Microsoft tablet heading to NZ
Microsoft’s first stab at the tablet market, the Surface RT, will finally be available in New Zealand four months after its launch in the US.
The entry level tablet, running an iteration of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system, will hit the shelves of JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman on March 15 for $739.
The device is already popular in New Zealand with tech heads such as Paul Spain, of the New Zealand Tech Podcast, importing the tablet from overseas.
Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston had hoped to launch the two models of Surface tablet here in October along with Windows 8 but overseas demand, driven by a US sellout on launch, meant New Zealanders have had to wait.
The Surface RT comes with the new Microsoft Office pre-installed and will also run apps written for the touch screen based Windows 8 and available in the Windows Store.
Details of a release of the more functional Surface Pro, upon which traditional desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop will run, are yet to be announced.
Both internet capable models include a USB port, for plugging in other devices such as external hard disk drives and smartphones, and Micro SD ports for transferring files. These features make the tablet take on some of the functionality of a laptop, but with a battery that will last a working day.
Accessories include a screen cover that converts into a keyboard and connects with thee Surface.
‘‘The Surface has been in hot demand overseas, and we are one of only a handful of countries where both the Surface RT and Surface Pro will be available within the coming months,’’ Mr Muckleston said.
‘‘The Surface RT offers a great mobile experience for consuming media, checking emails and app-based work, while the Surface Pro offers a comprehensive mobile computing experience via mobile centric apps, as well as processing power and functionality to run day-to-day desktop applications.’’