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Definition: Surface tablet


Microsoft's tablet. Introduced in 2012, the Surface was the first Microsoft tablet; however, starting in 2015, other Surface products debuted (see Surface versions).

Surface Pro - Windows 10 Pro
Running Windows 10 Pro, the 12" Surface Pro tablets are available with m3, i5 or i7 CPUs, RAM from 4 to 16GB and SSD storage from 128GB to 1TB. An optional dock plugs into the Surface for external monitors and peripherals when working in the home or office.

Surface Go and Windows 10 S
Surface tablets were always premium products, but in 2018, the Go debuted as an entry-level tablet with Windows 10 S. A one-time switch to full Windows is included (see Windows 10 S).

There Used to Be Two Versions
The Surface tablet originally came in two versions: ARM-based tablets that ran Windows RT and x86-based tablets that ran regular Windows (see table below). The RT tablets were later dropped (see Windows RT).

Not the First Hardware for Microsoft
Although famous for software, Microsoft has also offered and been very successful with mice, keyboards and the Xbox game console. However, for more than 30 years, Microsoft depended on third-party vendors for PC hardware until it introduced the Surface line in 2012. See PixelSense.



An Early Surface Tablet
The optional screen cover/keyboard turns the Surface into a lightweight laptop. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)



 SURFACE TABLETS                     Runs
                              Max    All
              Windows      SSD/RAM   Win
 Current      Version  CPU   (GB)    Apps

 12" Screen
 Surface Pro   10 Pro  x86  1024/16  Yes

 10" Screen
 Surface Go    10 S    x86   256/8   No


 Old Models (10" Screen)
 Surface RT       RT   ARM    64/2   No
 Surface 2        RT   ARM    64/2   No
 Surface 2 (LTE)  RT   ARM    64/2   No
 Surface 3 (LTE) 8.1   x86   128/4   Yes

 Surface Pro      8    x86   256/4   Yes
 Surface Pro 2    8    x86   512/8   Yes
 Surface Pro 3   8.1   x86   512/8   Yes
 Surface Pro 4   10    x86  1024/16  Yes