Microsoft made a big splash this week when it unveiled Surface, a new line of Windows 8-powered tablets ostensibly meant to take down the mighty iPad. But Surface has more than Apple's Retina display touchscreens in its cross hairs, says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. With a detachable magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard, Microsoft's soon-to-be-released device transforms itself into an ultra-portable productivity center that could supplant laptops. Does Surface threaten the lightweight MacBook Air as well as the iPad?

Surface makes the MacBook Air obsolete: Apple's latest laptop "represents the end of an era, not the future," says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. Yes, it's "the perfect ultrabook" and the "pinnacle of Apple's laptop evolution." But soon, consumers will have their choice of getting the MacBook Air for work and an iPad for play, or killing two birds with one stone by buying Microsoft's "beautifully designed, ultra-fast tablet" that doubles as a lean full computer. Microsoft's Surface "could be the first device to fulfill the promise of the New Computing Era ushered in by the iPad." Get excited.
"Microsoft Surface just made the MacBook Air and the iPad look obsolete"

Let's not rush to judgment: Diaz's argument is absurd, says Buster Heine at Cult of Mac. "Surface might be the first tablet to give the iPad some serious competition, but it hasn't even put on gloves and stepped in the ring yet." There's no price tag. No release date. No real specs — just a couple of journalists who got to play with a Surface prototype for a few minutes. "Making a mad rush to... declare a vaporware product the greatest of all-time isn't just silly" — it "makes you look as stupid as the stylus the Surface comes with."
"Did Microsoft Surface just make the MacBook Air and iPad obsolete? Don't be an idiot."

And Microsoft is looking backward, not forward: "Two years ago, I think this thing would have been pretty competitive," says MG Siegler at Massive Greatness. Today, Surface seems far too late. Sure, typing on the iPad's screen isn't ideal. "But the idea should be to reinvent the method of input (see: Siri, for example), not tack on an old one." An attachable keyboard isn't only a step backward — it makes the Surface look "like a goddamn PC." Bravo, Microsoft: You've essentially made "a more portable laptop that you can't actually use on your lap." Apple needn't worry.
"No price, no date, no apps, no problem. No wait — problem."