Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surface Pro tablets get a price: $899 and $999

The big question has finally been answered, or rather confirmed: Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets, which run Windows 8 Professional, will be priced at $899 (64GB) and $999 (128GB).

Both versions will include a Surface Pen and the ability to use a touch Cover or Type Cover. Note the words "ability to use," because those keyboard / covers are sold separately, and are not exactly cheap. The Pro models will ship in January.

While very similar to the already released Surface RT tablets, which run the ARM-compatible Windows RT, there are differences, including weight (2 pounds vs. 1.5 pounds), screen resolution, and processor (NVIDIA Tegra 3 for the RT version vs. a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor). The Pro tablets also come with a full-sized USB 3.0 port vs. USB 2.0 on the RT versions.

Some of the key Pro vs. RT specs:
  • Intel Core i5 processor (Pro) vs. Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 (RT)
  • 10.6” 16:9 ClearType display on both
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution vs. 1366 x 768
  • Full-sized USB 3.0 port vs. Full-sized USB 2.0 port
  • Mini DisplayPort that can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution.
  • 48W power supply vs. 24W power supply
  • Front- and rear-facing 720p HD video cameras on both
  • 4GB vs. 2GB of RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB sizes vs. 32GB, 64GB sizes
  • 10-point multi-touch screen vs. 5-point multi-touch screen
  • Pen input with Palm Block technology.
The biggest mistake that Android tablet manufacturers made was trying to price their tablets at the same price as the iPad. Now that the pricing question has been answered, another question arises: are these prices too high?

Our opinion is yes, but the market will answer.

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