Skip to main content

What we know about the camera on the Microsoft Surface tablets

While we aren't sure what the specs will be on the Surface tablets camera, Microsoft refers to the camera as a LifeCam, the branding for their webcams. This likely means the Surface will be loaded with the typical LifeCam software as well.

But here's an interesting aspect of the camera. It is positioned at a 22 degree angle and when you flip out the kick stand, you basically create a tripod for hands free recording.  This will be a nice feature for recording meetings, your child's birthday party, opening presents at Christmas and all the other situations where you need to have your camera stationary.

The Surface is also fitted with dual microphones for decent audio for your videos or audio quality for Skype calls. Based on the images we've seen on the Surface, it appears there is a front facing camera to help with those Skype calls as well.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft goes beyond the typical laptop styled camera on the Surface.  Would it be too much to hope that Microsoft borrows HTC's 16mp BSI sensor from the HTC Titan II?

Source:  Microsoft (opens in new tab)

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

49 Comments
  • htc's what? ..i was thinking, "would it be too much to hope that Microsoft throws in Kinect into that beast?!?"
  • +1K
  • +1
  • haha, that actually is plausible, since the surface pro has more computing power than a 360
  • speaking of the kinect, which we all know makes use of 2 cams side by side, check out this original image from the surface website/press conf that I grabbed: http://sdrv.ms/TtEtvv and then this one that showed up a week or so later: http://sdrv.ms/NpV0iZ hmmmm..... :)
  • This will be perfect for class, and about everything else I do.
  • It'd be really nice if they'd throw a Kinect camera array on there, especially since the new SDK supports seated skeletons.
  • Burning question, who actually makes the hardware? I see cyan, black, magenta, white, and what looks like orange. Someone else has those colors too. (except orange)
  • I agree I would bet a lot that Nokia manufactures it.
  • Who caresh if nokia manufactures it. It's all Microsoft baby hahaha while nokia can layoff there employees hahaha
  • -1K
  • Thoguth of Nokia, too.
  • I think MS would have gone with the pastle colours to match the metro UI not the Lumia phones, This to me is a pure MS design and probably built by the same guys who do the Xbox Nokia would have a more striking design and hopefully we shall see one in the next few days :D
  • I bet it comes from the same place Zune HD did, same design language.
  • speaking og the zune...does anyone else besides me think that the zune HD wouldve made a slick lookin windows phone??? just make it a little bigger of course but keep the design the same
  • It's quite a coincidence they surprised everyone with a meeting for the unveiling of the Surface at the same time that Nokia's credit rating got docked to the lowest possible grade. My bet is on Nokia, they probably weren't exactly ready to unveil but had to after that happened.
  • Microsoft will probably end up buying Nokia anyway
  • Speaking of Nokia, why are we referencing HTC's camera sensor? We should be shooting for PureView on this thing!
  • Is that a giant bulge on your tablet or are - wait, yes it's a giant camera bulge on your tablet :P It has USB... So you can always by a monolithic camera separately :P
  • Doubtful it'll have the Lifecam software suite, because there's a WIndows 8 camera app built in.
  • Based off lifecam
  • Since when did the Titan II's camera become a benchmark? I think you guys should take a look outside the Windows Phone ecosystem once in a while.
  • Hmm... they probably compared it to the TITAN II because... well, let's see... it could be because this is WPCentral so an overwelming percentage of the readership would likely understand the comparison. Or it could be that the HTC TITAN II and Microsoft Surface tablet are part of the same ecosystem/platform so it makes some sense... Or maybe it's just that the TITAN II actually has quite an excellent camera and the author didn't try to appease the trolls.  Lastly, it could just be because that's what the author considers a very good camera for a smartphone... so if you want it compared to another phone go use your own f***ing blog or write your own article on your own damn technology news site.
  • Calm your farm. I just find it very odd that anyone would consider the Titan II to be a benchmark for mobile imagery. I think the readership would be poised to understand PureView, as it is a technology that has gotten widespread praise. If you read Titan II reviews around the net, you will see that the camera isn't seen as amazing.
  • I think we can agree the pureview would also have worked :). Sure would make me happier if I knew that hardware was going to be in these tablets.
  • This so better than iPad. It will do very well
  • Thank you WPCentral for breaking all these articles to us!
  • I'm sure the partners hopefully will add their own goodies to each of their offerings...htc with bsi, beats and the like. Nokia with pure view and their own hardware goods. =P
  • A cam higher than 8mp would be a good selling point for me & would consider buying one.
  • I am so desperately waiting for the tablet to come out. I can't believe quality and MPs of a camera on a tablet would make or break a deal for some of us. A Kinect sensor array, maybe.
  • Any idea when are they going to release the video of the event?
  • I don't think camera is so important on a tablet as on a phone...Better a kinect sensor array !!!!!
  • They don't need to borrow HTCs lens... They have Nokia @ their disposal. #41megapixel
  • It's 5 AM here. Is MS going to announce something finally? I thought that Monday is "the day"... Is it about the tablet? That's it? So MS is having a tablet with W8? Wow... I did not expect that at all...
  • Sarcasm? Rumours about a tablet have been flying for the past few days... It's exactly what I expected :P
  • This is what ive been waiting for. Ive been saving up my money for this, and resisting the urge to buy a nice laptop! ahhh, looks sweet
     
  • Is MS building it on its own ???? If so then Nokia will make its own tablet ? Or will Nokia will produce this ?? Respond please people. Anyway, I can't believe how technology got so far with a keyboard 3mm thick !!! Very very impressive. And used as a cover too :). This will be my first tablet, I waited enough and this is the time that I find a tablet that worth the shout and being specially "useful" and the closest to a laptop. I was going for the lonevo yoga pad, but this kill all ultrabooks and tablets. Really happy to let go android and make the transition to MS and its WP with my lumia 800. Now I can say I'm a MS fan and proud :).
  • They've had roll-out rubber keyboards for a while... This is definitely thinner though. If you want even thinner, go for a laser keyboard which is 0mm thick (projects a laser-keyboard onto the table) ;) ;) ;)
  • Well I've held off till a ms tablet came out and I've got to say this thing will be thick and heavy......i picked up the original iPad when it was at best buy and the one of the reason I didn't get one was because it was heavy and thick .....maybe I'll wait for version 2.0
  • Who named this?? The Microsoft Window would be a much better name!!
  • I agree with others, it needs an 808 PureView camera.
  • Yeah... I doubt its going to be in this initial hardware version... I don't doubt that the tech will end up in Microsoft's devices at some point though. Hopefully sooner than later.
  • If I had the choice between a Windows Phone and a Windows RT tablet equiped with Nokia's PureView camera...my go to device would be Windows Phone.
  • What I want to know is does it have an onscreen keyboard? Like if you don't want the keyboard cover.
  • Yes, of course it does. When you detach or fold back keyboard cover the onscreen keyboard is activated.
  • +1G
  • Camera will have 1080p
  • This tablet is going to be awesome anyone who hasn't seen the video should really check it out
  • I like the surface, but I would LOVE if they made a 7in tablet running WP8 software.