Microsoft details features and performance of forthcoming WinRT tablets. Looking good.

Microsoft has so far been rather coy when it comes to the actual performance characteristics of their forthcoming WinRT tablets. That’s to have been expected due to the new ARM requirements but many have wondered how frugal with battery and weight a Windows RT tablet could really be.

Windows on ARM devices are designed to compete with existing tablets currently available in the market. So far the iPad has been leading the way with great all-day performance and setting the bar for its competition. The good news is some of these initial performance specs look good, even when based on non-final firmware.

The typical lengthy post goes on to detail that all WinRT tablets will have the new “Connected Standby” feature. The feature is engineered to enable your machine to grab updates even when the machine is in a super-low power-state.  That’s going to be great news for those on the move as having inboxes and apps constantly updated will mean less time waiting. Microsoft claim that running in this state a Windows RT tablet might be expected to give you between 320 and 409 hours on one charge.

Battery drain whilst playing back HD video has also been revealed. MS are quoting HD video playback as anything between 8 and 13 hours. That is quite solid and if a WinRT tablet can knock out 13 hours of continuous HD playback, it will be topping the new iPad by three hours. The iPad versus Windows RT tablet specs-race does not end there either. Suggested starting weight for Windows RT devices will come in at a featherweight 520 grams (the iPad currently drops in at 652g mark). Not quite done with the iPad comparative specs, Microsoft also reveal the smallest Windows RT devices will be just 8.35mm (the iPad comes in at a porky 9.41mm).

If these Windows RT dimensions and specs are to be believed, then we are in for some very nice initial ARM based devices. There is much more to learn about the newest members of the Windows family, but this is certainly another piece to the puzzle. We are certainly excited to see that Microsoft is coming out and claiming smaller, lighter and longer running devices. Even at this stage, those is fighting words and and fighting specs! 

We’d love to know what you guys think of these proposed initial specs? Will a Windows RT tablet really last the whole day? Will you be going for a Windows RT device or are you set on the Intel based designs? Notice how its Windows RT now? Please, let us know!

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab) (Blogs MSDN)

Robert Brand
  • The specs. looks good but I'm waiting for W8 Pro. specs. and my money is waiting.
  • Same here....
    January cannot come quick enough....
  • I too am waiting for pro, and a killer price!
  • Ditto
  • I think that the specs aren't even that important but the price they put them on. If they are similar to the iPad range, i suspect it won't be succesful even though the specs would blow it away.
  • Really trying to hold out for the pro, this is making it hard. I wonder if the smallest weight, thinnest depth, etc. are based off of the surface RT
  • yes it is!
  • I'll probably end up with both. But as a starter, RT is looking too good to pass up. Not to mention, living in the MS ecosystem. Wow.
  • No such as an MS ecosystem, it doesn't need one.
  • I will get the RT for sure. But... will think about the Pro. I may get a Windows 8 laptop instead of the pro.
  • Stoked for the pro devices.
  • Battery perhaps going to be the key factor here especially for enterprise. 
    13 hours max HD playbook is pretty good,
    At first, leaning towards a Pro, but i may just go RT and keep my existing laptop since it is running fine. Not sure if i want a laptop with a 10 inch screen. 
    I think ill just get a device for what i want it primarily to be, a tablet for consumption vs production. 
  • My feelings exactly. I was going to replace my [working perfectly fine] laptop (knock on wood) for a Surface Pro. But then I got realistic about it and realized for on-the-go computing, I would do just fine with Windows RT-apps as opposed to desktop computing. My laptop is for that
  • fantastic news since i've been eyeing an RT tablet since announced.
  • In the Windows RT world, will I be able to download any apps currently available for Windows Phone? If I can get my Windows Phone apps on a Surface RT that would be great.
  • Yes, as long as the app is ported over from wp7.  I am assuming you are talking about current Windows phone apps?
    Once developers develop apps specifically for windows 8, it should work for both the phone and tablet almost rigtht away with some slight code adjustments?
    I am sure somebody can enlighten us. 
  • If I remember correctly, MS is going to port the marketplace to RT. I could be wrong.
  • I thought it was just porting over the WP7 apps to WP8. It would be great if it did it for Windows * RT also.
  • If Microsoft is porting WP7 apps to Windows 8 then they are making them WinRT apps. WinRT apps are apps that can be run on any Windows 8 device; Windows 8 RT, Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro. The only place to get WinRT apps are from the Windows App Store. 
    WinRT apps is what ties all Windows 8 devices together. You can buy a WinRT apps once and run on all your Windows 8 devices regardless of version or processor. 
  • It's still a port that devs will have to do. for some apps it could be a few days of work, for some it could be more. the real issue is the different form factor. These WP apps were design for a specific screen size.
    The current apps won't just run on Win8 though. and since the WP8 SDK wasn't officialy released there's no real info on sharing WP8 and Win8 code. (I didn't see too much about it in the docs released with the leaked SDK)
    Microsoft promised the WP8 SDK in the summer. maybe they're waiting for VS 2012 RTM to be out before releasing it
  • No. WP7 apps (or WP8 apps) will not work on Win8
    It's not even that straight forward to port these apps. there are many differences and of course, you have to redesign the UI for the larger screen.
    It's not as much work as porting an ios app over, since it is after all c# and a lot of the code can be ported WP7 apps do work on WP8 but even with the same kernel, it's not the case with win8
    with the final RTM version of Win8 and VS2012 relesed in a couple of days, if it was possible we would've known by now
  • How about apps like Youtube Pro, Metro tube, Fantasia Painter, Fphotoroom, etc.
  • nice!!!
  • I am going Windows RT all the way... My office is already putting some RemoteApps in place so we can utilize some of our legacy apps using RDP/RemoteApp on the RT tablets... should be the best of both worlds!
  • You need to get your IT people in touch with all those whiners moaning about Windows 8 and get them to actually think about using it rather than just moaning and clinging to their ipads!
  • Looks very nice to me. I will be getting the RT version of the Surface for sure. Can't wait.
  • Mine day 1 :)
  • Have to go Pro as its looking like MS is not going to provide the same functionality in its Modern apps as their desktop counterparts. Eg Photo Gallery. Cant give that kind of power up.
  • Hmm....I guess I will go with rt. A 10 inch laptop is a nightmare-trust me. My 17" Gateway is fine.
  • Pretty sweet specs. Can't wait.
  • Will be waiting for the Pro version. Watch out Apple you might be getting bit. ^_^
  • Rt... Please... Its been 4 long years not having a computer...
  • Waiting for the pro
  • I'm going RT all the way. Classic desktop is for my laptop. Tablet is for media consummation and light editing.
  • This further solidifies my decision to get an RT for my girlfriend (and me), and play around with it until the Pro comes out.
  • just take my money already!  Surface RT with Office is going to KILL IT.
  • No link?
  • RT.. me want :) Bad :)
  • RT will have my money. Too small a screen, with pro, to be a laptop replacement
  • I want the Pro but Im not sure I can wait for it! Hopefully we will get a RT at work ASAP so I can get a good feel for it before making up my mind.
    Exciting times to be a MS fan.
  • Windows 8 tablets having multi user profiles, makes Windows 8 tablets allready a no brainer. Which one depends on pricing. For now Surface RT takes top spot.
  • RT is going to be my Christmas present to myself. Pro can wait a bit. I have 3 LT that work just fine and I use multiple monitors anyway.
  • Maybe both depending on price
  • Anyone wants to bet Nokia going to announce a tablet in next month event? It would be hard for me to pick between Mircrosoft & Nokia tablets.
  • Aren't Pro tablets coming out at the same time as Windows 8? The Surface Pro will not arrive until January, but others will be out on day one... no need to wait. Or did I miss a memo?
  • RT tablets come out with Windows 8. They stated at the Surface event that the Pro would come a few months later.
  • The Surface is just Microsoft's tablet. there will be others
  • Yes, pro tablets are coming out with Win8 launch. Just not the Surface Pro. According to Intel, there will be 20 Intel based win8 tablets released before the end of the year.
    If that's true, you'll have plenty of choices to pick from. Lenovo showed off their's recently. There would also be other RT tablets (I think 5 are expected on launch day)
  • Count me in  with the RT crowd. All I use my laptop for is web surfing, email & Office, so RT will be perfect. I leave all the heavy lifting to my two desktops.
  • Was originally considering waiting for the pro but this logic has convinced me to go RT
  • Going for the Rt first, and a pro desktop as well
  • I think MS is holding out for the Pro waiting for new Intel chip
  • I'll take two and a pro.
  • I originally wanted pro but I guess I'll just go for the RT.
  • Im definitely going with pro, but maybe I'll buy an rt for my girlfriend. For those saying that the screen is too small to use as a laptop, I think they forget that you can always plug it into a bigger screen
  • Totally ready to pick up a Surface RT.  For Win8 Pro, I'm leaning more towards the Lenovo Yoga Flip.
    Is it October yet?
  • I won't be getting the Surface RT on launch day, just because I'm attending Build a few days later and they might give away tablets there. If I wasn't going to Build, I would probably be at a Microsoft Store that morning
  • RT Specs look good, any word on pricing and pre-order so I can pick up a few in time for Christmas?
  • I'm probably going to get one of each... mainly to review and compare for work and play.
    I'm eager to get my hands on the RT and the Pro when both are released. MSFT are heading toward a new future, some may think it's nuts, but I think they moving in the right direction.
    RT won't be the solid workhorse that Pro is all about but should be a worthy consumer contender. I know a couple sister's and mother that would cook me dinners for a year for one of those brightly colored devices.. ! Yeah!
  • I'm going to wait a bit and see how fleshed out the metro-style apps will be since that's all the RT can run. I hope RT succeeds but I don't want to buy an RT tablet then a year later they drop ARM and go Intel only. Either way I really want a Surface and if the price is right I will probably bite
  • Straight pro...Microsoft rocks
  • I'm getting one on launch day, Providing they open the MS store in Toronto by then.
  • RT !
  • Does Connected Standby also include app updates?
  • Only spec that matters is price.
  • I keep saying it, and I hope people see it happening the way I do... Microsoft is on FIRE with this launch. They've clearly done their homework, and they're coming here to chew bubble gum and kick ass... and I don't see Ballmer blowing any bubbles. These specs sound amazing, and like others have posted, I'm waiting to see what the W8 Pro Surface specs are, but I'd consider an RT model for consumers. As a professional, I don't need "all day", I just need "all business day", so with heavy use give me 12 hours, and I'm sold.
  • Now I'll definitely choose Surface RT. The spec looks so good that I don't think Intel can do anywhere close to it even with larger battery.
  • Except you won't be able to run a single classic Windows "desktop" app. None. There will be next to no worthy Metro apps at launch (based on what's in the marketplace right now). I don't see how WinRT Surfaces can be a success until devs jump on board and apps are as good and diverse as on iOS.
  • So very torn between RT and the Pro, depending on price I may just pick up the RT and see how well it suits my needs then get the pro down the line
  • RT will run remote desktop, right? If so, I'm good with an RT and an internet connect
  • I plan to buy both. Will use RT and then pass down to kids... They will be thrilled!
  • I m so wanting one of these...I told my friends a couple of years ago that if ms comes out with a touch screen Zune I will get it... When they did I bought it and still enjoy using it... When the iPad came out I bought that but told my friends that of ms ever came out with a tablet I m gonna sell my iPad and get the tablet... I can't wait till they r released... This is so awesome... Also there needs to be an ms store here in southern Idaho...
  • Also I have played with android phones and don't like the software... To bulky in my opinion anthe iPhone is the same old same old and my first smartphone was a windows phone and I love it... Not gonna change anytime soon... Luv it
  • I'll certainly have a look, and I might be tempted. It won't be a surface, though - since they won't be available outside the U. S. (or am I wrong?)
  • Absolutely getting the RT one.. Will probably keep my laptop for actual computing.......for now.
    Muahahahaha!!! (evil laughter)(as I turn to my laptop)(scary music)(fade out)
  • Wtf lol
  • Definitely going for Pro. I don't have a Windows Laptop, so the Pro is for me. I already sold my Apple Macbook last week and my iPad 1 goes to my wife :)
    Preperation is set! Oh and my dad will get my Samsung Omnia 7, I'll be gettin myself a WP8 device. Man, my poor wallet is going to get raped...
  • Will the tablets have a "Desktop"?
  • Or shall we say will the desktop have a tablet?
  • Yessir. Anything running windows 8 will have a desktop. Now as for desktop apps that's a different story. No desktop app will run on RT. except those apps made by Microsoft ofcourse like Office.
  • I really want to look at Pro for being my mobile photography and video studio.  I think I saw Adobe Lightroom running on one of the demo videos and I got pretty excited. 
  • Given the above specs and also having a version of Office looks like I will be going for the RT version as it does everything I want and need it to do.
  • The only spec that will matter at this point is Price.
  • Omg please I don't want to wait anymore.  I'm going to China and stealing one right now.
  • My approximately 25,000 contacts (duplicated due to synchronising data with different phones and PCs /laptops over the years) currently reside in MS Outlook 2002.
    Hope there is no trouble synchronising the data with the new Windows 8 tablet  unlike the Apple iphone which reported that all items have been synchronised, but , on checking, noticed that several items after a certain alphabet have not been synchronsed. Over the years, probably due to the limited ROM on smartphones of whatever brand, usually , had trouble synchronising all data from the PC/laptops also.