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Definition: Surface tablet

Microsoft's family of Windows tablets. The first Microsoft computer hardware, the Surface tablet debuted in 2012 along with Windows 8. Starting in 2015, other Surface-branded computers came out, and an entry-level Surface Go debuted in 2018 that ran on Windows 10 S. See Surface versions.

Both Intel and ARM Versions
At Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet launch, both Intel and ARM models were offered. Intel tablets ran Windows 8, and ARM tablets ran Windows RT. Although RT was later dropped, an ARM version of the Surface was resurrected (see Windows RT and Surface Pro X). As of 2023, most Surface tablets are based on Intel chips as is evident in the table below.

Microsoft Blurs the Differences
Surface tablets and laptops are combined on Microsoft's Surface website; however, we define a tablet as a slate-based device even if it comes with a detachable keyboard. Slate devices are often essential in many industries where an external keyboard gets in the way. See slate.

Not the First Microsoft Hardware
Famous for its Windows software, Microsoft has been very successful with hardware such as mice, keyboards and the Xbox game console. However, from 1975 to 2012, the company depended on third parties for PC hardware. In 2012, that changed with the Surface line. See PixelSense.

An Early Surface Tablet
In 2012, Microsoft entered the PC hardware business with the Surface tablet. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)

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

 Go 3         11 S     x86   128/8   Yes

 Pro 7+       11 S     x86  1024/16  Yes
 Pro 7+       10 Pro   x86  1024/16  Yes

 Pro X        Win ARM* ARM   512/16  Yes

 Pro 8        11 Home  x86  1024/32  Yes
 Pro 8        11 Pro   x86  1024/32  Yes
 Pro 9        11 Home  x86  1024/32  Yes
 Pro 9        11 Pro   x86  1024/32  Yes

 * Win ARM = Windows 10 or 11 Home on ARM

 Old Models

 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
 Go 2            10 S  x86   128/8   Yes

 Pro 5           10    x86   256/8   Yes
 Pro 6           10    x86  1024/16  Yes
 Pro 7        10 Home  x86  1024/16  Yes

 Pro X        10 Home  ARM   512/16  Most
 Pro X        10 Pro   ARM   512/16  Most