Looking for the perfect gift for your beloved this year? Something tells us a tablet might be just the ticket. BYTE looks at five: The Apple iPad 4, the iPad Mini, the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the Microsoft Surface, and the Kindle Fire HD.
Microsoft's first tablet, Surface, is finally here, available with your choice of operating system: The new Windows 8 operating system, or with the Windows RT OS.
The Surface RT tablet runs the Windows RT OS and is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM processor. It will not run the Windows classic desktop or any legacy Windows apps -- it will only run Windows 8 apps available in the Windows Store. Other Windows RT tablets are also available, from HP, Samsung and Acer.
Surface RT works for me because of a near-"real" IE browser (Web pages generally work), USB support (huge in my opinion), availability of some desktop components (including PowerShell), and (surprisingly), the Gangnam Style (formerly called MetroUI) two-panel view.
Windows' Surface tablets are so new on the scene it's too early to tell which operating system will be the more successful. We do know the Surface comes with numerous goodies bundled, such as Office 2013 and a free streaming subscription to Xbox Music with a 30-million song library. But the Windows 8 interface is so different compared to anything Microsoft has ever done before, you'd do best to visit a store and try it before you buy it.
Pricing for the Microsoft Surface RT starts at $499 for the 32-GB, tablet-only version (add the magnetic black touch cover for $100 more). The 64-GB version includes the black touch cover and costs $699.
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