The Microsoft Surface RT is a "modest" success. That's the official line from Microsoft, but it doesn't seem like many people are talking about the company's first foray into tablet hardware. That may be because most are waiting for the souped up Windows 8 Pro Surface coming out in January, but the price may just convince people to look elsewhere for their tablet needs.
Microsoft announced today that the Windows 8 Pro Surface will go on sale in January 2013. The 64GB model will retail for $899 while the 128GB model will retail for $999. Unlike the Surface RT, it doesn't look like Microsoft will be including the much lauded touch cover or type cover. Consumers will have to shell out an extra $119 or $129 for one.
So, what does the Surface Pro have over the Surface RT to justify the price hike? The name says it all. The Surface Pro comes equipped with the fully featured Windows 8 desktop OS that's powered by the latest generation Intel i5 processor. Other improvements include a full HD 1920x1080 display, a full-size USB 3.0 port and a MiniDisplay port that can output resolutions up to 2560x1440.
Despite lacking a touch cover, the Surface Pro does come with the Surface pen. Microsoft says the pen is perfect for taking notes on the Surface, and it comes with Palm Block technology that prevents any unintended swipes from interrupting your writing.
The Surface Pro is the Surface that everybody wants. It's the authentic Windows experience in a tablet form factor. The only problem is the price. Combined with a touch or type cover, the Surface Pro will cost over $1,000. That's more than the most expensive iPad model. Microsoft and its proponents will argue that you're getting a laptop/tablet hybrid out of the Surface, but people will inevitably compare it to the iPad.
Microsoft still has a long way to go in making Windows 8 and Surface a true success. The company had better hope its pricing strategy doesn't end up backfiring.