In neither case can the tablets be pre-ordered. The Surface Pro tablet releases to the public on Feb. 9, next Saturday, although Microsoft has an unveiling scheduled for Feb. 8, just before midnight, in New York City at the Union Square Best Buy.
However, the fact that the devices have shown up at a few stores -- but not all, meaning you will have to call to find out if your local one has it -- means that customers can try and decide before Feb. 9 rolls around.
In addition to Best Buy, Staples and Microsoft Stores will carry the device, in house, on Feb. 9. The device can also be ordered from Microsoft's site, and -- apparently -- from Best Buy's as well. It's unclear if Staples will sell the device online.
The Surface Pro runs full Windows 8 Pro on top of an Intel Core i5 processor. This is unlike Microsoft's previously released Surface RT tablet, with runs Windows RT, a more limited version of Windows designed for ARM processors.
The Surface Pro also ships with 4GB of RAM and in 64GB ($899) or 128GB ($999) storage tiers. Due to the rather rapacious nature of Windows 8, those tablets don't have huge amounts of storage left over after the OS is installed, though.
In addition, the combination case / keyboard options for the Surface are just that -- optional. Despite the fact that those options, the Touch Cover and Type Cover, are what really makes the Surface Pro unique, the Pro tablets do not come bundled with them.