Microsoft Monday replied Apple and Google with its new line of tablets. The company announced two version Surface RT and Surface Pro that will be branded and marketed by Microsoft themselves. With the release of these new slates the company will be in direct competition with not only Apple and Google, but also its hardware partners like Dell, Asus, Acer and Lenovo.

The two tablets announced address two different market segments. Currently, the tablet environment is divided by two modes of usage; as a web browser and e-book reader, and  as a portable gaming console and a near-laptop replacement. RT is targetted at the former while Pro will cater to the latter.

However, what Microsoft brings new to the table is the electronic inking feature. Though it is just a graphic gismo and many competitors have already used it in there devices, there are some hardware enhancements that make it a more likely fellow to write on.

The company demoed the on-screen writing at the conference on Monday that was both groundbreaking and astonishing. The stylus rights on the screen seamlessly. There was no stutter or clipping effect. And response time was instantaneous, without any lag, something that other tablets including iPad exhibit on regular basis.

Another sheer quality on Microsoft’s part was the writing feel. The new Surface tablets, both RT and Pro, have no gap between the screen and the Gorilla Glass 2. The writer feels like writing directly on the screen, not the glass. This makes the function more intuitive and natural. Experts tout that on-screen writing feature will be one of the major selling points of the new devices.

The sharp resolution augments the ink feature. Even zooming the text is not pixelated, giving smooth and paper-like feel.

Another feature of the new tablet is the elimination of nagging palm touch response. Usually, when writing on the tablet the screen swipes away because the user accidently touches the palm on the screen. MS has eradicated the problem. As soon as the stylus touches the screen, the hand-touch sensitivity turns off.

The two tablets are expected to hit the markets come Fall 2012. First the RT version will adorn the shelves followed by the Pro in a three-month time.

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