Microsoft’s Surface Pro to Set the Standard for Windows 8 Tablets, Coming in Weeks

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 20 2013 11:02 AM
Acer might have been on to something when it warned Microsoft that competing in the hardware space is no easy task. Undeterred, Microsoft entered the battlefield with its Surface RT tablet, an ARM-based slate running a gimped version of Windows 8 that doesn't support legacy applications. It's an okay tablet for content consumption and poking around the web, but for Windows enthusiasts, the real party starts when Surface Pro arrives.

Surface Pro rocks a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000, and with that x86 foundation comes the ability to run all sorts of Windows software. It's basically an Ultrabook in a tablet form factor. Other features include a 10.6-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) display with 10-point multi-touch and pen input support, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB solid state drive, full-size USB 3.0 port, microSDXC card slot, mini-DisplayPort, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and other odds and ends.

Surface Pro

Looking at the spec sheet, Surface Pro is a solid offering, but will consumers pay the asking price? Cost of admission starts at $899, which is $400 more than the starting price of an iPad, albeit Microsoft's tablet has better specs and is really in a different category altogether. Microsoft isn't just going up against the iPad, however.

One of the most intriguing alternatives is Dell's Latitude 10 tablet. The Latitude 10 is another x86 slate built around an Intel Atom Z2760 (1.8GHz) processor. It has a 10.1-inch IPS display (1366x768) with Gorilla Glass, reinforced magnesium alloy frame, 2GB of RAM, and a removable battery. In short, it's a trimmed down version of Surface Pro in every way, including the price tag, which starts at $499 (32GB).

In any event, Surface Pro, in all its varied forms, is just around the corner at this point. Do you plan on getting one?
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sevags replied on Sun, Jan 20 2013 11:19 AM

I was 110% getting a surfacePro, and it's still a consideration, but with other x86 tablets like the Razer Edge it's clear that more power x86 tablets will be coming and the surfacePro won't be the top tablet for long. I'm not looking for atom, celeron, or other low powered options just full ultrabook/notebook specs.

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MCaddick replied on Sun, Jan 20 2013 4:58 PM

I've been surprisingly happy with my Surface RT. The Pro looks interesting but at almost 2x the thickness and 1/2 the battery life I don't think its for me, at least yet.

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Upset to hear about the poor battery life. That is very important to me travelling

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ogdenous replied on Tue, Jan 22 2013 10:56 AM

Well two things here. First, it is not twice as thick. .37" compared to .53". Half an inch is still pretty thin for a ful operating system with current hardware. Other thing, the battery... There is rumor the delay for the Surface Pro was caused by intel modifying current Ivy Bridge CPU from 17w to 7w consumption, which has been shipping since early January to OEM's. That's 10 watts less then older Ivy Bridge and 3w less than Haswell CPU which supposedly will get 10hr battery. If MS pulls off the new 7w CPU in upcoming Surface Pro, battery should be much better. I would be happy to get 6hr on it, more would be excellent. All in all, I will still get one even if not using 7w though I think that would hurt sales if it uses older 17w CPU.

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