Microsoft has announced the price of its Surface Pro tablet hybrid, and also some details on the machine which is due to emerge at the start of next year.
Despite rumours that we previously heard which indicated Microsoft might try to get the Pro version of the tablet out in December, the company clarified that January 2013 will indeed be the launch date for the Surface Pro.
The Pro model is different to the Surface tablet which is already out – that runs Windows RT (hence the Surface RT name), whereas the Surface Pro will run the full x86 version of Windows 8.
The big news is the price of the Surface Pro, of course, although Microsoft hasn’t said anything about UK pricing yet, just the US price tag.
That will be $899 for the 64GB model, and $999 for the 128GB version. That will include a Surface stylus, but not the Touch or Type cover – that outlay is for the tablet only.
Looking at the current pricing of the Surface RT slate, in the States that sells from $499 to $699 depending on the model you choose, and the UK equivalent prices are £399 to £559 – so they drop a little more in our favour, the further up the price scale.
So we’d guess the UK price for the basic Surface Pro 64GB will be either £699 or £749 – probably leaning towards the latter – but that’s pure guesswork at the moment.
At any rate, as some pundits have been quick to point out, you can buy a fully featured and powerful desktop PC with that money. Although you can’t lug that around with you, of course.
Microsoft also said the Surface Pro will use the same case and design as the RT model, although it will have an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor driving a full 1920 x 1080 10.6 inch screen.
The device will also have a USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort.
The stylus will have a palm block facility (in other words, your palm won’t register when resting on the screen while you’re scribbling away), and it’s clear Microsoft is taking a leaf out of Samsung’s “Note”-book here.
There’s no doubting this will be an impressive device, as the Surface RT’s display is impressive as is – and the productivity side will be boosted further still with the stylus.
But whether people might find that price tag just a little too eye-watering, we shall have to see.