Microsoft will begin selling its Surface Pro tablet in January, with a starting price of $899 for a model with 64GB of storage. A 128GB version will run $999.

Both tablets will feature Intel Core i5 processors, Windows 8 software, and a Surface pen for writing or drawing with pressure-sensitive input. But if you want a Touch Cover or Type Cover keyboard, you’ll have to pay extra.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft already sells a Surface RT tablet for $499 and up. But while the Surface Pro looks a lot like its cheaper sibling, it has a higher resolution display, a faster processor, and runs the full Windows 8 operating system (with support for desktop apps designed for Windows 7 and earlier.

The tablet will have a 10.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel Clear Type display, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, and a mini DislayPort with support for external displays with resolutions up to 2560 x 1440 pixels.

The tablet weighs less than two pounds and measures 0.55 inches thick.

Like the Surface RT, the Microsoft Surface Pro has a built-in kickstand and supports special covers with built-in keyboards.

The $899 starting price makes it clear that Microsoft isn’t targeting this tablet at customers considering a $499 iPad. But unlike an iPad or Android tablet, the Surface Pro basically has the guts of a decent laptop computer. It can run everything from Office to iTunes to Photoshop, as well as tablet-friendly apps designed for the new Windows 8 Style user interface.

I suspect that using desktop apps on a 10.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel screen will be a bit of a challenge, though. While full-screen, modern apps look great at high resolutions, traditional desktop apps will feature tiny text and graphics on a high resolution 10.6 inch Windows tablet.

via TNW

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8 replies on “Microsoft’s Surface Pro Windows 8 tablet to sell for $899 and up (coming in January)”

  1. Seems like a nice all-in-one consumer oriented tablet. The Surface Pro is supposed to get about half the battery life of the RT version so that’s “up to” 4 hours then. It’d be cool if they could come out with some sort of sheet battery that attaches to the back.

  2. I’d say that with the digitizer it could still be pretty useful for some graphic design or illustration stuff, except that for the same price there are other tablet PCs I’d choose over this one.

  3. Despite the price, this device represents a true test of whether tablets can replace laptops and as such whether a ubiquitous UI is warranted.

    I couldn’t imagine doing extensive work on this thing. In a pinch having access to Win32 applications would be nice but it wouldn’t be my weapon of choice. That being said, I don’t think the additional $500 is justified from a consumer or even enterprise POV.

    1. You mean additional $300, the 64GB Surface RT is $599 vs the 64GB Surface Pro at $899… Making it only a $300 difference, but accounts for a over 10x more powerful processor, FHD screen instead of only HD, full W8 Pro, USB 3.0 instead of 2.0, and a Display Port instead of Micro HDMI… Though, I’m sure the run time will be a lot less than the Surface RT as the counter incentive.

  4. That’s good… I guess… I’m still trying to figure out why I want one of these over a standard laptop though. That’s borderline too heavy to use as a tablet. The specs look wonderful… Except for the storage options which are merely adequate.

    The real issue is that I like my iPad as a companion device, something to read while I’m on the bus or train. I especially like it because it allows me to do ditgital things but ‘get away’ from my computer since I also carry around a laptop. I mostly just use it as an expensive book reader for my catalog of 500 page tech manuals from a variety of services (which is why a Kindle didn’t make sense for me). In any case I’m conflicted about this, and I don’t know how useful it would be outside of some ephemeral coolness factor.

    Honestly the fact that it would be useless for doing actual work while on the bus/train when a laptop would work fine and be cheaper… Especially since I could get a semi-decent laptop AND iPad mini for as much as the $999 isn’t that awesome.

    1. When did Microsoft say this is targeted for getting work done. It’s not a business tablet. It’s for those who want a combined tablet and PC. A single device to mostly do non-work stuff but can, if required, be used for work.

      Obviously someone who wants something like this should expect a diminished experience in both use cases though. It’s very portable for a PC but not so much for a tablet when compared to mobile OS based ones. You can run any Windows 8 software which is good in the current tablet arena but not very well when compared to a notebook. Etc.

      1. So, since it isn’t meant to get work done, should we consider it a companion device? But then again, even if it seems portable its price tags is not very competitive.

        1. What actual work is done on consumer targeted devices? I assume the majority of work targeted devices are issued by companies to employees and the Surface isn’t likely to be one of them.

          A combined main and companion device could be useful to portable minded consumers who want a tablet but don’t want to carry something extra. Having your single main portable PC double up as a peppy tablet (due to the Modern UI) is nice for some consumers.

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