location based on the WiFi area. Its not as close but it works nearly the same.

mab664 says:

Help me out. What are the limitations of not having GPS? Maps and current location still work right??

Right, due to Orion, it uses WiFi to triangulate your location. Works on PC too, not a huge deal breaker IMO.

futurix says:

In my case Wi-Fi based location "triangulation" puts me in another part of the country (about 100 miles away from where I really am). Useless!

ymcpa says:

If you're not on a wifi network, like when traveling, you won't have location services. I don't know if a tablet can get location information if it is tethered to a phone.

Neusyn says:

Wait is a phone even allowed to share GPS location with other devices? I'm sure it's possible but cuz of security or privacy issues I wouldn't think so. Just my thought though.

steppa75 says:

Will usb port support 3g dongle? ....guessing yes but not heard anything

erichon99 says:

Can anyone confirm if the Pro version will support intel WiDi?  I would say that major drawback is that the RT doesn't have the "airplay" like feature as the iPad.  However for me, I don't use it and can compromise with an AV adapter, but still a nice to have feature.  I just wonder if the Mag casing would interfere with that signal?

WiDi is terrible.  Has an awful delay.  I wish wireless HDMI adapters were more commonplace. 
I imagine that W8 RT and Pro supports DLNA and that SmartGlass will be the way you share screen without a wire.

My experience with WiDi has been the opposite... amazed at the lack of delay, videos, scrolling, etc. all work great. Maybe it was your computer or something with your configuration?

DLNA should be good enough!!!

Neusyn says:

We have PlayTo on the L900 and its DLNA so I can't imagine them not having something similar or better.

sholokov says:

Is playto something like Linada?

rhodri22 says:

Personally, I feel a tad mislead about the NFC, because during the WP presentation Joe Belfiore said that the only reason that they weren’t using Surfaces at the time was that they were all in LA, but now it seems clear...

TofuDelight says:

Does RT support flash?

Dusteater says:

Yes, Flash is baked into IE10.

operand says:

No. You have to go to the desktop to view flash on win8. The browser on the dashboard does not have flash and you are redirected to an adobe page which states incompatibility

ymcpa says:

Just click on open browser in desktop. I believe rt will have the desktop version of the browser.

tw91 says:

Actually IE10 in metro does have flash. but only on a small set of whitelisted websites(such as youtube.com) anything that hasnt been approved by microsoft you need to view on the desktop

You're wrong, it's baked into Metro as well... but it's exclusive to a white-listed subset of sites for security reasons. Suffice it to say, however, the the list is pretty extensive from what I'm seeing.

aubreyq says:

Why do people still care about Flash on mobile devices when Adobe themselves stopped caring?

I very much care as I love having the option:)

aubreyq says:

The option to run down your battery really fast? Have fun!

ymcpa says:

Because I've ran into plenty of websites with embedded videos that wouldn't play unles I went into the desktop version of ie10, which supports flash. The platform might be dying, but it is not dead.

Tomasz S. says:

Cause a gazilion websites still run on Flash or Silverlight. The latter doesn't work on WP or RT for the same reason - it uses an ActiveX plugin, and MS decided not to support those in mobile IE.

cannon#WP says:

You want the truth as to why people still care about flash? Pr0n. Pr0n sites still use flash.

This means that I can't use the internal memory to store my personal files like musics, pictures, docs and videos???

Sounds like they are saying that if you run out of room, you can move pictures and movies and music to external storage. Apps have to be on the internal storage.

aubreyq says:

If I get a Surface I'd get a memory card to store multimedia files from the very beginning and leave the internal memory for everything else.

jimski says:

That is exactly my plan. Picking up a 32GB this weekend (don't think I need any more) and will have it ready when my Surface arrives next Thursday/Friday. WIll just map all my music, video & photos to that drive.

ymcpa says:

You can store personal files on both internal and external memory. You can't load apps to external memory.

pbroy says:

Son of a b*tch... Now I really want this. Only if I didn't spend that $1000 on more Nokia stock last week. :(

who do you purchase your stock through?

pbroy says:

Sorry for late reply. I use E*Trade. They charge $9.99 per trade. Only worth it if you buy a lot of stock to compensate for the $9.99 purchasing and then the $9.99 selling fee. I bought at an average of $2.10 per stock, with 2000+ shares. I'm siting on a $1,700 profit already. You need to have $500 in stocks with them to keep it open. They have a WP app also.

wormy6 says:

Great new information!  I totally agree with their decision to leave NFC and 3G out for now.  I am sure other manufacturers will fill those niche gaps....  I want surface to be as light and as gorgeous as possible.  Most of us dont use NFC or 3G.

NIST says:

Until the new home audio receivers start coming with NFC.

blackprince says:

I was shopping for a sound bar the other day and it has Bluetooth connectivity, that's good enough.

sholokov says:

I would stick with Bluetooth...NFC requires your speakers to stay near the phone/tablet. Bluetooth connectivity works from a distance allowing me to still play with my device.

NIST says:

Good point. In waiting for wireless HDMI to become popular.

rath79 says:

NFC isnt actually the sharing protocol, it stil transfers the files via bluetooth, all NFC does is the inital handshake so you dont have to "pair" the devices the nfc contact does the pairing then bluetooth takes over the connection, so once you have NFC tapped you can go up to the 10 or 100 m range depending on the bluetooth class in the devices. Or at least thats how i got it explained to me by Nokia's Head trainer in Australia.
 
I for one would have loved NFC to be in the surface but was not even close to a deal breaker as once i have paired my devices i only need to have them in range and they auto connect.

CommonBlob says:

I just want to know: Will the Pro version play borderlands 2 (even on low detail), can I use it on a train with the kickstand and keyboard?  Specifically on a train.  I dont want my surface to fly away when i get bumped

Bnlf says:

if i recall it will bundle intel 4000hd gpu which (as far as i seen on youtube) can run a few games like call of duty, starcraft, etc. but you shouldnt expect much tho. 

Man , you just made me imagine the best train ride ever.. I travel every week and this will AMAZING!!!
BUT , I dont know when this will land in my country!!! T_T

Neusyn says:

Well its a Intel chip, poor gpu guaranteed but good or great cpu. I personally wish for a AMD chip, with Radeon HD 7000 gpu but a decent processor its my choice.

CommonBlob says:

Just had a look, and the Intel HD 4000 outperforms many Radeon 7000 series mobile chipsets.  So maybe they are actually starting to pull their finger out?

andrelamont says:

now we have the questions as to why there is no 16GB version that some bloggers were questioning yesterday.
 
They wanted an even cheaper 16GB version and thats just not practical as the os consumes 12gb

aubreyq says:

Makes perfect sense, but man that's a heavy OS, isn't it?

erasure25 says:

I think the 12 GB includes preinstalled apps and programs, including Office 2013.

It doesn't take 12gb

32GB formatted is like 29GB.
Windows RT is taking like 6-8GB with Office and a bunch of apps taking the rest.

PenguinWP says:

No, that's a base-10 (32GB) to base-2 (29GB) display conversion - Google it. You don't lose 3GB by formatting. The OS + Office + built-in apps uses 12GB according to Microsoft.

cannon#WP says:

Honestly, if they did announce a $399 16 GB version (even with just 10 GB available for use) I would have been all over that.

vlad0 says:

On the 3g/4g "issue" you can always use your cell phone as a hot spot and connect to it with your tablet via wi-fi .. i do it all the time with my 808-Asus ultrabook combo

Tomasz S. says:

And how's your phone's battery standing up to this challenge? My lumia 800 dies pretty quickly in that scenario. Especially when the cellular coverage is weak during travel.

Dare2Blink says:

You can just plug your Phone to the surface to charge, problem solved

adelregh says:

A couple of questions:
Can ARM procesors play Blu-Ray movies smoothly? Can I plug in my external hard drive into Surface RT and play Blu-Ray videos?
Thnaks in advance

tw91 says:

Windows 8 and Windows RT do not support the playback of DVD's or Blu rays without a third party program. So on the Surface Pro this is possible. It is unknown(by me) if anybody could create a Windows Store app with the ability to play Blu-Ray(there is a Power DVD app in there already, costs £12, however this does not have the ability to play DVD's)

adelregh says:

Thanks mate
Isn't there a VLC version to be sibmitted as a metro-style application in the near future?

simphf says:

So, 7 can play DVDs out of the box but 8 can't. Seems unlikely to me.

sholokov says:

We are talking about a $500 tablet...not a $1200 slate or computer with Windows 7 Professional.

Neo Nuke says:

It doesn't run windows 8, it runs windows RT

Xbox controllers supported LIKE A BOSS!!!! LOVE THIS!!!

Kormiko says:

USB wired controllers only... just like a normal PC. The wireless/plug and play controllers that come with the Xbox most likely won't work.

Jeff Kibuule says:

You'll probably need the wireless dongle adapter, but you should really go wired so you don't have to worry about pairing if you also use the controller on your Xbox 360.

there is a sync button on the xbox to sync up your controllers, so thats a non issue.
xbox wireless controllers dont do bluetooth as well.. So, prolly need a dongle to connect wirelessly.
Maybe, just maybe, MS included wireless support??? i.e 2.4GHZ tech??

Tomasz S. says:

I see no reason why it wouldn't work with the dongle. It shouldn't be hard for MS to code the drivers.

diplomat696 says:

Wondering if you can connect a ps3 controller via bluetooth to this device?

noirsoft says:

SInce you can't pair PS3 controllers to a PC without third party unsigned drivers on Windows 7, i doubt RT will support them.

dweinberger says:

For me, its a bummer that there arent any Torrent clients available for RT. Some people on xda say that it'll be difficult because Microsoft sandboxes the apps.

Tomasz S. says:

So... I guess the XDA hackers are going to start rooting their surfaces.

henilp89 says:

i dont like the resolution.. i know its gonna suck :( i have the same resolution on my sony vaio n everything looks horrible compared to my friends HP hdx with 1080p resolution.. i mean they are just giving bunch of ridiculous excauses for it too.. everything else looks alright.. might get it for DIWALI!!!!!! lumia 920 is first on the list though :)

is this gonna be in India??? that could be the best DIWALI ever!!!! :)
920 is also on my list..I am so giddy with anticipation!!! :)

Sarang68 says:

How can you say Surface will be available in India? If it's true I will jump higher than that Felix guy did! ;-)

ladydias says:

Actually looking at their explanation and the science behind it, I think the resolution makes perfect sense and will look far better than you think. Remember that the quality of your picture is as much about the screen you are using as it is about the pixel dimensions.

Tomasz S. says:

1080p sounds ridiculous for a 10'' laptop. Does it come with some magnifying glasses that enable using it?

No, they advise setting it across the room and using binoculars.

aliencatos says:

Can the surface RT play any video format? They said on the Microsoft page that the windows RT don't offer Windows Media player? Can you still listen to video and movie? If yes, can it read any file type like AVI, MKV or windows media video? the principal reason I like to get a tablet is to listen to movie in the bus and metro, I hate Ipad for this, Avery MKV I download on the internet have to be convert to MP4 to work on ipad...

Neusyn says:

I'll just grab a pro and run vlc.

VLC sucks for Anime,etc :(
need media player classic!!
maybe , we'll get RT apps for these media players soon??

ladydias says:

Really? It works for me, then again I usually take my mkv files and convert them for streaming on our Xbox.

Ordeith says:

I usually grab the Windows 7 Codec pack and just play in media player.
 

Tomasz S. says:

The Video app doesn't play mkv. Someone has to publish an app for that.

tw91 says:

yeah it plays all the files you listed except MKV.

simphf says:

CCCP and WMP. But that would only work on Surface Pro.

addicusbrown says:

I use Zoom Player on Windows 7 and it plays all my files plus DVD. Hopefully they make a Windows 8 program compatible with RT. Upgrade plays Bluesy

Big Supes says:

My Lumia 920 (which will be with me all of the time) will have NFC so I'm not worried.

Neusyn says:

Well my question is why can't 3g/4g modem, GPS, NFC, and all these other things just be integrated into the detachable touch cover or keyboard. They connect through a different port than the USB I'd assume. Or does that become a bitwidth and/or data throughput issue?

WinEXMan says:

XBOX CONTROLLER WOI

puredrive07 says:

No USB 3.0 is a slight bummer.

For those freaking out about storage, SDXC cards support up to 2TB. And 20GB+ of Metro apps is a LOT of storage. Plus SkyDrive. Seriously. Shutup about storage already. There's plenty of things to worry about instead.

What is the difference between the RT tablet and the Pro... Not sure which to get...

cannon#WP says:

The RT can only run Metro apps, the Pro can run Metro apps and full desktop applications (i.e. Photoshop, Visual Studio, etc.)

Really?  The Pro will have an Intel chip and will be full Windows 8, so capable of running desktop applications.  RT version just runs the built-in desktop apps (Office, IE(?)) and Metro (Windows Store) apps.  The Pro version  is apparently higher resolution (full HD) and has a GPS, and has a pen digitizer.  The Pro will be heaver, more expensive, and have shorter battery life.

welsbloke says:

If my T-mobile web&walk stick works via the USB then that will make me happy. I would also like see Microsoft announce full support all the functionality of Office365.

cannon#WP says:

No NFC + no GPS + plus the slightly disappointing price means I think I'll be looking elsewhere for my Win RT tablet needs. That Asus Vivo RT looks pretty impressive...

ytazbddj says:

what about 16GB.
 

wpnewbie says:

Since this has USB .. Can i use a data card for connecting to internet?
I plan to gift one to for my Dad .. but he connects to internat with data cards while travelling ..
there is no Surface with 3GB or 4G options ...
I am sure surface pro will support .. data cards just like our laptops ... can the RT support it? or the cell company has to have an "App" in Windows Store ... 

firehouse31 says:

That is awesome you cab plug in an xbox controller and use it

Coler7 says:

Im actually considering this, like yeah the pro would be great but I dont know. Could anyone tell me about Intel vs surface rt chip (can't think of name right now

Munkeyphyst says:

The difference between the Pro and the RT version of Win 8 is:

  • the RT version will only install "metro" apps from the windows app store
  • the Pro will install legacy programs in addition to the "metro" apps from the microsoft apps store.

The pro does other stuff too, like pen input, but basically, the RT is like an Ipad or an Android tablet, the Pro is a Tablet PC.

erasure25 says:

RT recognizes stylus input, it just does not come with one...

Munkeyphyst says:

Obviously, any touch screen can use a stylus, even if it has to be a specialized capacitive stylus, but I was referring to the digital Ink. The Surface Pro actually features two digitizers instead of a single one like most tablets. One for touch, one for digital ink. All stylus or pen input is converted into digital ink and it is said to be extremely responsive and accurate. Windows 8 Pro detects when a digital pen is in use and then turns off the touch display for ink support. Unlike old tablet PCs where there was significant space between pen and “digital paper,” Microsoft says that when in use, the pen is only 0.7 millimeters from the digitizer, bringing the experience of actual writing to the tablet.

Joelist says:

Actually, the only major difference between RT and Pro is that RT does not have the Win32 API. As such it cannot run Apps unless those Apps were written to target the new WinRT API. By the same effect RT cannot run any x86 applications simply because x86 is a fundamentally different compilation as opposed to what is used with ARM based processors. Thus, no hacker can "hack" RT to run legacy applications.

vitor_canova says:

No NFC is not a big deal. 3G too. Leave this things to my next phone.

madan325 says:

I was imagining NFC data syncing between Nokia 920 and surface. May be I should wait for Nokia lumia tablet.

madan325 says:

Is there a metro app for Zune??

Dare2Blink says:

Zune is dead, its called Xbox music now and yes, there is an app for it already installed out the box

kingkoopa09 says:

No there isn't if u own a Zune but u can stream and play music as if it were (xbox music)

Dare2Blink says:

While I agree about using NFC for mobile payments on a tablet being idiotic, it would still be nice to so to share between your phone and tablets. But yeah its not a deal breaker by any means

swizzlerz says:

No NFC I don't use NFC right now... Look forward to my surface :D

willdoors says:

not able to run x86 apps is the only reason this RT tablet suucks!!!!!! but I'm sure some haccker will haack it and the RT will be able to run x86 apps ;)

swizzlerz says:

Good luck.try an emulator Intel and arm ate 2 different arcatectures... If it was doable the big guys would have made it so....

abond32 says:

Its a tablet not a laptop. Can you install MAC programs on your iPad or iPhone? Geez

AkAdam says:

I was REALLY excited about this product until I heard the part about no NFC or GPS. It's funny because I'll probably hardly ever use them, but I just want to know I have the ability to! I really gotta make a trip to a Microsoft Store on launch day to check these all out in person. It also sucks that there's no Windows Media Center in Win 8 RT. I wanted to use one of these as a semi-portable TV Screen with my HD Homerun Prime.

as147 says:

Not having good (any) GPS is a big surprise to me. Many apps will be hobbled without the ability to use location. I suspect the reason is the longer lifecycle for tablets and expect this to become common place in the next few years.

Adiliyo says:

For location info, the tablet can use WiFi to get a fairly decent location. So location apps should work fine, aside from navigation apps of course

Coler7 says:

Can someone compare the differences between ARM and Intel chips. Is ARM slow? I am considering the RT because of the simplicity. Like itd be cool to have the pro but rt would suit me fine.

simphf says:

Read the comments.

Munkeyphyst says:

Seriously, you asked the same question three hours ago and received four long detailed answers. The Surface RT and the Surface Pro are not equal in any way. They serve two different functions.
The RT is a consumption device that also comes with and runs MS Office. It will only install apps from the windows app store. You will not be able to install and run any programs from Win 7.
The Surface Pro is running full Windows 8 and is designed and intended to be full on PC. It will run every program that Win 7 will run plus all the apps from the windows app store. MS Office is not included with Win 8 Pro.
Both will be very snappy and powerful at what they do. If you just want a simple, portable device for apps, the web, other similar tasks with the added bonus of running MS Office, the Surface RT or one of the other RT tablets is a reasonable choice.
If you are replacing your current laptop or PC and need programs from either of them, but want a snazzy portable touch screen form factor, the Surface Pro or some other Win 8 Pro device is your best choice.

NO NFC??? that really is quite a disadvantage.....

jimski says:

NFC is designed for a mobile environment, like a smartphone. Connecting to retailers, smarttags, other user's phones, etc. Not things you would typically do with a tablet.  It's not that big a deal to pair your phone and tablet via BT one time, is it? If I had to choose (and I did)  between a rugged magnesium case or NFC, I would choose the former. Oe a new phone, different story.

zuner@heart says:

No, not really. The only way it would make sense to use a Tablet with NFC is to accept NFC payments from people with NFC enabled smartphones. Otherwise I see no reason for NFC on a PC/Tablet. The device is just too damn large for it to make sense.

mutant 9 says:

Any one know if you can share content via webex or live meeting with an RT tablet? I know the webex iPad app does not let you share content, just view and pass control. This would truly allow me to leave the laptop at home when I travel twice a week. Thanks

jodybiz says:

Does the RT have File Explorer? I want to transfer photos (jpg+raw) from my camera with microsd to an usb external harddisk. I can't do this with ipad.

Dare2Blink says:

Yes, from what I've read so far it does have file explorer. I'm also looking forward to pluging in my CF card (hopefully a card reader through usb will work) to transfer photos I just took

Dare2Blink says:

Question, what codecs will surface rt support? Will it play DivX videos? Mpeg? And any idea if it will be possible to update the codecs supported in the future?

I never wanted a 3G iPad, I have a USB modem. The screen seems really good, and with Windows 8, I doubt anything will look pixelated at 10.6". I'm still waiting to see the price and release date of the Pro, because I'd rather be sure that I can use all of my accessories and everything I normally use, than having to wait and maybe lose out on what I really need.
 
My question is, when did Windows 8 get custom backgrounds, and if Windows 8 can, why not Windows Phone? The lockscreen already dims the background so that you'll see everything clearly, why can't it do the same with the startscreen?

aliencatos says:

is the surface RT use a Gorilla glass or do I have to buy a sreen protecter?