Microsoft has just announced its pricing for the Surface Pro tablet, which will be available in January. The prices are:
- 64GB standalone version at $899
- 128GB standalone version at $999
Both versions of the Surface for Windows 8 Pro (as it’s formally called) will include a Surface pen. The Touch and Type covers — the thin keyboards/covers that attach to the Surface magnetically — will be sold separately. (The Touch Cover — the thinner of the two — is being sold for $120; the Type Cover — the minutely thicker cover with traditional keyboard feel — is being sold for $130.)
The Surface Pro is the version of Microsoft’s Surface tablet that runs on Intel chips. It runs Windows 8 and will be backwards compatible with legacy apps for Windows.
The version of the Surface tablet that’s available for sale now is the Surface RT, which runs Windows RT, a variant of Windows 8 that’s designed for devices using ARM-based processors. It does not support legacy apps. It’s positioned as a competitor to tablets such as the iPad.
The pricing of the Surface Pro is generally in line with what was expected, given that Microsoft execs have said it would be priced comparably to ultrabooks. Microsoft is positioning the Surface Pro as both a full PC and a tablet.
Update 1:55 p.m.:
Here’s some more information about the Surface Pro:
- It will have about half the battery life of the Surface RT, according to a tweet the Surface team sent a Twitter user. That means the Pro version should have a battery life of about four to five hours. The tweet on battery life was noticed by Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, who also writes that the lower battery life is because the Pro uses the Intel “Ivy Bridge” (generation 3) Core i5 processor rather than the lower-power-consumption Atom/Clover Trail processor or the fourth-generation Core Haswell.
- Surface Pro will not come with Office pre-installed. (Surface RT has a version of Office — Office for Windows RT — preinstalled.) In that way, it’s like any other Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro device which also typically don’t come with Office pre-installed. Rather, the user buys a copy of Office and installs it on their device, as they can with the Surface Pro via the Windows Store.
- The spec sheet comparing the Surface Pro and Surface RT can be found here.