Microsoft Surface RT team: Yes, you can type on your lap, use Xbox controllers
The Microsoft Surface team has taken to Reddit to answer questions about the new Surface RT tablet. Microsoft’s first tablet hits the streets October 26th, but it went up for pre-order today for $499 and up.
While the tablet’s specs have been available for a while, the folks who built the tablet are telling us much more about how it actually works today.
Here are a few new things I picked up from the Q&A:
- You can use the kickstand and a keyboard cover to type while the Surface RT is on your lap.
- The tablet lets you play games while using Xbox 360 USB controllers.
- Many other peripherals including printers, keyboards, and cameras will work out fo the box.
- Windows RT, Office RT, and several other apps use about 12GB of space, so there’s 20GB of user available space on a 32GB model.
- You can’t install apps to an SD card, but you can store any other data on a removable card and you can swap cards while the tablet is in use.
- The Touch Cover and Type Cover have sensors that turn off the keys when not in use.
- The kickstand props up the tablet at a 22 degree angle.
- Microsoft doesn’t plan to offer an Ethernet adapter.
The support for a wide range of USB peripherals is something that helps set the Surface RT (and other Windows RT tablets) apart from the Apple iPad and many Android tablets.
While Android supports USB keyboards, mice, and game controllers, support for printers and cameras isn’t nearly as good. And in order to connect any peripherals to an iPad you need a special adapter.
But Microsoft has an advantage since most USB peripherals on the market are already designed to work with Windows. It sounds like the company is bringing similar driver support to its Winodws RT products.