Surface Pro 64GB to start at $899, coming in January

Surface Pro

Microsoft’s Surface RT release has left many people, myself included, yearning for a more powerful machine with Windows 8 Pro on board. The Surface Pro has been teased, but never officially announced until now. In January, Microsoft will begin selling the 64GB Surface Pro for $899, with a 128GB version for $999. The Surface Pro is nearly identical in design to the already existing Surface RT, but what you find under the hood and running on that SSD is a lot more impressive.

Staring with a 1920×1080 resolution ClearType display with a Mini DisplayPort that can push 2560×1440 thanks to the onboard Intel HD Graphics 4000, the Surface Pro is a big bump in specs compared to the RT. Coupled with a Core i5 and 4GB of RAM, the Surface Pro more closely resembles last year’s Ultrabooks opposed to what you would typically expect to see in a tablet. This is all pretty close to what we expected to see in the Surface Pro, including the Surface pen, USB 3 port, and 2×2 MIMO WiFi antennae. The trade-off for this hardware is a slight increase in weight, and while Microsoft wasn’t willing to provide an exact figure, they noted that the tablet was still less than two pounds and 14mm thick.

Finally, the Surface Pro will come with Windows 8 Pro optimized for this hardware. This resolves many of the issues that users found with Surface RT, especially the inability to install apps from places other than the Microsoft Store. Surface Pro will function in Desktop Mode as a touch Ultrabook, and as a tablet when you choose to use Modern UI. It also means you could just take advantage of the great hardware and install a Start Menu replacement if you want to ignore Modern UI altogether.

Microsoft hasn’t announced what day in January the Surface Pro will release, or if pre-orders will be made available. The Surface RT launch featured pop-up stores in major cities, and there are now Surface Kiosks in every mall I have been to in the last month. Microsoft will undoubtedly leverage these same resources for the release of the Surface Pro, and with any luck the relatively poor opinion of the Surface RT will not stop early adopters from trying the new PC out.

Read more at the Microsoft Blog