Microsoft has announced pricing for its Surface with Windows 8 Pro, starting at $899 with 64 GB of storage.
A 128 GB version will also be available for $999. Both models will include a Surface active digitizer pen with “Palm Block” technology, but Microsoft’s Touch Cover and Type Cover will be sold separately. As previously stated by Microsoft, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro will go in sale in January.
In terms of both size and tech specs, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is beefier than its Windows RT sibling. It weighs about 2 pounds and measures 0.53 inches thick, compared to 1.5 pounds an 0.37 inches thick for the Surface with Windows RT.
But instead of a Tegra 3 ARM-based processor, the Pro version has an Intel Core i5 chip, and its 10.6-inch display has a resolution of 1920-by-1080, instead of 1366-by-768. When connected to an external monitor through mini DisplayPort, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro supports resolutions up to 2560-by-1440. Its storage configurations are also double those of the RT version, but Windows 8 itself will likely consume more of that space compared to Windows RT.
The biggest difference, however, is that the Intel-based Surface runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro. That means it can install any desktop app, in addition to Modern-style apps from the Windows Store. Although the price is much higher than the Windows RT Surface, which starts at $500, it’s more akin to an Ultrabook in terms of its capabilities.
Microsoft isn’t yet taking pre-orders for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, and hasn’t said when it’ll go on sale. One might speculate that the pricing news was meant to disrupt conflictingreports about whether Windows 8 is selling well, or that it’s simply meant to help people decide whether to hold off on purchasing a Surface with Windows RT.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.