Microsoft teardown exposes Surface RT tablet

By Mark Hachman | Published on Jan 18 2016
Microsoft teardown exposes Surface RT tablet

Although Microsoft unveiled the Surface and Surface with Windows RT tablets in June, they still largely remain a mystery. While OEM partners have announced their Windows RT and Windows 8 offerings, Microsoft has stayed mum about its own tablets, letting the operating system and third-party hardware hog the spotlight.

On Tuesday, Microsoft finally started taking pre-orders for the Windows RT version of Surface, and revealed more info about the device. Some details it had exposed before, such as the fact that it has a 10.6-inch display. But some appear to be new, such as the fact that the display includes 1,366 by 768 pixels, and that it has (just?) 5-point multitouch to boot.

The real unveiling, though, was the price:, which starts at $499 for the 32GB version; a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover will cost $599. There will also be a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at $699. Touch covers will be available separately for $119.99 each and will come in black, white, magenta, cyan, and red. A black Type cover, which is something more akin to a traditional keyboard, is $129.99. In all, the Surface RT's price is more competitive with the iPad than an Android tablet, with some analysts speculating that it's already too high.

The Surface RT tablet measures 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in, and weighs 1.5 pounds. The chassis is made up of Microsoft's VaporMg casing, which gives it its thin, slim form factor without sacrificing structural strength. The Surface RT also includes 720p cameras on the front and back, a novel choice for tablets, which typically put a lower-resolution camera on the front, if not the back, as well.

But how does it all fit together? Microsoft's teardown provides the answers on what's inside this shiny, new tablet:


Microsoft didn't explicitly identify which parts are being displayed here, but added some distinguishing details. The core is highlighted in blue, with wireless components shown in orange. Power management is shown off in green.


Although Microsoft labels this "Force," it appears to be the structural underpinnings of the Touch Cover or Write Cover.

Mechanical Parts

The frame of the Surface RT tablet. Microsoft has said before that it is constructed using a "VaporMg" process, which allows Microsoft to mold the metal down to a 0.65mm thickness for any given part.


The Surface with Windows RT includes a 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display with 1,366-by-768 pixels in a 16:9 (widescreen) format. The display is a five-point multitouch.


Not much to say about the speakers, except they're there. You'll probably want to use a good pair of headphones for any audio output.

Processor Board

The Surface RT includes an Nvidia T30 ARM-class processor and 2GB of RAM.

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Mark Hachman

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