Microsoft has just expanded the Surface family with a brand new device, one that runs the full version of Windows 8 Pro and offers support for desktop applications.Unlike Surface RT, which runs Windows RT and is limited to Store apps, the Surface Windows 8 Pro can basically handle any Windows application that works on your desktop computer too, so it’s more like a laptop with a tablet case.
Since the device has stirred up controversy on whether it is or it is not a good laptop replacement, we decided to provide you with an in-depth overview of its features, just to help you make sure the Surface Pro is the right tablet for you.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a review and all details are provided by Microsoft, but feel free to comment in the box after the jump.
SOFTWAREJust like its name suggests, the Surface Windows 8 Pro comes with the full version of Microsoft’s latest operating system which, let’s be honest, is quite a relief given the fact that Windows RT is currently lacking plenty of important apps.
This basically means that every single app that works on your Windows 7/8 computer should work on the tablet too, although it may load and work a bit slower.
Except for Windows 8 Pro, the device is also offered with a one-month trial of Office 365. If you remember, Surface RT was sold with a full copy of Office 2013 Home & Student, but unlike its predecessor, the Pro tablet only sports a trial.
Of course, it includes all built-in Windows 8 apps, such Mail, SkyDrive, Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Music, Video, Games and Messaging.
HARDWAREIt could take days to discuss all technical specs of the new Surface Windows 8 Pro, so let’s see only the key features.
The device packs an Intel i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of RAM which should be enough to handle the commonly-used apps on the market, including Photoshop.
The Surface Pro has a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 and an aspect ratio of 16:9.
As for connectivity, you get an USB 3.0 port, a microSDXC card reader for additional storage space, a headset jack, a MiniDisplay and a cover port.
Two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing are also offered, and so are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microphone and stereo speakers.
Here are the full technical specs of the new Surface Windows 8 Pro:
Exterior- dimensions: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in
- weight: 2lbs (907 grams)
- VaporMg casing
- Dark Titanium color
- Volume and Power buttons
Storage- 64GB and 128GB
- System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage.
Display-10.6" ClearType Full HD Display
- 1920x1080 pixels
- 16:9 (widescreen)
- 10-point multi-touch
Pen Input – Pen input and pen (included with purchase)
CPU- 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
- 4GB RAM - Dual Channel Memory
Wireless- Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology
Battery – 42 W-h
Cameras and A/V
- Two 720p HD LifeCams, front- and rear-facing with TruColor
- Stereo speakers
Ports- Full-size USB 3.0
- microSDXC card slot
- Headset jack
- Mini DisplayPort
- Cover port
Sensors- Ambient light sensor
Power Supply – 48W power supply (including 5W USB for accessory charging)
Warranty – 1-year limited hardware warranty
VERSIONSThe Surface with Windows 8 Pro is offered in two different flavors, with 64 GB and 128 GB of storage space respectively.
Even though that may seem to be quite a lot of space, keep in mind that the tablet features Windows 8 Pro, so the real storage figures are actually lower.
The system recovery image eats up 9 GB of storage space, while Windows 8 Pro and the built-in apps need 21 GB. This means that the 64 GB version has only 29 GB of available storage, while the top-of-the-range 128 GB flavor offers you 89 GB for user content.
The good news is that the recovery image can be removed, so with some effort, you may get an additional 9 GB of storage space.
There’s no 32 GB version of the Surface Windows 8 Pro and, to be honest, such a version would make absolutely no sense given the fact that the pre-installed software needs so much space.
PRICINGThe 64 GB Surface Pro is priced at $899 (€672), while the 128 GB has a price tag of $999 (€747), but keep in mind that Touch and Type Covers are sold separately.
While some may say that this is a very expensive device, keep in mind that it runs the full version of Windows 8 Pro, so an operating system license is also included in this price.
A one-year subscription for Office 365 Home Premium, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and cloud services, is available for $99.99 (€74), while the Microsoft Complete service to get a 2-year extended warranty and technical support service costs $149 (€111).
The Touch Cover has a price tag of $119.99 (€89), while the Type Cover, the one that’s supposed to provide a real typing feeling, is sold for $129.99 (€97.2).
In the end, a 64 GB Surface Pro with a Touch Cover is priced at $1,020 (€762), while the 128 GB version with a keyboard can be purchased for $1,120 (€838).
ACCESSORIESAs we told you, the Surface Pro isn’t available with a Touch/Type Cover out of the box, but instead it’s being offered with a Touch Pen to make drawing and note-taking easier.
The device is also available separately for $29.99 (€22.45), just in case you need a second one, and works great with OneNote and PowerPoint.
The list of available accessories isn’t quite impressive, but it includes a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor ($39.99 / €29.95), a 48W Power Supply with SUB charging port ($79.99 / €59.85), the well-known Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition ($69.95 / €52.35), several sleeves and some screen protectors.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
Once you purchase the new Surface with Windows 8, you also receive a power supply to recharge your device, the aforementioned touch pen, a quick start guide to get to know your device easier plus safety and warranty documents in several languages, including English, French and Spanish.
Of course, if you go for some other accessories too, they’ll be shipped together with the Surface, but these are the standard items included in the original box of the tablet.