Those of you who were waiting for a better price for Surface Pro will be disappointed. Microsoft has just announced in a blog post by Panos Panay, General Manager of Microsoft Surface, the pricing for Surface Pro, which we can say it’s their second tablet to be released on the market. For those who don’t know yet, Surface Pro will come with Windows 8 Pro, hence the name. There will be two versions: the 64GB standalone one that will cost $899 and the 128GB standalone model that will be priced at $999.

What you should know, right from the beginning, is that Surface Pro is not a competitor to the iPad or other tablets in that range. For that, Microsoft has created the Surface RT and you can check out some reviews to see if it can convince you to buy it. Surface Pro should be regarded as a competitor to ultrabooks and if you really want us to compare it to some Apple product, then MacBook Airs are Microsoft’s target.

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Surface Pro: Microsoft’s premium hybrid bet

The Surface Pro’s price is double than Surface RT’s, so I guess many will be curious to know what exactly are the differences between these two sisters. What we learnt from Mr. Panos is that both models will have a Surface Pen, so all of you who need that in a tablet will find this very useful. You can also find a pen in the Galaxy Note 10.1, if you’re into that. The SurfacePen is said to have Palm Block technology, but we didn’t manage to find out about it too much besides the official description:

Surface with Windows 8 Pro will support Pen input. This is an amazing feature for all you note-takers or document editors out there, especially since it has expanded capacitive and digitizing technology we’re calling Palm Block that will prevent your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidently place your palm on the screen as you write. This feature is pretty cool, and allows for a great inking experience alongside a great touch experience when needed.

You can also buy a Touch Cover or Type Cover and I personally think these are essential for your Surface Pro experience. Sadly, this is one of the reasons why many perceive Surface Pro as a competitor to tablets – the fact that you have to buy the “keyboard” separately. In my humble opinion, if Microsoft had managed to include it in the price, it would’ve been better for them. I’m curious to discover how many people will buy the Surface Pro without any covers at all.

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For those of you that wanted to buy it for Christmas, you’ll be disappointed. Surface Pro will arrive in January, and Microsoft hopes to open 2013 in style. However, I’ll stress once more that you’ll need Touch Cover or Type Cover to get a full experience out of it. So, let’s say that the cheapest option with a cover would be to buy the 64 GB version and the Touch Cover – this means around $1020. The premium choice is the 128 GB version + Type cover – this means around $1130. It’s a good price, still, when you look over the fence, at products from the same category (Ultrabooks).

But when you look at the real competition, i.e the 11″ Macbook Air, things doesn’t look as bright for Surface Pro. The 11″ Macbook Air (128GB) starts at $1099 and comes with the same Intel i5 processor and 4GB RAM. Moreover, Apple lets users to upgrade to a higher storage (256GB or 512GB) and higher memory (upto 8GB RAM) on the 11″ Macbook Air, which isn’t the case with Surface Pro. But when compared to other Windows 8 Ultrabooks, the pricing of Surface Pro looks like a steal.

Features that stand out in Surface Pro

Here are some of the main features in Surface Pro that make it almost twice as expensive as the Surface RT version:

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 10.6” 16:9 ClearType display with 1920×1080 full HD resolution
  • Full-size USB 3.0 port.
  • Mini DisplayPort which can hook up to an external display up to a 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 10 point multi touch
  • Intel HD graphics
  • Full version of Windows 8
  • Ability to run Windows 7 desktop apps
You can keep an eye on the official product page and be amongst the first that will get to order it. We’ll be here with fresh reviews once the Surface Pro hits the market. But I think it’s a good start, it might be a little late for Microsoft, but it’s not that bad. It matters that Windows 8 is optimized for portable devices, which means Microsoft’s strategy is shifting. And it matters that they are competing with ultrabooks. All this fuss around the Surface product begs for a question: could there be a Surface 2?

 


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was the Managing Editor of Technology Personalized. He now writes about Windows 10 apps and reviews them on WindowsReport. Believes that technology is the main engine of civilization. Send him a tweet or make him your Facebook friend