While Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet generated a bit of buzz when it launch in October, consumers who were eyeing a true productivity powerhouse immediately turned their eyes to the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro runs the full version of Windows 8, meaning that it’ll run legacy applications in addition to the limited selection of applications available on the Windows Store. Windows RT, by contrast, will only run applications from the Microsoft App Store.
By all accounts, the Surface Pro is the tablet that could finally replace a laptop, mostly because it technically is a laptop. The Surface Pro packs ultrabook innards, such as an Intel Ivy Bridge core i5 processor, a full 1,920 x 1,080 HD ClearType 10.6″ display, full-sized USB 3.0 ports, as well as various other laptop essentials into a relatively compact less than 2 pound chassis. As the Surface Pro runs legacy applications, you get the full computer experience in this relatively modest package, and the idea of running full applications on your tablet/hybrid PC is the businessman’s dream.
The final piece of the puzzle is how much such a machine would set your pocketbook back, and today Microsoft has revealed that information via the company’s blog. The Surface Pro with 64GB of onboard storage will run $899, and the 128GB variant will set you back a cool $999. These prices don’t include the covers that make the Surface tablets so useful, which set you back an additional $119 or $129 for the touch and type keyboard covers, respectively. Microsoft has not announced bundling discounts, though we’ll likely see bundles closer to launch day.
That’s quite a chunk of change for a tablet, though the price becomes a bit more justifiable once you consider the Surface Pro could replace the need for a tablet and laptop computer, and is priced in line with current ultrabooks. While Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms by the general population with only 40 million licenses sold, the experience is certainly much better on tablets with touch-screen interfaces than computers with the traditional mouse and keyboard environment.
Time will tell whether consumers will readily open their pocketbooks for the Surface RT pro, though the most likely group to do so is the enterprise due to their heavy reliance on Microsoft’s software suite, though with many IT leaders planning on skipping Windows 8, that could be more of a stretch than Microsoft would have hoped. At best, we may see these tablets trickle into the enterprise, though they may not generate the Windows 8 kick Microsoft is betting on.
The Surface Pro will go on sale in January starting at $899. Anyone planning on picking one up now that pricing is known?