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Surface Pro tablet, new Surface accessories to land on Feb. 9

Check out Surface Pro tablet Accessories


If you’ve been waiting to touch a Surface Pro tablet in the living, breathing, once-molten-magnesium flesh, you can finally mark a hard date on your calendar: The Windows 8 Pro version of Microsoft’s tablet will go on sale Feb. 9 at Microsoft stores,, Staples and Best Buy in the U.S.

The 64GB version will retail for $900, while the 128GB model will cost a cool $1,000. Both models will come with Microsoft’s new Surface pen writing stylus (which I used during a brief hands-on at CES), but neither model comes pre-loaded with any version of Office, which has been a nice bundled addition for Microsoft’s struggling Surface RT model.

While Surface RT is loaded with Windows RT, the hobbled OS incapable of running desktop apps, the upcoming Surface for big boys and girls runs the full version of Windows 8 Pro, and is a complete, 64-bit PC by definition. This is self-evident during a quick scan of its Ultrabook-caliber hardware specs.

Surface vs Surface Pro tablet

Where Surface RT has an Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM chip and 2GB of RAM, the Surface Pro packs a Core i5 and 4GB of RAM. And where the RT’s 10.6-inch display has a 1366-by-768 resolution, the Pro keeps the same screen dimensions but increases the pixel grid to true HD at 1920-by-1080.

USB, you ask? The RT tablet is limited to USB 2.0, whereas the Pro gives you USB 3.0 support. And of course the Pro version comes with the Surface pen for writing in digital ink, and also boasts a Mini DisplayPort for driving behemoth desktop monitors.

Behold, the Surface pen. It lets you jot notes directly on the tablet’s capacitive touch screen.

All of this is packed in a sleek, silky VaporMg chassis that’s only slightly larger and heavier than what you’ll find in a Surface RT. The RT clocks in at 0.37-inch thick and 1.5 pounds, while the Pro is 0.53-inch thick and 2 pounds. Unfortunately, while the Pro version has a beefier battery than its RT sibling (42 w-h to the RT’s 31.5 w-h), customers should expect much poorer battery life.

So, yeah, that ARM processor in the Surface RT is good for something.

Sorry, Surface RT fans, but I stand by my position that Surface Windows 8 Pro is the full realization of the Surface concept. Sure, Surface RT offers a fine tablet experience, but given the lack of compelling Windows Store apps, I need a full desktop experience—if only to get my job done while working on the road. And in the Surface family, a fully functioning desktop is only available in the device that debuts Feb. 9.

The Surface family expands

The launch of Surface Pro is the big news, but on Feb. 9 eager Surface fans will also be able to buy a couple of new accessories, plus a new Surface RT option.

Newimage: microsoft
Three new Touch Cover designs also go on sale Feb. 9.

First up, Microsoft is releasing some “limited edition” Touch Cover options sporting three laser-etched designs.There’s a new cyan cover with a vaguely skater-ish skull motif, a magenta cover with a floral print, and a red cover that pays homage to Chinese New Year with a “Year of the Snake” design (click on the image above for detail).

I saw two of the new covers at CES, and they looked, well, pleasant. If I were in the market for a Touch Cover, I might buy one of the limited edition models if they didn’t cost $130, which is $10 more than unadorned Touch Covers. Then again, I don’t put play with stickers any more, so maybe I’m not the target market.

[source – pcworld]

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