With our recent Surface demo experience, we were able to peel back that thin 9.3 mm layer just enough to come up with pros and cons of placing this device in the hands of gamers.
The Microsoft Surface tablet is poised to take on the iPad and add features like a keyboard, kickstand, and a free (not $50) cover; things Apple-hating trolls always complain when new iOS devices are announced. At this week’s press conference, we got a chance to test out the Surface hardware, albeit Microsoft kept our hands-on time to a minimum so our impressions remain “surface deep.” Appropriate, right?
A Tablet With A Keyboard And An Xbox 360 Controller Input
The reason iOS games “don’t work,” according to the mobile gaming naysayers, is because there are no tactical controls on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Enter the Microsoft Surface tablet. Not only does this Windows 8-powered piece of hardware have actual keys, it boasts a USB port. The Surface RT model has a USB 2.0 port, while the Surface Pro model has a USB 3.0 port. In either version, an Xbox 360 controller can be plugged directly into the machine and button-demanding genres like FPS, action, and fighting games can finally be realized on a tablet.
Wrap your brain around this idea: this gaming-capable machine and its 16:9 monitor are going to be the svelte tech, while the Xbox 360 controller is suddenly going to be the bulky item you hate carrying around. That’s quite a switch. On top of that, it’ll certainly beat tapping, sliding, and swiping your way to victory on completely unresponsive Gorilla Glass.
Both RT and Pro Surface models will include 2x2 MIMO antennas so that Microsoft doesn’t fall into Apple’s “Antenna-gate” controversy. Sadly, the press conference didn’t hint at an integrated Xbox 360 wireless receiver, which means that a wireless Xbox 360 controller would still have to use the annoying dongle. Maybe that’s something Microsoft will squeeze into future models.