Microsoft shows Surface prototypes, teases the tablets that might have been

surface-prototypes

We already know a lot about the Surface tablet line’s birthing process. However, Microsoft has only really been comfortable with showing the finished product — until today. The company’s Panos Panay just gave The Verge a peek at some of the earliest prototypes and design decisions, some of which break from the officially rehearsed story. Microsoft had considered multiple PC form factors before settling on Surface, Panay says, and the tablets didn’t always have that sharp-angled design: the firm tried curved backs before deciding that the flat surfaces were more reassuring in users’ hands.

The concept of a keyboard cover appeared relatively soon into the design process, however, and it was mostly a matter of evolution as the all-important peripheral slimmed down and fleshed out. As for the future? While we weren’t expecting to hear very differently, Panay confirms that Microsoft is working on multiple future generations of Surface products. At least for now, this isn’t a one-off experiment.

Lenovo IdeaCentre 600: Thinnest (Hottest?) All-in-One PC on the Block

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre 600 is a pretty splashy debut: Its first ever all-in-one is a simple curved slab that’s supposedly the thinnest all-in-one in the industry. Beyond the form factor—which borrows liberally from the new Star Trek and the iMac (the frameless black bezel looks like it was copy and pasted)—it’s actually a disappointingly standard all-in-one affair, with a smallish 21.5-inch screen and nothing you can’t get on the new Vaio LV.

And it’s missing, at least from the spec sheet, one of the Vaio’s killer features—HDMI in, which would let it be a total bedroom TV replacement. Still, it does have an awesome Swiss Army knife of a remote—it’s an air mouse, accelerometer controller for games and Skype VOIP handset (it acts like a cordless phone).