Microsoft's Surface, which starts out at $499 for the RT version, is the Redmond-based company's gadget ideal. A painstaking culmination of carefully designed hardware, married with Microsoft's brand new vision of Windows. It's a monumental shift for the company, one that comes at a time when, not only is tablet popularity at an all-time high, but as its mobile ecosystem stands at the precipice of either success or failure. Considering all the factors, when it comes right down to it, failure's not an option.

But Microsoft is supremely confident the Surface is something consumers need. Not want. People want tablets to consume content. People need the Surface because it creates content. At least, that's Microsoft's approach to the whole thing, and a big reason why the company is so adamant on highlighting that extra keyboard cover.

So when the device finally hits on Oct. 26, a little over a week from now, the biggest question will be: Should you buy one? Surface looks absolutely terrific, but we still don't really know if it'll live up to the hype. We think it will. We hope it will. A lot of thoughtful, agonizing man-hours went into the creation of Surface, and we can't wait to take the RT version for a spin. In the meantime, we have choreographed Drumline commercials and a nice little making-of video to tide us over.

[via Surface (YouTube)]