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Summary:

The wait for details surrounding Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet is over. On Thursday, the company announced some specs and the starting price of $899 which gets 64 GB of storage for the 10.6-inch tablet and also includes a digital pen. Is the price too high?

surface pro

Now that Microsoft’s Surface with Windows RT has launched, the company is sharing details about the more powerful tablet known as Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro. The device, available in January 2013, will cost $899 for a 64 GB model while doubling the internal storage adds another $100. Optional keyboard covers will also be available while the tablet does come with a digital Surface pen and Palm Block technology.

When Microsoft first hinted at Surface Pro pricing, it said it would be competitive with Ultrabook pricing. While the $899 starting price is more than some would like to see, I’d say it’s roughly in line with previous expectations, even with additional costs for a keyboard cover. I’ve seen a few Ultrabooks in the $600 to $800 price range, but they’re generally entry-level devices in this class. Most are actually nearer to over just over $1,000.

Surface RT standMicrosoft is using Intel’s Core i5 chip to drive Windows 8 on the 10.6 ClearType display. On paper, that screen should be as good, if not better than most Ultrabooks because of the 1920 x 1080 resolution; that works out to a reasonable 208 pixels per inch. And the slate can output 2560 x 1440 resolution to an external display over Mini DisplayPort. Overall the device is built similarly to the Surface RT, with the same materials and integrated stand.

Price and specs aside, I think the most intriguing aspect will be the included Surface pen. Like the Galaxy Note 2 I use daily, Surface Pro has both a capacitive touchscreen and a digitizer for ink. Assuming the slate has good palm rejection technology, digital inking on the two-pound tablet may be the real secret sauce for success here. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the slate can run any Windows 7 application, unlike the Surface RT, which is limited to apps that are new or are re-compiled to run on ARM-based chips.

  1. So very costly, fat and heavy for a tablet, next to no storage after the OS eats most of it, other than that it’s fine… but regulators should not allow M$ to make x86 PCs.
    The 64GB on a Win 8 PC is quite hilarious,might as well have no apps besides notepad. The last Windows PC that had that little storage .also had a floppy drive (does it have that too?).

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  2. I fail to see how this can make a dent next to a $400 netbook, which essentially does the same sans the detachable touchscreen. Yes I know a Core i5 has more muscle than a N550 Atom, but still we’re talking twice the price. Microsoft was never a hardware company – this whole Surface lineup is just expensive and unproven. I use both a 10″ netbook and a 7″ Android slate, both of which cost less than $650 together. My experience has shown that neither device can replace the other, nor should it try to.

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  3. Great price and size and features — but a little under-powered to replace a high-end laptop. How about an option for an i7 processor, 256GB of SSD and 8GB of RAM (like the Dell XPS 12 and Sony Vaio Duo 11 are offering)? Then I’d be sold!

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  4. Most people will think that the price of the Surface for Windows 8 Pro is steep, but I can understand why the price. Steven has mentioned before that the price of Surface Pro will be comparable with the latest ultrabooks. That being said, the Surface Pro is a full fledged PC. Its specifications are similar to ultrabooks: SSD, light and slim, very responsive…

    Sure, you can use surface as a toy to play around with app store, or just browsing the internet just like a tablet, but it would be too must battery wasted because of its i5 processor and the fact that it is bulkier than most tablet.
    I would say that the surface pro is for those who really need a full PC to get their job done, using application like Adobe Dreamweaver, photoshop, video editor… something that cannot be run on Windows 8 RT. It offers good productivity with multi-tasking, stylus, digital inking( I am not sure if writing on the surface will be tough due to the smoothness of the screen.), surface is not very good if you compare the typing speed of ultabook to using the touch or type keyboard.
    In general, i think the device is targeted at those who wants to have a Full PC that they travel easily with, tablet for some entertainment, and high productivity. Sure, the price is looks steep, but if you think about what it has to offer, the price itself may not be that unreasonable after all.

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  5. Why do people keep saying that Microsoft is not a hardware company? What about Xbox with Kinect that has been wildly successful? Also, I don’t consider the Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface a tablet…. it’s a mobile touchscreen PC running all our Windows programs. I do agree that the 64GB is a bit thin, but at least you can add SD memory to the device.

    I’ve been wrong before though… time will tell. And good marketing was the key to Apple’s success, and this also applies to Microsoft. They need to convince businesses that this is a useful replacement to bulky PC’s. If not, it will likely fail…

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  6. I currently use my antiquated tablet PC to take copiuos handwritten notes in OneNote for about 6-8 hrs each day. If the Pro can ink well (pun intended) then I will be the first in line for 128GB model. My apps take up about 70 GB and I do not game or have memory heavy uses.

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