Trending February 2024 # Microsoft Surface Screen Is Not Rotating # Suggested March 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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OK, so you only recently purchased a new Surface device, or you had one for quite some time now, and for some odd, yet unknown reason, maybe after Windows update, the display is not rotating. We know that your Surface was designed to rotate content on the screen whenever you twist and turn it, which is the same as your smartphone. Now, when the screen fails to rotate as expected, the first thing on the minds of many users, is probably the product is defective.

Surface screen is not rotating

In most cases, this is not the case at all. Rotation relies on the software; therefore, we can assume that changes were made to Windows 10 unknowing to you that caused the rotation to fail. We are going to look into a few options in order for you to determine what is the cause, so keep reading, ladies and gentlemen.

How to make Surface screen auto-rotate

If the screen of your Surface device is not rotating automatically, then try the following suggestions to fix Surface auto-rotation problems:

Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen

Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings

Restart your Surface

Install the latest Windows 10 and firmware updates

Run the Sensors Troubleshooter

Restore your Surface.

1] Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen

When the Surface typing cover is attached, or an external display, the screen is stuck in landscape mode for the entire time. Now, in order to get things to rotate, the best option is disconnecting either the Surface cover or the external display.

After doing these things, check if your display now autorotates without any issues.

2] Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings

If you are still having problems, then maybe it has much to do with the auto-rotation settings than anything else. To check on this, please remove the cover, and swipe from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Action Center.

From here, you should see the Auto Rotation lock, and if its dimmed, then that means it’s deactivated. To activate it, tap the lock with your finger or mouse, and that should do it.

Note that auto-rotation locks automatically once the Surface Cover is attached and is in typing position. Folding back the cover should activate the auto-rotation unless it’s locked in the first place.

3] Restart your Surface

What we have here is one of the basic fixes of anything that has to do with Windows 10. In most cases, a simple restart of the computer is good enough to get the job done, so that’s what we’re going to do right now, OK? Good.

4] Install the latest Windows and firmware updates

Chances are, the latest version of Windows 11/10 and Surface drivers & firmware is not installed on your computer; therefore, we have to fix that. Bear in mind that your Surface computer requires both firmware and Windows 11/10 updates to stay at optimal performance.

5] Run the Sensors Troubleshooter

Running the troubleshooter is super easy. Just open the Sensors Troubleshooter, then follow the instructions on your display, and that’s it for that.

6] Restore your Surface

The final step today, which should always be a last resort, is restoring your Surface computer to how it was before. Bear in mind that restoring could remove recently installed apps and drivers, so please keep that in mind before going any further, old chum.

Read next: Screen Auto-Rotation not working or grayed out in Windows Table Mode.

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Microsoft Surface Studio Overheating While Gaming

The Microsoft Surface Studio is one of the best computers on the market, though the inability to use the screen as a regular monitor is a problem for many. Now, the device was created mainly for creators, which means, it is powerful enough to play some games.

Surface Studio overheating while gaming

Many owners have been using their Surface Studio to play all sorts of games, and with that comes a lot of problems. The latest we’ve come across is a user who complained about his Surface Studio overheating while gaming.

This particular user was having issues with Rainbow Six Siege and other games that were not named. With this in mind, we summarize the problem had nothing to do with the games themselves, but rather the computer.

Gaming related heat is nothing new, but when it comes down to the Surface Studio 2, we have to look into these because it is not a common occurrence:

Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

Heat transfer and airflow

Do not play demanding games

Update drivers and firmware

We will now talk about this problem in more detail.

1] Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

Most problems related to the Surface line of computers can be fixed by running the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit. The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is a lightweight, portable diagnostic tool that runs through a suite of tests to diagnose the hardware of Surface devices.

If there are any problems with the diagnostic tool to fix, then it will do so. There are times when the toolkit isn’t capable of getting the job done, so in that case, let’s look at some other options.

Related: Windows PC shuts down while gaming

2] Heat transfer and airflow

One of the main culprits that cause a Surface computer to overheat is the ventilation airways under the system. Some units also have these openings at the side and rear.

The user must check these vents to make sure nothing is stopping proper airflow. Be sure dust is not clogging the airways, and if that is the case, then bring it to a professional if you’re not versed in cleaning the device yourself. We recommend a can of compressed air if you want to DIY.

In some situations, depending on the extent of the dust, a complete pull down of the Surface Studio may be the only option to deliver a proper cleaning of components.

3] Do not play demanding games

Yes, the Surface Studio is a powerful computer, but it was not built primarily for gaming. Therefore, you should consider running games at low graphical settings to not place a lot of stress on the graphics card and CPU. If running the game at the lowest setting still doesn’t end the issue, then play something else.

One should also close all apps running in the background so that the game can gain access to all available memory and CPU resources.

4] Update drivers and firmware

The next step, then, is to download the latest drivers and firmware files if they are available. Simply visit chúng tôi to download the latest drivers and firmware for Surface. From here, you will want to choose the .MSI file that matches your current Windows OS build and hit Next.

Once the download is complete, run the file right away, then restart your computer to get things going.

We hope this post helps you.

Now read: Surface shuts down after black screen with Thermometer icon appears.

Microsoft Ceo Goes On Defensive, Says The Surface Is ‘A Real Business’

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently addressed the companies Surface and the tablet’s sales (or lack thereof).

Speaking with MIT Technology Review, while admitting the Microsoft product was not an iPad-killer, Ballmer stressed the Surface isn’t a post-PC fantasy, either…

“In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume,” Ballmer told Cnet during the interview.

Never mind sales that are luke-warm at best, or the Surface getting thumbs-down on repairs or the fact the overpriced tablet is underpowered – the tablet is “a real business,” Ballmer said.

So there.

Ballmer also told TechnologyReview the Surface is a long-term play:

I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important – and not just for Microsoft, but for the entire Windows ecosystem – to see integrated hardware and software. 

And the ‘real business’ quote:

Surface is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business.

Taking a page from Amazon, which never talks hard sales figures regarding the Kindle family, Microsoft has left it to analysts to describe how the Surface performs.

My guess is those descriptions won’t wind up on a warm-and-fuzzy Surface promo. For instance, initial shipments of the Surface RT – launched in October 2012 – likely outnumbered actually sales.

While 1.25 million Microsoft tablets shipped, sales actually hovered around 55 percent to 60 percent of that figure, iHS iSuppli said in January. That means 680,000 to 750,000 Surface units actually initially sold.

Before someone throws a flag on the play, other products have had low initial sales. But the Surface RT had a type of reversal in demand. Turns out people were rushing to return the gadgets.

The Surface Pro – seen as saving Microsoft’s bacon after the RT – wasn’t greeted with much enthusiasm, either. As CNET points out, upon the Surface Pro’s initial sales, Microsoft proudly hailed it a success, the tablet selling out.

But that sell out was limited to Microsoft stores. As skeptical journalists are want to do, the site asks whether Microsoft rigged the results by providing a small enough inventory to be sure there was no repeat of the Surface RT launch fiasco.

Even Chairman Bill Gates said he wasn’t satisfied with Microsoft’s innovation, telling Charlie Rose of CBS News his company should do lots more in terms of breakthroughs.

Ballmer and I are two of the most self-critical people – you can imagine. And here were a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done with the company in the last year. Windows 8 is key to the future, the Surface computer. Bing, people are seeing as a better search product, Xbox.

But is – is it enough? No, he and I are not satisfied that in terms of, you know, breakthrough things, that we’re doing everything possible.

There’s your clip.

Not only can’t Microsoft admit the Surface is a failed example of me-too tablet iPad envy, but in the interview, Ballmer metaphorically positions his company as a Silicon Valley rebel.

The Surface is Microsoft’s James Dean moment after vendors balked at pen-based computing. Which is fittingly ironic, as Dean was best known for the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Should You Get A Microsoft Surface Rt Tablet?

The Price

As far as the price is concerned, a Windows RT tablet will cost you $499 for the 32 GB version without its special keyboard touch cover. This is the same price as the new Apple iPad 4’s 16 GB version. The 64 GB version with a touch cover will cost you $699. The cover, by itself, costs around $130, but only adds $100 to the price of the tablet when bought as a bundle along with the device. A 32 GB version with a touch cover, for example, costs $599.


The Windows Surface RT tablet is about as thick as the iPad, and only about 20 grams heavier due to the extra hardware it packs in.

We’ll get to the hardware a little later. The construction of the tablet itself shows clear signs of a device that’s definitely built to last. Like the Zune, a lot of time was invested into making sure that the Surface has a solid construction that can withstand pretty tough conditions. Its exterior is made of “VaporMg,” an alloy of magnesium that’s molten into shape. It’s three times lighter than aluminum and has a very high degree of durability in comparison. The 10.6-inch screen is made of gorilla glass, and the entire tablet has an anti-fingerprint coating.


With 2 GB RAM, a quad-core nVidia Tegra 3 CPU, and support for 802.11n (up to 150 Mbits/sec), you can’t go wrong! Many people reported slightly sluggish graphics when interacting with the operating system, so this probably isn’t the best gaming machine you’ll find. Also, its display is nothing extraordinary compared to Apple’s Retina display. Its support for a wide variety of memory cards and 5-point multi-touch would make up for these shortcomings. The audio on it isn’t very powerful, but provides a vibrant stereo output that will likely catch the attention of all the music lovers out there. Battery life is 8 hours with consistent use, and 360 hours (unconfirmed) on standby. The expansion card slot supports cards with up to 64 GB of storage capacity, adding a whole bunch of memory to your otherwise small tablet.

Available Apps

Unlike Windows Phone 8, which will contain a ton of applications upon its release, Windows RT (the operating system that Surface runs on) has a very limited number of choices so far. There’ll probably be more apps in the future, but it’s a complete waste of time to check out the Windows Store at this moment.


Is the Windows Surface tablet worth it? Perhaps not right now, but it might be worth the wad of cash in the near future. If you really like Windows 8, get it now and wait for new apps to come out. They’ll come pouring once the tablet gains traction. The slower graphics and regular display might make it rather dull, but it’s still got some strong points with its expandable memory capabilities, USB slots, and sturdy construction. You also have to understand that Windows RT is not the same as Windows Pro, and you can’t install desktop applications on it. If you are looking to run the full fledge Windows experience on the tablet, then the current version of Surface (running Windows RT) is not for you.


Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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Microsoft Surface Pro (2024): Everything You Need To Know

The Surface Pro seems nearly identical to the Surface Pro 4, but the differences in CPU, graphics, and features do matter—for better and for worse. Watch our review video to see more.

In PCWorld’s review of the Surface Pro we gave the flagship 2-in-1 3.5 out of 5 stars, chiefly for three reasons: the excessive price of our review unit, the incremental improvements over the Surface Pro 4, and the quality of the competition. The performance improvements offered by the new Kaby Lake CPU and Iris Plus graphics are marvelous, but it’s hard to swallow high prices that do not include a Type Cover or a Surface Pen (both pricey in their own right).

While it’s not available now, Microsoft says it will ship a version of the Surface Pro with integrated LTE later this year. A version with the new Windows 10 S operating system, rather than the usual Windows 10 Pro, is also planned.

Surface Dock: The Surface Dock , a port expander which adds four additional USB ports and two miniDP connections, is $200.

Mouse: Though both Type Covers include a trackpad, an optional Surface Arc Mouse will be available at launch for $80.

Both the Pen and Signature Type Covers ship in three colors: platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue. The generic Surface Pro Type Cover is available only in black.

Keyboard: We’ll start with the one everyone will want—a Type Cover keyboard. Microsoft offers two: the Surface Pro Signature Type Cover ($159), clad in fancy Alcantara fabric, and the primarily plastic Microsoft Surface Pro Type Cover ($129).

Though you can use a Surface Pro as a simple tablet, you’ll almost certainly want to buy some of the accessories, all of which cost extra.

Graphics were not specified in the specs, though we’re assuming it’ll be Intel HD Graphics 620, as with the existing Core i5 models.

Microsoft has also said that they plan to ship an LTE variant, which is reported to debut at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in the U.K. on Halloween. Those prices are official:

Microsoft’s Surface products have never been cheap, and the Surface Pro’s base model is $100 more expensive than the base model for the Surface Pro 4. Keep in mind that the prices below include the Surface Pro tablet only. Microsoft doesn’t bundle it with any accessories at all, not even a keyboard, unless there’s a special promotion.

You can preorder the Surface Pro now. As of June 15, you can now order all but the two most powerful Core i7 models of the Surface Pro—the 16GB RAM/512GB SSD and the the 16GB RAM/1 TB SSD. According to Microsoft, those models were previously scheduled to ship on June 30, but Microsoft has removed the estimated shipping dates. Otherwise, the Surface Pro will launch in 26 markets—including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Taiwan, and more. Our news story from the Surface Pro launch has many more details.

We’ve assembled everything we know about the new Surface Pro: the price and release date, the specs, and our official review. We’ve also answered some of the questions we think you’ll have about Microsoft’s new device.

With the the Surface Pro (2024), Microsoft has rebooted its flagship Surface product, one of the leading 2-in-1s in the category. It’s also shedding the numerical designations of prior products. If you’ve owned a Surface Pro 4, however, you already have a good idea of what Microsoft has in store for you with the new Surface Pro.

Updated Dec. 7: We’ve updated this story with the price of the Surface Pro (2024) with LTE. See “ Price and release date ” below for more details.

When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro on May 23, it was touted as a “laptop” despite its obvious lack of an included keyboard. Wordplay aside, Microsoft’s videos of the product (we’ve compiled selected shots below) show off the sleek design, the inking capabilities, and the ability to use the Surface Dial on the display (though as our review mentions, it takes up a lot of space on the screen).


Performance and battery life

All of the Core i5 and Core i7 chips used in the new Surface Pro are from Intel’s most recent, seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) family of CPUs. Microsoft says the processors offer 20 percent more performance than the Surface Pro 4, 2.5 times more computing performance than the Surface Pro 3, and 1.7 times the compute power of Apple’s iPad Pro. Naturally, those results vary by benchmark; see our Surface Pro (2024) review for details. In some cases, the Surface Pro (2024) performance is even better than expected.

Microsoft also says the Surface Pro will last for 13.5 hours of continuous video looping, up from 9 hours with the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft uses different metrics than we do for its video rundown test, but we’ve found the battery life to be closer to 8 hours.

Frequently asked questions

Microsoft’s reboot of the Surface Pro name follows Hollywood’s trend of “rebooting” movies, from Godzilla to Spider-Man to Ghostbusters. It’s all a bit confusing, so we’ll try to clear up some of the mysteries.

Why isn’t it called the Surface Pro 5?

Our understanding is that Microsoft wanted to refocus itself on the Surface Pro lineup, making a clean break from prior models. It forces us (and you) to use the awkward Surface Pro (2024) terminology, though. 


The Surface Pro’s kickstand can drop to 165 degrees, to what Microsoft calls “Studio mode.”

Two years ago, the Surface Pro would have been the tablet for the masses. Now, perhaps in an attempt to distance the Surface Pro from a struggling Windows tablet market, Microsoft’s calling this a “laptop,” even though the keyboard is an optional accessory. We wish Microsoft would let go of this baffling conceit. In any case, if you’re a mobile professional, the new Surface Pro may be for you.  The tablet is also powerful enough to play some older games at acceptable frame rates, though this shouldn’t be the primary reason to buy it.

Which Surface Pro should you buy?

Obviously, you’ll need to select a version that meets your needs and your budget. In my mind, though, the $1,299 Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD offers a value proposition that’s more in line with the competition. If you opt for one of the Core i7 variants, though, you’ll also receive the Iris Plus graphics core as part of the package, which boosts its GPU capabilities dramatically. 

After I first used it at a briefing, I can say it seems to be a beefed-up Surface Pro 4. Slightly more rounded edges and more recessed cameras are barely noteworthy. I like the kickstand, which reclines a full 165 degrees. Microsoft calls this “Studio Mode” because it mimics the Surface Studio, the Surface Pro’s all-in-one cousin. 

Over the course of our review, I really liked the performance Microsoft built into the Surface Pro with the Iris Plus graphics. Otherwise, if you’ve used a Surface Pro 4, this will be familiar territory. If you want a more traditional notebook, consider the Surface Book or Surface Laptop instead.

How does the Surface Pro differ from the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book, and the Surface Laptop?

Surface Laptop: If you’re looking for something comparable to the Surface Pro in a true notebook form factor, you should check out the Surface Laptop. Note that its operating system is the classroom-focused Windows 10 S, but it’s upgradable to the same Windows 10 Pro that the Surface Pro uses.

Surface Book: Like the Surface Pro, the Surface Book is a two-in-one with a detachable keyboard. The Surface Book offers a lot more oomph, however, especially with the associated Performance Base. It’s the only Microsoft notebook or 2-in-1 with discrete graphics, too.

How much does the Surface Pro cost?

Our first impressions

The Surface Pro (2024) is a Surface Pro, plain and simple: tablet, magnetically-attached Type Cover keyboard, kickstand. If you were to put a Surface Pro next to a Surface Pro 4, about the only way to tell the difference would be to look at the attached Surface Pen, which lacks the clip of its predecessor.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The new Surface Pen (below) features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, about double that of its predecessor (above).

I was impressed by the greater range of the kickstand. I’m not sure potential buyers will care as much as I do about the fact that you can now use the Surface Dial peripheral onscreen, though it’s a nice touch. For a deeper look, please see our review of the Surface Pro (2024).

Specs and features

While the Surface Book offers a bit more physical space to pack in battery and discrete GPUs, the Surface Pro maintains an emphasis on portability. The key upgrade for the Surface Pro refresh are the Intel Kaby Lake CPUs, which bring several fundamental improvements in speed and battery life. If you want something a bit slower and a lot cheaper, try the Core m model: The performance should be satisfactory for basic office tasks.

1GHz Core m3-7Y30

2.6GHz Core i5-7300U (Kaby Lake)

2.5GHz Core i7-7660U (Kaby Lake)

Memory options will vary, depending on your choice of Surface Pro (2024). Note that there is no 8GB option for the Core i7 at this time.

4GB: Core m3

8 GB: Core m3 or Core i5


Your SSD size will vary:

128GB (Core m, Core i5)

512 GB (Core i7)

1TB (Core i7)

Our review unit included a Samsung KUS040202M-B000 NVMe drive, providing among the fastest read speeds we’ve tested: 1,702 MBps.

The Surface Pro offers only integrated graphics. Graphics performance will increase along with processor power. But the Surface Pro is one of the only tablets or notebook we’ve seen with the Iris Plus graphics core inside.

Core m: Intel HD Graphics 615

Core i5: Intel HD Graphics 620


Corning Gorilla Glass

12.3-inch (diagonal) PixelSense Display

3:2 aspect ratio

Surface Pen-enabled (sold separately)

10-point multi-touch

The new Surface Pro’s keyboard features 1.3mm of key travel, slightly less than the 1.5mm of travel used by the Surface Laptop. If you buy the Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, you’ll get an Alcantara-clad deck that’s laser-cut to fit snugly around the keyboard keys, in either platinum, burgundy, or cobalt blue. Otherwise, you can buy a standard Type Cover, in black.


Though the Surface Pro uses Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft says a version of the Surface Pro will ship later on with Windows 10 S installed.

Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft has chosen to stick with its established Surface Connector for charging, rather than use USB-C. Supposedly, that’s for reasons of backward compatibility with existing Surface chargers, as well as in response to people who complained that the micro-USB-powered Surface 3 took forever to charge. 

USB 3.0 Type A

mini DisplayPort

Surface Connector for charging

Wi-Fi: 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible

Bluetooth 4.1

(Optional) LTE, with a Cat 9 modem on board that will support up to 20 cellular bands across the globe

Mark Hachman / IDG

The right side of the tablet houses the three main ports: the Surface connector, USB-A, and the microDP port. Like other Surface devices, a microSD slot hides behind the kickstand.


(Unchanged since the Surface Pro 4)

8MP (rear)

Stereo microphones

Stereo speakers

Microsoft rates the Surface Pro’s battery life at  13.5 hours, just an hour shorter than the 14.5 hours claimed for the Surface Laptop. Microsoft bases its claims on video rundown tests, the same metric PCWorld uses. We found the battery life of the Surface Pro (2024) clocked in at just over eight hours, however, probably due to the brightness settings we used while testing.

Exterior dimensions

11.50 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches

2.37 pounds to 2.41 pounds, with Type Cover. The exact weight will vary by model. The Core m model is the lightest.



The Surface Pro ships in just one color. Accessories, including the Type Cover and Surface Pen, can be purchased in these colors to personalize the tablet:





One-year limited hardware warranty

Surface Pro

Power supply

Quick Start Guide

How Microsoft Surface Tablets Compare In A Crowded Market

During their splashy press conference on Monday, Steve Ballmer and the other Microsoft execs referred to the company’s upcoming Surface devices as tablets. So it makes sense to compare them to other tablets, right?

Actually, that’s only half-right. The ARM-based Surface for Windows RT looks like–and will be priced like–competing tablets, but the Surface for Windows Pro will be too heavy and expensive to compete head-to-head with the iPad. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll refer to the two models as “Surface RT” and “Surface Pro” hereafter.) Surface Pro’s natural competition: Windows Ultrabooks.

The tricky thing is that the Surface Pro is the tablet that many Windows users think they’ve been waiting for. It’s the one that can do anything a desktop can do: It can run the apps we have already (like Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Camera Bits Photo Mechanic), graphics-intensive games (like Diablo), and other tried-and-true Windows software; and it has a serious laptop processor, Intel’s Core series, that can power through complicated work.

Evidently the Surface Pro won’t compete with top tablets in display resolution, either. Microsoft has said that the Surface Pro will have a “Full HD” display, meaning a display with a resolution of at least 1920 by 1200 pixels. That would put it on a par with the best Android tablets from Asus and Acer; but because those displays are 0.5 inch smaller, their pixel density should be better. And none of those tablets’ resolutions can compare with the Apple iPad’s at 2048 by 1536 pixels.

Surface RT vs. iPad and Android Tablets

If the Surface Pro isn’t intended to compete directly with the iPad, so be it. But what about the Surface RT? How will it stack up against an iPad or Android tablet? Those tablets, like Surface RT, run lower-power, ARM-based processors.

The Surface RT will give you more ports than most competing tablets, along with the ability to view two apps on one screen. The Surface RT tablets will carry at least 32GB of storage (the iPad and many Android tablets start at just 16GB). Though the Surface RT won’t have the iPad’s high resolution, it will have an optically bonded display, which eliminates the annoying air gap between the screen and the glass for clearer images, improved contrast, and reduced screen glare. Like its more powerful sibling, it will also have a comfortable built-in kickstand. All of those features represent useful improvements on today’s tablets.

But Microsoft’s Surface RT runs into trouble on other metrics. If its weight turns out to be 1.5 pounds (as currently estimated), it will be just 0.06 pound heavier than the current iPad; but iPad itself got heavier this year, not lighter. Android tablets, by contrast, are consistently moving toward lighter weight; for instance, the Surface RT at 1.5 pounds will be about 0.2 pound heavier than the Toshiba Excite 10.1 or the Asus Transformer Prime. Microsoft lists the Surface RT’s display as “HD” rather than as “Full HD,” which may mean a resolution of just 1366 by 768 pixels—and that won’t be competitive with iPad’s Retina display, or even with Android tablets like the Asus Transformer Pad 700, announced at CES, and the Acer Iconia Tab A700 (both with resolutions of 1920 by 1200 pixels).

The Takeaway on the Two Surfaces

There’s no question that Microsoft’s decision to build its own tablets changes the market considerably. But until we know more-precise details about specs and pricing, accurately predicting how well the two Surface models will compete is quite difficult.

In the end, the Surface RT may not quite be an iPad killer. Apps are paramount to tablet buyers, and until we see what kinds of Metro apps Microsoft and its developer partners produce, many consumers may shy away from the Surface RT.

Surface Pro, meanwhile, will challenge the current crop of laptops and Ultrabooks–and there it may well win. Why purchase a classic clamshell-style laptop if you can get a tablet that quickly and elegantly becomes a laptop when you need one–all without sacrificing performance, interoperability, or functionality? The big question here is whether consumers can manage with a 10.6-inch display as their laptop screen; for many consumers, I suspect, the convenience of a tablet/laptop hybrid may be worth the drawback of having to put up with a smaller screen.

If not, just wait: No doubt Microsoft’s hardware partners are kicking plans to design Windows 8 tablets of their own into high gear–including models with bigger screens–to compete with the Surface Pro.

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