Microsoft reveals Surface: their new Windows 8 tablet - what is it, and can it play games? | PCGamesN

H1Z1 Early Access Review

Sponsored: Six ways Alienware are rebooting the gaming laptop

Elite: Dangerous update 1.07 sees off cargo duplication and crashing

Microsoft reveals Surface: their new Windows 8 tablet - what is it, and can it play games?

Can it game? That's all I really wanted to know when Microsoft unveiled their new tablet last night: their iPad aping Surface has Windows 8 at its core, a case that doubles as a keyboard and mouse, a lot of power. The answer to that question is apparently dependent on what version you choose.

With Windows 8 as the OS, there's a chance PC games could natively play on this tablet: instead of having to play a mobile app, you could be playing the full-featured PC version. There are currently two versions of Surface: Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro the first doesn't have the software or the hardware to power a full PC game, but the second does.

Microsoft talked a lot about the case, the stand, etc. It's really the innards you need to consider: RT has (and is) the mobile Windows operating system, running on an ARM processor and a Nvidia Tegra chipset, a typical tablet set-up that will only allow apps written for that OS to run on it. It'll squeeze those into an 1366 x 768 resolution.

Windows 8 Pro Surface, on the other hand, is comparable to an Ultrabook: it will run a full version of Windows 8, it has the latest Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 CPU, a 1080p display, both include USB ports, and the Pro will have 64GB or 128GB of storage. It has a DisplayPort that you can hook up to an external monitor.

More importantly, hidden under the Metro interface is a typical Windows desktop, one that popped up when they demonstrated that the Pro flavour is powerful enough to run Photoshop. Skip to 20 minutes in to see that.

What they didn't show is it running any games natively. But then they didn't drop any graphics specifications or available RAM, either. It might be that those are sticking points with forcing a desktop PC into a tight 13.5 millimeters frame, but if they're claiming it could double as a desktop, and they are, there's some horsepower in there. Imagine a tablet that could run Steam? This is that. And there are plenty of low-spec indie games and classic PC games that require the most bsic set-up to function. I'm cautiously optimistic that that Microsoft might have quietly made a half-decent PC gaming device. I really hope they realise that.

There's no cost currently mooted, but both are expected to be comparable with their counter-parts. So when the RT launches at the back-end of this year, it'll probably be about £400. The Pro will be three months after, at at least £700.

Login or Register
Try these free to play games
?

These are affiliate links - clicking them and playing the games directly supports PCGamesN

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.


Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
H1Z1 Early Access Review

H1Z1

H1Z1 Early Access Review

Elite: Dangerous update 1.07 sees off cargo duplication and crashing

Elite: Dangerous update 1.07 sees off cargo duplication and crashing

Blizzard nerf Undertaker after Hearthstone balance wobble

Blizzard nerf Undertaker after Hearthstone balance wobble

Doom is the subject of the next Mythbusters episode

Doom is the subject of the next Mythbusters episode

World of Warcraft now does selfies (with black-and-white filters if you want them)

World of Warcraft now does selfies (with black-and-white filters if you want them)

Striking Unreal Engine 4 tech demo looks good enough to live in

Striking Unreal Engine 4 tech demo looks good enough to live in

Sponsored: Six ways Alienware are rebooting the gaming laptop

Alienware

Sponsored: Six ways Alienware are rebooting the gaming laptop

Magicka 2's new trailer explores the complex relationship between vampires and wizards

Magicka 2's new trailer explores the complex relationship between vampires and wizards

Valve confirms CS:GO match-fixing allegations, issues bans to seven players

Valve confirms CS:GO match-fixing allegations, issues bans to seven players

Grey Goo PC review

Grey Goo PC review

Topic of the Week: What do you look for in a remastered game?

Topic of the Week: What do you look for in a remastered game?

Grim Fandango Remastered PC review

Grim Fandango Remastered PC review

Closed: We’re giving away a Geforce GTX970-powered gaming PC courtesy of Gameforge

S.K.I.L.L

Closed: We’re giving away a Geforce GTX970-powered gaming PC courtesy of Gameforge

Making it in Unreal: flipping through the X-Files with extraterrestrial horror game The Hum

Making it in Unreal: flipping through the X-Files with extraterrestrial horror game The Hum

Ubisoft is removing games purchased through unauthorised retailers from Uplay accounts

Ubisoft is removing games purchased through unauthorised retailers from Uplay accounts

CD Projekt RED will release 16 free DLC packs for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:

CD Projekt RED will release 16 free DLC packs for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: "We owe them"

Dragon's Dogma Online is a thing and will be free to play

Dragon's Dogma Online is a thing and will be free to play

Frontier Developments lay-off fifteen staff, Coaster Park Tycoon announced

Frontier Developments lay-off fifteen staff, Coaster Park Tycoon announced

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Minecraft

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon

Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon

Kerbal Space Program will leave Early Access with the next update

Kerbal Space Program will leave Early Access with the next update

BioWare releases Dragon Age: Inquisition's catchy tavern songs for free

BioWare releases Dragon Age: Inquisition's catchy tavern songs for free

Big changes to StarCraft's Swarm Host in upcoming Balance Test Map

Big changes to StarCraft's Swarm Host in upcoming Balance Test Map

Gorgeous RPG strategy game Armello hits Early Access, discounted through the 29th

Gorgeous RPG strategy game Armello hits Early Access, discounted through the 29th