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Microsoft raises the tablet pricing bar; Surface Pro Windows 8 priced starting at $899

by David Needle

November 29 2012

Microsoft is getting ready to launch Surface Pro Windows 8 tablets
Microsoft is getting ready to launch Surface Pro Windows 8 tablets

Microsoft has been mum up till now about what it will charge for its new Windows 8, Intel-based (Core i5 processor) Surface Pro tablet set for release in January, but today the pricing details have been released.

The news puts to rest any thought that Microsoft plans to get in a pricing war with Apple -- it’s not.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro will start at $899 for a 64GB model and $999 for a 128GB model. The latest iPad with Retina display and 64GB costs $699; there’s no 128GB model.

There are however a few extras not included with the iPad - at least not directly from Apple. The Surface Pro will include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include “the ability” to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover. 

The latter are the two versions of Microsoft’s combo cover/keyboard  sold separately.

The news puts to rest any speculation that Microsoft might discount the price of Surface Pro. Yesterday, the Tawainese site Digitimes claimed Microsoft has cut supply orders for its Surface RT tablets in light of weaker than expected demand. The article also speculated Microsoft might cut the price of Surface Pro to attract more buyers.

“Surface with Windows 8 Pro uses the same familiar elegant design principles as Surface with Windows RT including the Dark Titanium VaporMg casing, dual 2x2 MIMO antennas designed specifically for Surface and of course the kickstand,” said Panos Panay, General Manager of Microsoft Surface, in a blog post.

Surface Pro is a tablet AND a full PC

But unlike Surface RT, Panay also emphasized Surface Pro is closer to being a full PC as well as a tablet because it will run all current Windows 7 desktop applications as well as Windows 8.

In addition to the pen, there are other features that distinguish the Surface Pro from the iPad, including it’s larger, 10.6-inch display.
Surface Pro also includes a full-size USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort that can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution.

Panay says Microsoft’s pen support includes Palm Block, “an amazing feature” for note takers and document editors. Palm Block will prevent your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidentally place your palm on the screen as you write. 

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