Microsoft's soon-to-launch Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet will carry an $899 starting price and a top price of $999 -- minus the Touch Cover keyboard, the vendor has disclosed. The tablet is scheduled to begin shipping in January.
Last month Microsoft began selling its branded Surface tablet with Windows RT, the version of Windows developed specifically for ARM-based devices. That tablet has a starting price of $499 for a model with 32 GB of storage.
Microsoft has not disclosed any sales figures for Surface since its launch. The company is selling the product only through its retail stores and its online store.
The $899 Surface with Windows 8 Pro is for a model with 64 GB of storage; the $999 model includes 128 GB of storage. Those prices do not include the Surface Touch Keyboard, which is sold separately for $199.99, or the more traditional Surface Type Cover keyboard, which is priced at $129.99.
The Surface with Windows RT has a top price of $699 for a model with 64 GB of storage and the Surface Touch Cover keyboard.
The Surface with Windows 8 Pro is based on Intel's Core i5 processor and provides a 10.6-inch, 16:9 ClearType display that runs at 1,920 x 1,080 high-definition resolution. The tablet supports pen input and comes with a Surface pen. The tablet also will support Windows 7 applications.
One major difference between the two Surface tablets is battery life. The new tablet running Windows 8 Pro has approximately one-half the battery life of the ARM-based Surface for Windows RT, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.
Since the Windows RT-based Surface has a battery life of about 10 hours, according to a story posted on Tom's Hardware, that means the Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro provides a battery life of only about five hours.
While Microsoft has not released Surface tablet sales data, the vendor did say earlier this week that it has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the month since the software began shipping.
PUBLISHED NOV. 30, 2012