Surface Pro Enters the Tablet Fray

— December 04, 2012

After weeks of speculation, specs for Microsoft's business-geared Surface Pro tablet are starting to leak out.

Microsoft's 2-lb. Surface Pro tablet is more expensive ($899 for 64GB, $999 for 128GB) than the latest iPad and won't ship until 2013, well after the gadget-driven holiday shopping season is over. How do the specs on the Windows 8 slate compare to the competition?

The Surface Pro features a "two-for-one" design and is built to work as a fully featured PC and tablet, which means it can run applications for laptops and desktops. By contrast, MacOS apps don't work on the iPad. The high pricetag positions the Surface Pro more closely to ultrabook-level devices rather than mass-market tablets like the Kindle or Nexus 7.

For increased usability, the Surface Pro comes with a stylus and touch-smart technology that disregards the touch from the user's palm while writing on the screen. And while the Surface RT comes preinstalled with a standard array of Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), the Pro version does not - so users are facing an additional $120 fee for that software.

Users seeking additional memory can tap into the standard slot and leverage the lone USB 3.0 port (an upgrade over the RT's USB 2.0) to plug in peripherals, although many users likely will wish for at least one additional port.

Microsoft likely will try to beef up the selection of Windows Store apps; it currently has only about 20,000, compared with 570,000 Android apps and close to 730,000 apps for iOS devices.


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