Microsoft Surface Pro Starts at $899 with Half the Battery Life of Surface RT


Earlier today Microsoft announced its pricing for the higher end Surface Pro tablet:

In January, Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in two versions and pricing will start at $899:

  • 64GB standalone version at $899
  • 128GB standalone version at $999

Both versions will both include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover (sold separately).

The differences compared to the Surface RT is that the Surface with Windows 8 Pro comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and will run current Windows 7 desktop apps, so Microsoft proudly claims “it’s a full PC AND a tablet.” Also, the $899 starting price does not include a Touch Cover or Type Cover ($120-$130).

As for battery life, the official @Surface twitter account revealed the Surface Pro will have half the battery life of the Surface RT (which has been tested at 8-9 hours of battery life), so we can assume it will be 4-5 hours:

According to AnandTech, the major differences between the Pro and RT when compared are:

Surface Pro keeps the same display size, but increases tablet thickness by 43% over the RT version. Weight is also up by half a pound. Screen resolution goes up as well, at 1920 x 1080. Memory capacity also increases to 4GB, and Surface Pro comes with much more NAND on-board.

Anyone interested in the Surface Pro to replace their iPad? Does Microsoft have a winner here?


  • Ron Miller

    This seems to be a worse deal than the Surface RT. If you include the smart cover, it is the same price and almost the same weight as a Macbook Air (and battery is maybe even worse?). I would take a Macbook Air over the Surface tablet any day.

    With Microsoft emphasizing landscape mode over portrait, and emphasizing the smart cover as the way to type, it kind of seems like a crappy laptop rather than a nice tablet to me.

  • Yeah it sounds good on paper but I don’t know how functional the Surface will be in real life. Like you said, it’s reaching MBA pricing when you include the keyboard.

  • Olley

    So how many were sold over the Thanksgiving weekend? Anyone?

  • “I would take a Macbook Air over the Surface tablet any day.”

    Why’s that?

    The Surface Pro is a combination ultrabook / tablet. Imagine having one device that can be your laptop, your tablet, and your desktop (the Surface Pro can hook drive a 27″ 2560×1440 display). For your average, consumer and business / enterprise user, there’s no need for three separate devices. Just one device and your smartphone. Pretty compelling if you ask me.

  • Ron Miller

    Yes … it is a combination tablet / ultrabook, and I can understand how some may like it. But to me, it seems like it is worse than either. Battery life is (supposedly) much worse than a tablet. Microsoft brags about its smart-cover / keyboard combination (which is pretty cool), but it also looks like it is designed to work well in landscape orientation with a keyboard. At that point, it seems more laptop than tablet, and I think the MBA is a much better laptop. The only thing that the Surface has going for it is it also has touch input, although switching between a keyboard / touchpad and touching the screen seems a little awkward to me. I’ve never used one, so maybe they are great. When I first saw them, I actually was impressed, but the more I thought about them, I just don’t really see the point.

    I love the MBA for its portability. I love my iPad because I can use it in ways I don’t use a laptop (holding it on the couch, lying down in bed with it, etc.). I don’t see where the Surface fits in.

  • “Battery life is (supposedly) much worse than a tablet. ”

    From what I’ve read this is true. MS is claiming 4 hours of battery life for the Surface Pro. That’s approximately on par with the 11″ MBA”

    “….but it also looks like it is designed to work well in landscape orientation with a keyboard.”

    Again, also true. The Modern UI in Windows 8 is optimized for landscape mode, hence the 16:9 aspect ratio in pretty much all Win8-based devices. Every review I’ve seen gave it a thumbs down when used in portrait mode. But at least than 2lbs, it shouldn’t be too heavy to handle when holding it in landscape mode.

    The single biggest thing the Surface Pro has going for it is built-in capability for pen input. The screen on the Surface has a built-in capacitive digitizer which is great for note-taking, drawing, document editing, etc.

  • Meena

    The PRO version is not released yet!

  • Meena

    I think MS-PRO would have been a success had they done justice on the prices, RT is already expense, hence effecting the production and already cut down in half. PRO seems promising a full functioning laptop but lacks in may areas such as battery/display/weight and above all it will cost 1200+ if purchase with case/keyboard.

  • anon

    The MAJOR plus it has is the capacitive digitizer as mentioned. Unlike the MBA, this will be far better for taking notes, signing PDF docs, as well as Photoshop/Illlustrator/Publisher type work.

  • anon

    I consider the iPad as an accessory, and the MS Pro (and MB Pro) to be a main device to do ‘real’ work on.