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

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?