Microsoft offered a brief glimpse of its revised Surface earlier this week at the Ballmer keynote, but now we've had a chance to check the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface (as its officially termed) for ourselves. The "2.0 experience" firmware is early and a bit buggy right now (especially with finger input), but there's plenty of time fix that up before its launch later this year. The hardware itself is much thinner, with a 4-inch profile that can now be placed vertically against the wall (although we suggest using the stylish legs when possible). The 40-inch 1920 x 1080 gorilla glass display was crisp as all out, but since we could get close and scrutinize, you'll definitely notice the pixels. The first demo we got to see is also probably the most impressive, wherein a paper with "I can see" written on it is scanned and read very clearly (a dev monitor was hooked up to show what Surface could "see"). Meanwhile, we couldn't help but touch every point to watch the ripple effect emanate from our fingers.
Apps are arranged in a row that you can sift through or rotate 180 degrees for someone facing opposite. We kept accidentally opening apps when we tried to scroll through, which is annoying but again, we were reminded it's early firmware. Some of the apps we have seen before with the original Surface -- some changes are required to make compatible, but we're told it's a fairly smooth transition process. Some highlights from what we saw:
Bing, which for now only does image search (maps and local to come). The screen right now is a bit too sensitive and would detect sleeves as much as it would our fingers (you can see typos galore in the gallery). Images are scattered about a new results widget, and you can move around a bit from there or pull out individual ones to rotate and scan.
A Red Bull with a printed code on the bottom that launches on-screen prompts for videos that you can smoothly rotate and scale on the fly, and a RBC Royal Bank that'll make you feel really guilty about that cup of coffee from this morning.
Oldies like Social Stream, Garibaldi Panorama, and Galactic Alliance.
Another plus for the SUR40? It's cheaper than its predecessor -- but at $7,600, it's still not ready for consumer market. We've got a ton of pics below and video after the break!
Update: We've added our full impressions and cleaned up the footage after the break. Enjoy!