by Anton Shilov
01/22/2013 | 06:19 PM
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday said that it will start selling its business-oriented Surface Pro tablet that runs a high-performance x86 microprocessor along with Windows 8 Pro operating system in February. Originally, Microsoft planned to start selling the Surface Pro slate in January, but for some reasons delayed the launch till February 8, 2013.
In February, Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in two versions: 64GB version for $899 and 128GB version for $999. Both versions will include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology (prevent handwriting from getting interrupted if the user accidently places palm on the screen) and the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover.
Microsoft Surface Pro tablets with Windows 8 Pro are based on Intel Core i5 microprocessor with 4GB of DDR3 memory and feature 10.6” screen with 1920*1080 resolution, a dramatic improvement compared to the Surface tablets with Windows RT. The professionals-oriented tablets also feature USB 3.0 port, microSDXC card reader, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, two 720p cameras, and special 2*2 MIMO antennas for Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, no version with 3G or 4G/LTE will be available initially.
Microsoft promises that the slate weighs less than two pounds (903 grams) and is 13.5 mm thick. The characteristics seem to be impressive when compared to outdated x86-based business tablets that exist today. However, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablets are slightly lighter and slightly thinner than ultra-thin notebooks, such as Apple MacBook Air.
While Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro is officially a tablet, it should actually be considered as a fully-fledged laptop as it can run all the applications almost ever written for Windows operating system and x86 microprocessors. At the same time, the business tablets are rather heavy and thick, which is why they will be compared to ultra-slim laptops by the end users. It remains to be seen how popular will such devices eventually be. In theory, they have all chances to significantly affect the market of ultra-portable notebooks. But in reality many users will prefer systems with keyboards.