BY | December 27, 2012

Though its release date is still unclear, Microsoft Surface Pro features are already talk of the town. If priced rightly it is going to give tough fight to Apple’s iPad 4 and other market leaders

It is going to be the savior of Redmond based software major. Microsoft has elaborate plans of launching its Windows RT and Windows Pro tablets in the market, but three months after the launch of its RT tablets, the company is struggling to keep its mood upbeat in eye of poor sales and bad projections.

But the company that has started dabbling in tablet market in a big way and aspires to launch its own Windows Phone 8 smart-phones in the next few months says that its next Windows Pro tablet is going to be a lot more impressive than the RT and is going to be a best –seller in the market. Microsoft has announced the availability of Surface tablet, running on Windows 8 Pro OS, in the market by January next year. The Surface Pro, quite expensive, will cost you $899 for 64 GB version and $999 for 128 GB version.

The price mentioned above does not include one of the fancy keyboards that come with the Surface. Fancy Keyboards are sold separately and that will cost you additional $120. However, it is not clear from the release whether Microsoft will discount them if you buy Surface Pro. Kirkland analyst Wes Miller said “At that price, by the time you add the keyboard you’re at the price of an 11-inch MacBook,”

The Surface Pro is supposed to be a laptop replacement as with Intel chip it can runs almost all Windows applications, including Windows 7 applications. Earlier version, Surface RT was not able to run application such as Photoshop, however, tag price of RT was $400 less than Surface Pro.

The Intel-based Surface Pro will also feature a Core i5 processor with integrated graphics to power a 10.6-inch display running at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio. It also has a Mini Display Port that can power an external display up to 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. Surface Pro features 10-point multi-touch support

All Surface Pro models will come with a Surface Pen, Microsoft’s proprietary stylus, with Palm Block technology. The hardware also features 4 gigabytes of RAM, a USB 3.0 port, and the full Windows 8 operating system.

Like the ARM-based Surface RT, Surface Pro features a Dark Titanium VaporMg casing, dual 2×2 MIMO antennas, and a built-in kickstand. The professional-level machine will also weigh less than two pounds and be less than 14 millimeters thick.

Surface Pro has not relatively improved battery life to runs it power consuming processor. Surface RT tablets run power-efficient ARM processors, which kills less battery life than the Surface Pro. In fact, despite featuring a smaller 31.5Wh battery, our Surface RT tablet has provided between 8 to 9 hours of battery life. Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed that Surface Pro tablets (with 42Wh batteries) will only provide half the battery life of Surface RT tablets.

Pricing is disappointing as one would prefer to buy a laptop or a powerful PC over Surface Pro. According to Wes Miller the price for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is more reasonable if a user is planning to have the machine double as a tablet and a full personal computer.

However, sources revealed that Microsoft may also consider slashing the price of its upcoming Surface Pro in a move to boost sales and make the device more attractive to consumers. But it is unlikely as this move would deteriorate the company’s relationship with the vendors.

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  • John Ross

    I can guarantee you that this device will not need to be discounted, in fact anyone buying multiple Surface PRO’s will make a significant monetary return as they will definitely go into short supply and late comers will have to pay a premium to get one. I think what ALL the reviewers (including some that are highly rated) have missed is 1 simple fact, some consumers (i think a very large proportion) realised from the start that ALL the other touch screen type devices including the IPAD’s are basically useless for anything other than a few minutes of playtime and like I they never bought one and never would. The surface PRO will be the first really useful touch screen device available with a very good OS and backwardly compatible to all current windows type software, 1 of the killer features for all those customers is also the fact that unlike apple Microsoft have given it’s customers USB ports (absolutely essential) how apple got away with not doing so is still a complete and utter mystery even more so when you consider that educated? people bought them! Microsoft has also given other ports that apple again thought not to!! Watch this space and see the Surface PRO device not have time to touch the surface of a display table before it is sold!

  • John Ross

    I thought it would run all previous windows software but if there are some it won’t run maybe you will share this information with us?

  • John Ross


    The surface PRO is in a different league to the IPAD 4! The IPAD 4 is stuck to silly little apps it can’t run any significant pieces of software at all! IPAD will probably STILL have no useful connectivity options if any at all (and this is the 4th generation IPAD LOL)! People who are less educated may still buy the IPAD but those in the know will expect MS Surface PRO specs as a minimum!

  • http://www.oldguygeek.com OldGuyGeek

    John Ross,

    As far a running previous Windows apps, no machine runs all. There are legacy apps or games from dozens of years ago that will still run, but a few that don’t. But if you are talking about the vast majority of Windows apps published in the last 5 years or more, most likely they will run.

    No news article or blog will ever say all, but Microsoft has maintained backward compatibility with VIRTUALLY all.

    Remember that Windows 8 has the same basic operating system as Windows 7, but has been optimized to run much faster and has the new Start screen, a much more organized way of displaying your installed apps.

    If you want to take a look at some of the features in action, just visit OldGuyGeek.com or our YouTube Channel at YouTube

  • N. Byers

    The Surface Pro is the reason the Surface RT hasn’t done well. Essentially, the limited RT is competiting with the iPad and Androids -a fight it can’t win – whereas the Pro takes tablets to a new level with full Windows compatibility – allowing individuals and MIS departments to keep their legacy applications.

    The only fly-in-the-ointment for Microsoft is that many companies will be moving apps to HTML 5 over the next few years – perhaps leaving Microsoft powering the servers, but not the clients. They won’t care what the client’s are – PC’s or tablets.

  • Anita Ellison

    Will the Surface Pro come installed with latest verson of MS Office? If not, how much will the MS Office software cost?

    Will the Surface Pro come with an installed E-reader? If not, can an E-reader be installed? And how much will that cost?

  • Oolz

    “Pricing is disappointing as one would prefer to buy a laptop or a powerful PC over Surface Pro.”

    what planet do you live on? Where else can you get a 2lb tablet/laptop hybrid with a 1080p screen, digitizer support and a full, business capable OS for that kind of price? Even with the touchcover factored in, there’s nothing else on the market that comes close to what this thing is promising and having used both a Surface and many other full Win8 tablets, it will deliver.

  • dieter vlam

    The introduction of surface pro reminds me of the iPhone’s early days: combining multiple existing devices into one that will rule them all. I think it’s what many consumers want, despite all the negative PR of late. To be fair, microsoft made some strategic errors, most notably by creating Win RT. They should have stuck to their guns of no compromise. When the next gen of processors arrives (haswell), I’d expect the battery issue to be resolved as well (Incidently, does anyone remember battery life on the iPhone 1G?). Pricing seems reasonable to me; just look at the specs. I don’t understand why people insist on comparing the pricetag with an iPad. Any sensible consumer understands thy they’re incomparable entities. It’s like calling a Honda motorcycle overpriced compared to a fancy looking Vespa. Does… Not… Compute…

  • http://emergentcoaching.org Ed Leidel

    This is the computer I have been waiting for to replace my MacPro w/ Parallels.
    I am growing weary of Apple software and Apple pricing.
    I pray that other serious business users will see the new MS advantage and return “home” to MS.
    Does anyone know what the opening sale date will be?

  • Marskie

    Hi everyone, am looking forward to owning a Surface Pro, to replace my worn out laptop work horse. Any chance that an MS Office 2013 is bundled with it? if not, how much will the latest MS office cost?

    My computing requires a lot of simple photo editing, power point, publisher, video editing (movie maker is ok), in addition to mundane word processing. Which of these needed apps would be bundled with the Surface Pro, if not whats the pricing of these?

    For ease I prefer the Type cover.

  • Maxim

    Im gonna buy a rt one i think… Just because of the twice long lasting battery. 4h is not enough… What if battery gets used… Plus 1000 dollars is out of budget… Simply… Not all informatics users have a thousand to spare on that. I have food to buy too. But of course i could spend a little less with the rt. All i know is that a usb set is only useful if you need to put a keyboard or load a virus. Im kidding but why a usb port? What do you want to plug and play on it? Internet is wifi and what do you want to transport on a usb key nowadays? You offer skydrive hotmail and a keyboard is not even necessary. The only thing is i wont be able to put on win 7 applications. D.G.A.F. Everything is browser based now. Im not gonna play something other than farmville 2 going on facebook google and youtube. Why? Because everything else is useless to me. Theres no rightclick and no mouseover anymore. Anyways i stopped playibg D3 fast enough and neverbought sc2 becauae there were other free games more interesting than mass killing creatures games. Why win7 anyways? I only need a browser.

  • Tyson Brown

    I am also looking forward to buying a Surface Pro. I’ll use it for business activities like field-review of construction drawings. Full compatibility with Windows software is what makes this device exciting to me.

  • Bill U Later

    I’m waiting for the pro so I can have both a tablet and a laptop with Microsoft’s superb handwriting recognition and touch screen with the industry’s best UI to date. Hurry up Microsoft.

  • http://www.geekshut.com Luke

    Im very much so looking forward to buying the Microsoft Surface, it’s just what I need. A portable laptop/tablet all in one, whereas the IPad is just a portable tablet.

  • http://www.disnetinc.com/ Tom Cashin

    You may want to hold off on buying office from the vendor you buy the Surface RT/Pro from. Why? Read on.
    You should consider buying Office 365 MIDSIZE BUSINESS & ENTERPRISE ( Plan E3 ) $20 per user/month.
    This plan includes Office Professional Plus 2010 desktop version subscription (for up to 5 devices per user).
    I have several laptops and I can install up to 5 copies of Office on them. This is awsome.
    Whem newer versions of Office become available, my $20 per user/month fee will include new versions of office.
    There are many other benefits realized from this fee such as:
    cloud email and shared file storage and backup,
    Team site for sharing files,
    Public website,
    Anti-malware and anti-spam filtering,
    Complete integration with Outlook
    web access to email, calendars, and contacts,
    Cloud-based email using your own domain name,
    shared calendars,
    Configurable anti-spam filtering,
    Active Directory synchronization,
    SharePoint intranet supporting up to 300 site collections,
    Live 24 x 7 IT-level phone support,
    Email archiving and unlimited email storage,
    Hosted voicemail support,
    Connection to line-of-business applications,
    Dashboards with Excel Services.
    There are cheaper plans available but these plans do not include Office Professional Plus 2010 desktop version subscription (for up to 5 devices per user). For details please see http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/compare-plans.aspx

  • Randy

    MS made a big mistake by not having the Surface Pro ready for the 2012 Christmas season. That gave Google and Apple another full holiday season of selling. I plan to get a Surface Pro as I need Word and Excel for communicating with customers and co-workers. I own an iPad for home and work and can do everything I need except Word,Excel, and QB’s on the iPad. I love Apple’s Cloud implementation as setting up a new ipad takes a few seconds and anything I do at work on the iPad is instantly available on my home iPad. Reinstalling all of my Windows software and files on a new PC is a royal pain (takes almost a full day to get everything configured) and MS Cloud implementation takes a lot of effort to manage folders/files so I use SugarSync to keep my Windows PC files in sync. Looking forward to the Surface Pro as I will travel with an iPad with AT&T 4G and the Surfact Pro. Will only bring the Surface Pro out of suitcase when I need to colloborate on an Office Document. I hope TSA won’t require me to take out the Surface from my suitcase like they do my laptop. It is great keeping the iPad in the carryon while going through TSA scanning.