Microsoft Surface lead: Pro version "arriving in the coming weeks"

In November, the general manager of Microsoft's Surface division, Panos Panay, announced on Microsoft's blog that the Surface Pro version of the tablet, running on Windows 8 Pro, would be out sometime in January. Now that January is halfway over, Microsoft has still not announced a specific release date.

On Tuesday, Panay used his Twitter account to post a quick update on the Surface Pro:

 

We tried to message Panay via Twitter to see if "in the coming weeks" meant "in the next two weeks" but he did not respond to our message. So far, Microsoft has not announced any delays in the launch of the Surface Pro so, for the moment, we will still assume the tablet will arrive before the end of the month.

As we have reported before, the 64 GB version of the Surface Pro, running on an Intel Core i5 processor, will be priced at $899, while the 128 GB Surface Pro unit will be priced at $999. The prices do not include the Touch or Type covers but do include a new stylus.

Source: Panos Panay on Twitter | Image via Microsoft

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Serious question - in tablet mode you are happy running desktop apps? Not too fiddly or annoying? How about running third party apps like WinZip for example? All OK with touch/fingers?

DOA just like the RT.

This machine offers nothing you cant get elsewhere plus MS have the same old problem re running desktop Windows on a tablet. It did not work before so why will it work now? Yay a stylus, thats nothing new. I note that the Coca Cola reps who previously used windows tablets (Panasonic ToughBooks) now use iPads.

Imagine using those thousands and thousands of Windows Desktop apps in tablet mode with your finger? That will be horrible, its always been horrible, what is different now? Nothing.

Now think about battery life... awful.

Now think about price.. too expensive.

What does this device have for the average person other than novelty factor?

As someone who's run "desktop Windows" on a tablet for over a year now, I can honestly say I cannot fathom going back to carrying a laptop and a tablet both. So, whether or not it's a novelty to you or not, to me it's become a device I rely on to get work done while I travel (I do that for a living - having 2lbs in your bag vs 8-10lbs isn't something I can give up).

After haveing a 1000$ laptop sitting under my bed not being used, I sold my laptop. And have since only used my windows 7 (now 8) tablet for the past year and a half. I completely agree with the above statement.

cluberti said,
As someone who's run "desktop Windows" on a tablet for over a year now, I can honestly say I cannot fathom going back to carrying a laptop and a tablet both. So, whether or not it's a novelty to you or not, to me it's become a device I rely on to get work done while I travel (I do that for a living - having 2lbs in your bag vs 8-10lbs isn't something I can give up).

Edited by Klownicle, Jan 17 2013, 2:33pm :

its already compared to a McBookAir, and most forget to include the full touchscreen/digitizer/pen on the Surface Pro when comparing. So most of the time the McBookAir gets the points and the Surface pro a B minus.

But hey... that's mostly on websites cheering over any new iThingy.

Nah, they remember the MacBook Air actually comes with a keyboard and multi-touch trackpad out of the box instead of it being a €119,99-€129,99 add-on.

.Neo said,
Nah, they remember the MacBook Air actually comes with a keyboard and multi-touch trackpad out of the box instead of it being a €119,99-€129,99 add-on.

Surface Pro has a 10 point multitouch screen with a stylus digitizer, your argument is invalid. Get back to me when your MacBook can transform between a tablet/slate/notebook.

ingramator said,
Surface Pro has a 10 point multitouch screen with a stylus digitizer, your argument is invalid. Get back to me when your MacBook can transform between a tablet/slate/notebook.

Except that has absolutely nothing to do with the keyboard part and you actually can't transform between a tablet and notebook without the €119,99-€129,99 add-on. Get back to me when you developed the ability to properly read something before hitting that comment button.

.Neo said,

Except that has absolutely nothing to do with the keyboard part and you actually can't transform between a tablet and notebook without the €119,99-€129,99 add-on. Get back to me when you developed the ability to properly read something before hitting that comment button.

I can read, yes purchase the keyboard and you have yourself a complete multipurpose machine for heavier work but with the best on screen keyboard and remarkable handwriting recognition that option isn't always justifiable. Either way it completely craps over any apple laptop.

Any tech or media outlet that compares this to the ad is an idiot and should not be considered a serious critic. Mosteople understand that this is not only an iPad but a laptop and I'm very curios to see it reviewed against a macair.

battery life will be tested after 'real life' units finally come in.
Pre-production units don't count imho......

But 6+ hours would be ideal though.

Coming in a few weeks!? You don't say!

Nothing about this article is anything new. We knew back in October this thing would launch soon.

"A hair over 5 hours" to be more accurate. Pretty good for something in this form factor - 11.6 inch ultrabooks like Zenbook Prime or Macbook Air get about about 4-5 hours, perform the same and are much heftier.

Alas I guess the media is going to focus on the fact that iPad gets you double the battery life without considering that Surface Pro is 6-10 times as powerful.

Subhadip said,
"A hair over 5 hours" to be more accurate. Pretty good for something in this form factor - 11.6 inch ultrabooks like Zenbook Prime or Macbook Air get about about 4-5 hours, perform the same and are much heftier.

Alas I guess the media is going to focus on the fact that iPad gets you double the battery life without considering that Surface Pro is 6-10 times as powerful.


I agree with you. However, I'd love to see the battery life if you're only in Modern and do not touch the desktop. It seems logical that the battery life used only as an iPad would be should be substantially better than the 5 hours.

That's the way it goes in this apple happy media world we find ourselves in. I think we might be surprised and it could have better battery life than we all expected.

MrHumpty said,

I agree with you. However, I'd love to see the battery life if you're only in Modern and do not touch the desktop. It seems logical that the battery life used only as an iPad would be should be substantially better than the 5 hours.
You expect an x86 processor to be like an ARM processor in an iPad?

Its NEVER going to be that way. Those simply iPad-like tasks yes wont strain the CPU, but it is still x86.

That's true but the x86 can cheat when doing those simple tasks and use a mix of under clocking itself and/or turn a few cores off to save on power and extend battery life a bit more.

If you don't run desktop apps on an x86 processor, you might get slightly better performance, but as with almost any computing device with a high-end screen, turning down the brightness (below 50%, in my experience with the Samsung Series 7 Slate and the Surface RT) do wonders for battery life, moreso than trying to avoid doing anything with the CPU. Yes, CPU-intensive tasks will drain battery quickly, but web browsing, watching videos, listening to music, and working on spreadsheets and documents don't tax a system unduly. The screen and the radios will consume battery life more than any other component under "normal" use for the average user, and I can get my Samsung Series 7 to just about 6 hours (sometimes a few minutes more, sometimes less) using the aforementioned changes to defaults (airplane mode when I'm not using WiFi and screen brightness at 50% or lower whenever I can get away with it). I expect the Surface will probably do slightly better - the CPU has lower power consumption, the screen is slightly smaller, and the battery technology should be a bit better about 16 or so months after the release of the SS7. I wouldn't expect much more than about 6 hours though if you're doing the equivalent of hypermiling with your Surface, honestly.

TechieXP said,
You expect an x86 processor to be like an ARM processor in an iPad?

Its NEVER going to be that way. Those simply iPad-like tasks yes wont strain the CPU, but it is still x86.

It's that childish thinking I've come to know and love on these comments. a) I didn't say that b) the battery provided on the intel version of the surface will most likely be bigger than that of the ipad, so the device's operating time is what matters not the power usage of the chips during normal operating use. c) Intel is sniffing ARM. To think it won't ever be that way is just plain dumb.

Agreed, on my Slate I get great battery life just using the modern environment. It's obvious they have worked wonders inside that environment to minimize cpu usage. Lowering the brightness is massive. It's going to be fun to watch play out over the next couple of years as MS now has the Windows Core in its current state and Intel is hungry to bring its instructionset to lower power.