Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Microsoft Puts Price Tag on Intel-Powered Surface Pro, With Models Starting at $899

It won’t be available until January, but Microsoft said Thursday that its Intel-powered Surface Pro tablet will start at $899.

That price is for the 64 gigabyte model, with a 128GB model selling for $999. Both models include a digital pen, but don’t include either of the two keyboard covers, which cost roughly an additional $130.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since Surface with Windows RT hit the market,” Surface project head Panos Panay said in a blog post. “The response from Surface customers has been fantastic and exciting to see.”

The Nvidia-powered Surface RT went on sale at Microsoft stores and via its Web site on Oct. 26, and starts at $499.

The Intel-equipped Surface pro uses a similar casing and includes the signature kickstand, but is bigger on both the specifications front and when it comes to size and weight. Its core i5 chip powers a 1,920 pixel by 1,080 pixel display. And because it is running an Intel chip and Windows 8 rather than an ARM processor and Windows RT, Surface Pro can run existing Windows programs, as opposed to only those designed for the Windows 8 store.

It is heavier and thicker than the current Surface RT model, coming in at just under two pounds and 14 millimeters thick.

Microsoft announced both Surface models back in June, but until now had said relatively little about the Intel-powered model. The company said earlier this week that it has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses, but hasn’t released a statement on Surface sales specifically, other than a comment by CEO Steve Ballmer that the tablet was off to a modest start.

Update: In a post on Twitter, Microsoft said that the Surface Pro will have battery life approximately half that of the Surface RT. Microsoft has described Surface RT as having “all day” battery life–so I guess that would mean Surface Pro at a half day. Some tests show Surface RT having about 8 hours of battery life in regular use, which would suggest maybe four hours of battery life for Surface Pro.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google