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Definition: Surface tablet


Microsoft's family of tablets, introduced in 2012. The first tablet hardware from the company, the Surface line evolved into hybrids (part tablet, part laptop), some of which have built-in cellular capability. Initially premium models, an entry-level option called the Surface Go debuted in 2018; it ran on Windows 10 S. Starting in 2015, other products with the Surface brand debuted (see Surface versions).

There Used to Be Two Incompatible Versions
The Surface tablet debuted as two incompatible CPU versions: ARM models ran Windows RT and x86 tablets ran regular Windows. The RT tablets were later dropped, but ARM was resurrected with the Pro X models (see below). See Windows RT.

Not the First Microsoft Hardware
Although famous for software, Microsoft has also 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 TABLET MODELS               Runs
                              Max    All
              Windows      SSD/RAM   Win
 Current      Version  CPU   (GB)    Apps

 10" Screen
 Go 2         10 S     x86   128/8   Yes

 12" Screen
 Pro 7        10 Home  x86  1024/16  Yes

 13" Screen
 Pro X        10 Home  ARM   512/16  Most
 Pro X for
  business    10 Pro   ARM   512/16  Most


 Old Models (10" Screen)
 RT               RT   ARM    64/2   No
 2                RT   ARM    64/2   No
 2 (LTE)          RT   ARM    64/2   No
 3 (LTE)         8.1   x86   128/4   Yes
 Pro              8    x86   256/4   Yes
 Pro 2            8    x86   512/8   Yes
 Pro 3           8.1   x86   512/8   Yes
 Pro 4           10    x86  1024/16  Yes
 Go              10 S  x86   256/8   No

 Old Models (12" Screen)
 Pro 5           10    x86   256/8   Yes
 Pro 6           10    x86  1024/16  Yes