Microsoft Surface tablet

Recently, we hosted a webinar about “Hot eBook Devices for the Holidays” (a recording of which will be available in our Learning Center on Dec. 21). During the session, many of you spoke up to say you’d like to learn more about Microsoft’s Surface tablet.


The Surface tablet comes in two flavors, Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. With Windows RT, you can only use apps designed for Windows 8; the Windows 8 Pro model lets you install older Windows programs—dubbed “Legacy applications”—when running “Desktop Mode.” The RT and Pro models run different engines under the hood. Think of the RT as a sensible compact car—it’ll get you from Point A to Point B. By contrast, the Surface Pro is the luxury ride.


The Surface RT boasts 32 GB or 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, a Quad-core processor,  two cameras (front and rear), a full-size USB 2.0 port, microSDXC card slot, and a host of bundled apps. You can also get an optional keyboard/screen cover, giving this device a netbook feel.  Price starts at $499, and the RT is available for purchase now. In addition to the Microsoft-branded Surface RT, there’s also the Dell XPS 10 Tablet with Windows RT.


The Surface Pro takes things to the next level, with storage options of 64GB or 128GB, 4GB of RAM, a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, an Intel processor, two HD cameras (front and rear), a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSDXC card slot, a bigger battery, as well as bundled apps. With the Pro, you get the keyboard/screen cover automatically, plus the ability to run legacy applications. Price starts at $899, available in 2013.


If you’re looking to experience the modern user interface of Windows 8 to the fullest, the hands-on Surface tablets are the best way to do it. And with access to the OverDrive Media Console for Windows 8 app, you’ll have your library’s eBook and audiobook collection right at your fingertips. With the Pro, you can use the legacy OverDrive Media Console for Windows to access OverDrive music and video.


HTC 8X (Windows Phone 8)

Windows Phone 8

Speaking of books at your fingertips, Microsoft has gone smaller with Windows Phone 8, starting with the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. These two phones are the first Windows Phone 8 devices we’ve tested, and you’ll find them in our Device Resource Center.


Both phones feature big screens, made with Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The Lumia’s screen is 4.5 inches; the 8X is 4.3 inches. Both devices run powerful processors, and both feature the newest Windows Phone experience.  Of course, the best part of the Windows Phone 8 experience is that you can use the current mobile version of OverDrive Media Console for Windows Phone 7 to take your books along in your pocket!


Learn more about the latest devices for library eBooks:

Justin Noszek is a Support Services Specialist at OverDrive.


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