updated 05:50 am EST, Mon February 4, 2013
MS Surface Pro reaches retailers ahead of its February 9 launch
The Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro has started appearing in retail stores in the US and Canada. However, the long-awaited Wintel notebook-tablet hybrid is cannot be purchased until its official on sale date of February 9. In the meantime, customers will be able to get their hands on the device and consider handing over the $899 (64GB) or $999 (128GB) that Microsoft is asking to the devices.
The Surface with Windows 8 Pro is expected to have broader appeal than its ARM-based Surface RT stablemate. Users will be able to install their own legacy Windows applications on the device thanks to its Core i5 Intel processor, although system RAM is limited to 4GB. It also features a 1080p 10.6-inch ClearType display with full 10-point multi-touch capabilities and comes with a capacitive pen.
However, the Surface Pro is heavier than the Surface RT at 2 pounds and only has half the battery life at around 5 hours. Unlike the Surface RT, with comes pre-installed with Word, PowerPoint and Excel, the Surface Pro will require users to either install their own copy of Office, potentially affecting the value equation further. Initial sales of the Surface RT have been estimated to be around 750,000 units, while storage capacity contraints have also been an issue for both devices.