Surface for Windows 8 Pro to cost $899—sans keyboard

Remember when Microsoft said the Surface for Windows 8 Pro was going to be priced in the same ballpark as ultrabooks? Yeah, it wasn’t kidding. Microsoft revealed earlier today that the Intel-powered Surface is actually going to start at $899—and that’s for the standalone 64GB model, without a keyboard.

The 128GB version will set you back $999, still with no keyboard included. Microsoft’s announcement doesn’t even mention the keyboards, so presumably, the same ones currently available for the Surface for Windows RT will be on offer. That means you’ll probably be asked to pay $119.99 for the Touch Cover and $129.99 for the thicker Type Cover, which has proper scissor-switch keys. (Unlike Transformer-style convertibles like the VivoTab RT, neither of the keyboard add-ons for the Surface features a hinge. That means you’ll have to rely on the tablet’s “kickstand” to type on your lap—a somewhat awkward proposition.)

At least Microsoft hasn’t skimped on the hardware. One might expect an Intel-powered Windows 8 slate to pack an Atom processor, but the Surface for Windows 8 Pro actually has a Core i5 CPU inside. The 10.6″ display has a 1080p resolution, as well, higher than the 1366×768 of the Windows RT model. Microsoft has even thrown in a stylus, which may please professional users.

Physically, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro weighs “less than two pounds” and measures “less than 14 millimeters” (or 0.55″) in thickness. Microsoft doesn’t mention battery run times in this announcement, but as The Verge reports, the company said on Twitter that the device will have about half the battery life of the Windows RT version. Microsoft quotes an eight-hour run time for the WinRT variant, which would peg the Intel model’s battery life at a paltry four hours.

The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be available starting in January 2013.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    $599 for an i5 ultrabook
    +100 for 1080p
    +100 for touchscreen
    +30 for pen.

    = still a bit overpriced.

    • oldog
    • 7 years ago

    I get that this is rather expensive but last night when my son was picking up his new iPhone at the Apple Store the guy in front of us was counting out $900 for his new iPad.

    Seems to me the pricing here is right in line with the Apple device.

      • glynor
      • 7 years ago

      Well, not exactly an equal comparison.

      To get to $900 with the currently shipping iPad is to pick the 64GB iPad 4 with the LTE option, which still only brings you to $829. Then you’d have to add a cover or something, and tax.

      Of course, they now have a not-quite-shipping-yet 128GB option, but it still isn’t anything approaching an apples-to-apples comparison, considering the 64GB iPad actually has around 60GB of usable space, and, you know, LTE.

    • CppThis
    • 7 years ago

    This thing will be as irrelevant as ultrabooks are now. Too bad it’s dragged a new version of Windows down with it.

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Going against the grain here, I think the price is roughly in line with the market. Having said that, I agree that this is not a good thing. I just bought my wife a thinkpad X230T (12.5″ touch+pen tablet) for $1045 (configured). It has more expandability and battery life but weighs more and only has a 1366×768 screen. A Sony Vaio Duo 11 (11″ touch + pen tablet) costs $1199 in the base configuration, which comes with 6 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD, but has an integrated keyboard. So the Surface Pro isn’t more expensive than what’s already out there.

    The problem for MS is that pen computing is a niche product. The computers are expensive, so they are only purchased by people with specific needs and can afford it (MS OneNote is awesome, but will the average college student pay 2x more for a laptop just to get handwritten input?). Surface Pro does little to make pen computing more accessible (financially) or mainstream.

    And 64GB? Windows 8 + core apps (office, graphics, some CAD/CAM) takes up about 55 GB of the 128GB SSD on the thinkpad (fortunately, we have a 500GB HDD in the 2.5″ bay). 64 GB is not a useful size for SSDs today, and MS needs to double it to 128GB minimum on the base model and 256-512GB on the higher end model. Does the Surface Pro have a mSATA slot?

      • TO11MTM
      • 7 years ago

      Unfortunately pen-tablet makers typically just market to the art crowd, mayyyybe the medical crowd.

      Every engineer I know who has used a pen-tablet in school however thought it was absolutely freaking amazing. Way easier to take notes of complex equations/diagrams. Both Engineering and Nursing students that I knew just liked that they could quickly find things from their old notes without paging through notebooks.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 7 years ago

    Shiny but WTF? That’s an absurd price point. 900 bucks?

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    As with the Lenovo Yoga 11, it’s not the price, it’s the featureset. The launch version appears to lack 3G or 4G, GPS and other sensors. It’s also a bit too heavy for use as a tablet. In terms of battery life it’s compromised both as a tablet and as an ultrabook . Which is too bad, Microsft’s Surface could be the basis for a great ultralight PC with the right internals and battery.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 7 years ago

      Nah, price is missed too. Ouch.

    • holophrastic
    • 7 years ago

    Sounds perfect for me actually. I’m sure the battery life will be more than 4 hours. I’d guess 6 hours by the time it’s released — maybe with in an i3 edition. I like the price the too — guess I have an income higher than everyone else in this discussion.

    I’ve been building my own computers for decades, and you know as well as I do that $600 gets you a pretty shitty desktop — a kitchen desktop, if I’d be willing to put a computer in a flour-filled world.

    You know it takes $2’000 (including monitor etc) to build a desktop that you can actually use for more than a year, and use well. My computers tend to last in full-use for ten years.

    i3 or i5, this tablet would easily last me four years, likely six. At $1’150, I’ve got four perfectly good uses for it — and it’ll be the first tablet able to do that for me. I’ve had to pass on everything else to date (up to october that is).

    And correct me if I’m wrong: doesn’t this thing have a user-replaceable battery? As in for another $200 I can get at least one space battery for my car or carry-on? That’s solves all of my tablet worries.

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      How on earth could you spend 2000 on a computer? Even if you buy a new case, power supply, etc, it’s still not going to be anywhere near 2000.

        • holophrastic
        • 7 years ago

        see the system guides. but a proc starts at 200, a psu at 150, storage at 300, ram at 100, case at 200, keyboard and mouse at 200, optical at 50, gpu at 300, monitor at 500, os at 200, sound card, speakers, microphone, hdd cradle, wires, cables, antennae, maybe a nic, and oh yeah, a motherboard starting at 250..

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      $600 allows you to play games at decent framerates at 1920×1080, per TR system guide.

        • holophrastic
        • 7 years ago

        missing metric: for how long? it’s no good to me if I need to build a new one every six months. I also do work from the machine, so it needs to be reliable. that means a better psu for no other reason. things like that.

          • homerdog
          • 7 years ago

          I just built a computer for $1150. It is fast as shit.

      • TaBoVilla
      • 7 years ago

      I’m not detecting enough sarcasm in your post to consider it funny..

        • holophrastic
        • 7 years ago

        no sarcasm. sorry, maybe I’m the one this device was designed to suit.

      • PrincipalSkinner
      • 7 years ago

      Dirty troll.

        • holophrastic
        • 7 years ago

        ?

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I'm sure the battery life will be more than 4 hours. I'd guess 6 hours by the time it's released -- maybe with in an i3 edition.[/quote<] Don't count on an i3 version having better battery life. The i5 and i3 have similar voltage planes for idle states, but the i3 is lacking turbo boost, so in the race to idle, the i5 is more likely to finish tasks first and get back into an idle state quicker. This means that it is possible (though not guaranteed) that the i3 part may be both slower [i<]and[/i<] more power-hungry at the same time, depending on usage scenarios.

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    Should have been Bobcat. I’m sure the i5 is very nice, but it probably makes the thing damn toasty as it burns through the battery in 4 hours.

    At least the $100 upcharge for more storage actually adds 64GB more – it is only a 100% markup for the superior SKU instead of the routine 500% that iOS and Android devices demand.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    Apple fanbois don’t even pay that much for their tablets.

    All joking aside though, that’s way to much for a device like that. Even if it has respectable internals, people are still going to look at it like a tablet and say “why would I pay $1000 for that when I can buy this thin laptop for $600 (or less)?” These things wont sell and Microsoft will be forced to lower the price to a more reasonable level…..mark my words.

      • PixelArmy
      • 7 years ago

      While I’m critical of the price as well, they could easily make this better by just bundling the keyboard. They make such a big deal about clicking in…

      That said, thinking about it, with the keyboard cover, the 128 GB version would be $1120//1130, more or less the same price as the 11″ Macbook Air. Comparable size/weight (Surface being negligibly thinner and lighter w/o cover, though slightly thicker and heavier with either cover)., but Surface would have better screen, pen/touch input (and be transformable obviously). Lose on battery (though I’ll wait until actual tests to condemn it)

      Buying a $600 laptop (like you said) and a separate $500 tablet is probably reasonable as well… I’m not one to tell people how to spend their money.

    • Disco
    • 7 years ago

    I didn’t know that this was available. It’s what I would like. Lower power processor, 64 GB, and 9hr battery. And lots of connection/expansion ports. All for $599!! I wonder if there is a keyboard/case combo?

    [url<]http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=100245&AffixedCode=WW&cmSearchKeyword=w510[/url<] Details: 10.1” HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution Windows 8 Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor Z2760 1.5GHz Acer Invilink Nplify 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Certified 2GB system memory 64GB internal storage 8MP rear-facing HD camera, 2MP front-facing HD camera MicroSD memory slot up to 32GB, Micro USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, 3.5mm combo jack Dimensions: 11.73”(L) x 2.68”(W) x 7.83”(H) Battery: 2-Cell Li-Polymer (3540 mAh) - up to 9 hrs Weight: 1.27 lb. Now I'm actually tempted... looking for reviews.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    “So much crap, they had to start a second pile.”

    -Mimi Bobeck

    • Prion
    • 7 years ago

    > Microsoft has even thrown in a stylus, which may please professional users.

    Good thing too, I wish every phone and tablet was bundled with one.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Oh dear me.
    That’s the end of [i<]that[/i<] then.....

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    10.6″? pfft…[url=http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644884502<]20" tablet or gtfo[/url<] (No, seriously...at first I thought that was just a 20" all-in-one...but scroll down there's a picture of a dude using on the couch haha. The key spec that made me go WTF was •Internal lithium ion battery (5000mAh) then I saw that picture.)

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      Was looking good until I came across the sub-3 hours runtime. If batteries can be added it might work.Playing a strategy map game on this thing may be the neatest thing..

        • heinsj24
        • 7 years ago

        If it wasn’t limited to Intel graphics, I would be saying I found my next computer. Except that it is a Sony and would break 2 weeks after the warranty ran out.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      That is crazy! Oh, it’s Sony. Never mind. I’m sure it’ll be hugely successful.

    • cjava2
    • 7 years ago

    Do they intentionally want this to fail? No keyboard included and 4-hour battery life? I would just buy an Ultrabook at that price point.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    What is this I don’t even…

    The i3 and 1080p Acer W700 was available from day 1 for $750, including the keyboard dock, and runs 8 hours.

    And that’s not because they cut all the corners. There’s no legitimate reason it couldn’t be $500 with a Pentium CPU, smaller battery, no Thunderbolt, and no WiDi. Atom and Bobcat versions ought to run $300-400, considering that laptops go for as little as $250 today.

    I figured that was MS’ idea of competing against the iPad and up-selling their lower end over Kindle and Nexus. Instead, they’ve done the complete inverse, overcharging for their own brand.

    MS will never succeed as a hardware designer. Best case scenario, you get millions of broken Xbox 360s!

    Thank gourd there are a gajillion other companies to pick up their slack. Haswell and Jaguar tablets should be much more interesting.

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    As always, Anand has the scoop on specs:

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6486/microsoft-announces-surface-pro-pricing-and-availability-17w-ivb-starting-at-899-in-january-2013[/url<]

    • mkk
    • 7 years ago

    As expected, and I’d still like to have one. But alas, economic realities made me pick up a small, cheap laptop (Windows 7, yay) instead.
    That said, let’s see what others come out with. An i5 CPU is after all quite excessive for what most would need even for a full fledged Windows tablet. Let’s see what a mobile Ivy Bridge Pentium or AMD Trinity model with plastic chassis will go for. Maybe by then you’ll get your Surface Pro with a bundled cover for the same price. Personally I’m more keen on the pen of all things, to minimise the neeed for fingering on the screen all the time.

    • StuG
    • 7 years ago

    If that battery run-time is true, this won’t sell at all. 4 hours was acceptable 2-4 years ago….but not in this day and age unless your a gaming laptop.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe if business adopts it and the battery is only used while you head off to a meeting and you immediately drop it back into some kind of dock when you get back to your desk. I’m stretching to find a way to call that short of a bettery life useful.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    Pricey,thick and heavy for a tablet, crappy keyboard and tiny screen for a notebook plus regulators should not let M$ make x86 PCs (the RT is fine from that point of view).
    The hilarious part is the 64GB starting storage,on a Win 8 machine,you can use it as a PC .. if you superglue a HDD on the back.

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    4 hours for a tablet? Pretty sure that won’t work.

      • ChronoReverse
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, no more interest after hearing that.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        One generation too early for the CPU. Needs a Haswell SoC.

    • henfactor
    • 7 years ago

    Stick to software, MS.

    • 5150
    • 7 years ago

    Well, I’m out.

      • cygnus1
      • 7 years ago

      same

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