Microsoft Surface: the serious music making tablet?

Microsoft has just opened up another front in the tablet wars by announcing Surface, a new range of multi-touch hardware devices.

These will be based around a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass display that's contained in a 9.3mm magnesium case. What's more, USB 2.0 and a DisplayPort will come as standard.

This could be great news for musicians who want to hook up their peripherals, especially when you consider that one of the Microsoft Surface tablets will contain an Intel processor and run the full desktop version of Windows 8.

This model will also come with a higher resolution display known as ClearType, and should be capable of running full-on DAWs and VST plug-ins.

There'll also be a tablet that contains an ARM-based processor. This will come with Windows RT, a slightly different operating system that's designed specifically to run on tablets that contain the aforementioned chip.

Microsoft Surface is also set to sport a stand for easy viewing and a pen input. There'll be a magnetic cover that doubles as a multitouch keyboard and trackpad, plus the more substantial Type Cover, which gives you a proper keyboard and a full trackpad.

We're still awaiting pricing details and a release date, but it looks like Microsoft is bringing something slightly different to the tablet table with Surface. We'll be awaiting further developments with interest.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.