Microsoft Surface Pro now on display in some retail stores

Technically, you can't buy the Surface Pro until Saturday, February 9th, but the next version of Microsoft's tablet has already started to appear in some retail stores in the US.

One of Neowin's readers, trevor, sent us a tip revealing that when he visited his local Microsoft Store on Saturday, the employees already had the Surface Pro tablets out and were playing with them. He also said that they would go on display, but not for sale, starting today in Microsoft Store locations. He added, "And yes you can get a reservation for when they go on sale next Saturday. Looks like stores will open early, around 8 am."

Engadget has confirmed that the Surface Pro tablets have indeed started to appear in some retail stores, which will include Staples and Best Buy. WinBeta.org reports that at least some Best Buy stores are allowing people to pre-order the tablet if you purchase a $50 gift card.

Just a reminder: The 64 GB version of the Surface Pro, running on Windows 8 Pro, will be priced at $899 while the 128 GB version has a price tag of $999, although up to 45 GB of storage will be taken up by the OS, recovery partition and pre-installed software, out of the box.

Source: Engadget | Image via SurfaceGeeks

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Intel hiring Windows Phone engineers

Next Story

Microsoft uses headlines to read the future

29 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The Surface will be for real men, not Mr. Spaghetti arms. If you can't handle the Surface Pro it may be best to stick to your iPad while men get work done. 208ppi? So what, it's 1080p and on a screen that size it's going to look fantastic and sharp. You could make the argument that iPad's 264ppi is disappointing compared to my iPhone's 326ppi too, but I own an iPad4 and I don't complain about the ppi... just like I won't complain about having a 10 or 11 inch screen with a 1080p display. I played with the RT for a while and was quite impressed with the display quality, and the Pro is going to be even sharper.
My laptop gets between 1 and 2 hours out of it's battery now days. Do you really think I'm going to complain about having a device that can do everything my laptop can do and give me 5 hours? I certainly won't be complaining. Not to mention, there will most likely be keyboard docks available before long with built in batteries to extend that life while in 'laptop' mode.
Usable space on my iPad is 60 gigs. PERIOD. Usable space on my Surface itself will be over 100gb after the recovery partition is gone and software is uninstalled that I don't need. After I get a 64gb microsd card it will be over 160, and when the new 128gb microsd's (which will also be much faster than previous cards) come out in a few months it will be over 200 gigs. So, even the new 128gb iPad coming out in a couple of days will fall well short of what I can store on the Surface. This isn't even considering xt drives or 128gb flash drives.
The type keyboard has received a lot of praise from people on how comfortable and easy it is to use. It can't be any worse than the bluetooth keyboard I have for my iPad or most of the other ones out there. But here's the kicker that you may not have realized yet... I can hook up ANY keyboard I want to the Surface be it USB or bluetooth.
Surface vs Ultrabook? I can't lay an Ultrabook in my lap or flat on a table and comfortably create artwork right on a touch screen with built in Wacom technology can I? I can't detach that keyboard and use it as a powerful tablet that is just as fast as the Ultrabook can I? And if you want to talk about ppi how about that 720p or so display on the Ultrabook? Mighty impressive right? The Surface Pro is around the same price and can do everything an Ultrabook can do and a lot more, especially for artists and designers. The Surface can do a lot more things than my iPad can do and doesn't cost much more than the 128gb iPad is going to cost. It can do more as a tablet than an iPad, and more as a laptop than an Ultrabook. Considering many people have both an iPad and laptop, why don't you add that up in your head. Even if you take the cheaper 128gb iPad ($800) and a mid range laptop or Ultrabook ($600 to $1100) that's a lot of money to be paid in order to match the functionality of a Surface Pro. No Wacom tech touchscreen and pen with a detachable keyboard for your Ultrabook and no Windows desktop software for your iPad. With either one of those you're missing functionality somewhere. With a Surface Pro you're not missing out on anything.
The Win8 tiled interface was designed for touch and works quite well. They didn't get a lot of praise for that interface in Windows Phone 7 and 8 for nothing. It works and works well, and when you need a desktop, it's there.
This device will be the beginning of something great and I think they have done a fine job starting out. Of course, I'll continue to love my iPad for what it is and there will always be a reason to keep it. I won't have a reason to cry about anything. I will simply own both and enjoy them equally for different reasons.

Microsoft should show the difference of this and ipads how it is superior and can be anything you want it to be... honestly there is no need for ipads with a device like this... its not as expensive as people may claim. almost everyone who owns an ipad also have a laptop... now combine the price and you still don't have digitizer and portability this will give. I have a very good idea for ads... if they will hire me.

benalvino said,
Microsoft should show the difference of this and ipads how it is superior and can be anything you want it to be... honestly there is no need for ipads with a device like this... its not as expensive as people may claim. almost everyone who owns an ipad also have a laptop... now combine the price and you still don't have digitizer and portability this will give. I have a very good idea for ads... if they will hire me.

You're kind of forgetting that the Surface Pro can neither really compete with a dedicated laptop nor with a dedicated tablet (like the iPad). Instead it serves to combine some of the advantages both of these products have. So I'm sure the Surface Pro is a great device in its own right, but you have to make many compromises (which I'm sure some people are willing to make) if you want this device to replace both your laptop as well as tablet. And believe me, I would love to have a device that could do so. Not sure the Surface Pro is it though.

Of course, having to carry two devices instead is a compromise as well. So I guess there's no free lunch here.

"Hi, I'm an iPad"
"And I'm a Surface Pro"
"I into doing fun stuff like iTunes and Facebook and Angry Birds."
"I also do fun stuff, like Excel and 3D games and sketching."
"No see, but I can do that too..."
"I also run the entire library of Windows software."
"Well... ****"

benalvino said,
Microsoft should show the difference of this and ipads how it is superior and can be anything you want it to be... honestly there is no need for ipads with a device like this... its not as expensive as people may claim. almost everyone who owns an ipad also have a laptop... now combine the price and you still don't have digitizer and portability this will give. I have a very good idea for ads... if they will hire me.

with the amount of people that use windows, Microsoft doesn't have to show the difference. When a few of these get out there, oh people are going to know about it.

This isn't like pure windowsrt where you have to convince people to try something new. This is like a laptop, but it includes the function of a tablet that will do everything your laptop will,and can be used as a tablet. I think Microsoft integrating metro into the new windows is genius. It is why so many apple and android users are so angry, that Microsoft can just destroy them this easily by getting people to use and develop for metro by leveraging the power and reach of windows.

billyea said,

iPad:"Hi, I'm an iPad"
SPro:"And I'm a Surface Pro"
iPad: "I'm into doing fun stuff like iTunes and Facebook and Angry Birds."
SPro:"I also do fun stuff, like Excel and 3D games and sketching."
iPad: ...
SPro:"No see, but I can do that too..."
SPro:"I also run the entire library of Windows software."
iPad:"Well... ****"

benalvino said,
Microsoft should show the difference of this and ipads how it is superior and can be anything you want it to be... honestly there is no need for ipads with a device like this... its not as expensive as people may claim. almost everyone who owns an ipad also have a laptop... now combine the price and you still don't have digitizer and portability this will give. I have a very good idea for ads... if they will hire me.

Surface Pro is a completely inadequate tablet replacement, and a fairly inadequate ultrabook replacement in my opinion. The hardware is heavy but the screen and keyboard are not optimal for real productivity. The OS is somewhat separated into two modes (modern and classic) ... it's a strategy, but probably not the right strategy given the success of iOS and Android as dedicated tablet operating systems. I guess Microsoft didn't really have the option of pushing a separate tablet-only OS, as it was so far behind iOS and Android, that it had to try a new strategy ... one I think will ultimately fail.

I believe you are in a dream world... have you seen the acer iconia w700 play call of duty? how cant it replace netbooks? what can netbook do that it cant? they run use same processor and same graphics card HD4000... how is it not a better tablet? what do you think tablet is? to build a device and put phone OS on it? Microsoft has done a really good job. I don't see my self playing much of mobile games apart from the racing games cause the suck. this can get me real games and also get me real entertainment using the RT only apps...

sabrex said,

Surface Pro is a completely inadequate tablet replacement, and a fairly inadequate ultrabook replacement in my opinion. The hardware is heavy but the screen and keyboard are not optimal for real productivity. The OS is somewhat separated into two modes (modern and classic) ... it's a strategy, but probably not the right strategy given the success of iOS and Android as dedicated tablet operating systems. I guess Microsoft didn't really have the option of pushing a separate tablet-only OS, as it was so far behind iOS and Android, that it had to try a new strategy ... one I think will ultimately fail.

To make Windows 8 or Windows RT a tablet-only OS, unpin the desktop tile. Done.

Don't like the keyboard? Use a bluetooth keyboard of your choosing. Screen too small? When you're working at your desk, connect it to a huge external monitor.

Want power and features neither Android nor iOS can match? Desktop.

sabrex said,

Surface Pro is a completely inadequate tablet replacement, and a fairly inadequate ultrabook replacement in my opinion. The hardware is heavy but the screen and keyboard are not optimal for real productivity. The OS is somewhat separated into two modes (modern and classic) ... it's a strategy, but probably not the right strategy given the success of iOS and Android as dedicated tablet operating systems. I guess Microsoft didn't really have the option of pushing a separate tablet-only OS, as it was so far behind iOS and Android, that it had to try a new strategy ... one I think will ultimately fail.

I'm guessing that you never tried either version of Surface and just decided that it's inadequate. I can tell you for a fact that Surface RT is perfectly adequate as a tablet and Surface Pro is perfectly adequate as both a tablet and ultrabook replacement. I'm not Arnold Schwarzenegger but if you think that 1.5-2lbs is heavy then you must have sticks for arms.

sabrex said,

Surface Pro is a completely inadequate tablet replacement, and a fairly inadequate ultrabook replacement in my opinion. The hardware is heavy but the screen and keyboard are not optimal for real productivity.

complete and utter BS. This is coming from people who have never tried these devices. I have a surface RT and even that works as a laptop replacement a lot of the times. It has office, supports printers,USB peripherals, hdmi. The browser support flash.

The surface pro has a core i5 and can run any windows application you can throw at it.

As for the keyboard, the type cover says otherwise. you probably don't even know that there is a type cover. it works wonderfully for typing. The screen is also big enough for almost anything you'd like to do on a laptop. If you're doing precise work and need a big screen there is hdmi. hell,nobody I know doing such precise work uses a laptop anyways. Of course there are people that need a big screen laptop for certain things,but the majority of folks don't.

What are your reasons? throwing empty statements like its inadequate for this and that without valid reasons shows the lack of understanding of the product.

Surface Pro is a completely inadequate tablet replacement

Funny, I said the same thing about the iPad when it was released. Up until then I had been using tablets which included a pen (along with touch) for writing and drawing. This enabled me to take detailed notes and sketches, essentially allowing me to leave my notebooks at home. Then came the iPad, which eschewed the pen in favor of touch only. You could write with this giant stylus, but really it was like writing with sidewalk chalk or a giant-tip sharpie with gloves on.

Surface Pro and this latest crop of Windows tablets are like a renaissance to me, while the iPad and other touch-only tablets that followed are like the dark ages. Finally I can return to a time of enlightenment and get my work done with a tablet.

The hardware is heavy but the screen and keyboard are not optimal for real productivity.

I see the word "productivity" thrown around a lot like it's some universally quantifiable and comparable figure, like "weight" or "dimensions". So surface isn't optimal for productivity... but what is? And for whom? What is being produced? How much of it? Where? For how long?

Everyone needs computers to do different things. A desktop PC with a large 24" monitor, full keyboard, and mouse may be optimal for office productivity, but try using it in the middle of a field or on a train and you'll be hurting. A full size laptop might be optimal for a hotel room or airport. But try using it while standing up and again your productivity is no longer optimal.

Surface Pro just happens to be the optimal confluence of specs, size and functionality for my particular needs. In that sense you could say it's optimal for me (or at least as optimal as I can get given the current technological offerings.)

but probably not the right strategy given the success of iOS and Android as dedicated tablet operating systems.

Yes, iPad has been wildly popular. Not sure why you hold Android tablets up there with iPad, because they haven't sold much more than the Surface RT compared to iPad's massive numbers.

Either way, despite the popularity of the iPad, the number one accessory for it is a keyboard. Friends and family ask me all the time "How do I run X application on my iPad" and I have to tell them it's impossible. I see people in the classes I teach trying to take notes with those stubby styluses. They might as well be writing with a hot dog. iPad is a great device but it has its shortcomings. iPad and Android collectively offer pretty much the same set of features, and that's all you could really get until now. So to point at them and say the market is fully satisfied is missing the wide array of features people simply cannot purchase given what Android and iOS offer.

vcfan said,

complete and utter BS. This is coming from people who have never tried these devices. I have a surface RT and even that works as a laptop replacement a lot of the times. It has office, supports printers,USB peripherals, hdmi. The browser support flash.

...

What are your reasons? throwing empty statements like its inadequate for this and that without valid reasons shows the lack of understanding of the product.

The surface pro is 39% heavier and 44% thicker than the iPad ... and considering the iPad is already on the heavy side, the Surface Pro feels like holding a brick. It has 208 ppi screen compared to the iPad's 264 ppi ... the battery life of the Surface Pro is likely going to be a joke compared to the iPad's 10 hours, and let's not get into the usable storage space on the Surface Pro. Not even considering the quality of the apps (for tablet use) available for the Surface Pro compared to the iPad, I'd say those reasons alone make the Surface Pro an extremely poor replacement for a tablet (for anybody, not just those used to the iPad).

As for the Surface Pro as a laptop replacement, for my tastes the screen is too small and the keyboard too awkward to use ... it's not a bad ultrabook replacement, but since it fails miserably as a tablet replacement, why not just get a real ultrabook at a much lower cost and be done with it? The metro interface just gets in way and adds nothing to the overall desktop experience.

Since the device fails as a tablet replacement, it fails overall as a "laptop/tablet hybrid" concept ... something Microsoft already tried in 2002 with the Microsoft Tablet PC ... were you defending that concept when it was released too? My guess is yes.

you are so comparing like a kid... ppi? I still haven't found any difference the ipad 4 or new ipad have on surface rt in terms of screen... ok you use microscope to look at your screen... no point arguing with people who think like kids.

sabrex said,

The surface pro is 39% heavier and 44% thicker than the iPad ... and considering the iPad is already on the heavy side, the Surface Pro feels like holding a brick. It has 208 ppi screen compared to the iPad's 264 ppi ... the battery life of the Surface Pro is likely going to be a joke compared to the iPad's 10 hours, and let's not get into the usable storage space on the Surface Pro. Not even considering the quality of the apps (for tablet use) available for the Surface Pro compared to the iPad, I'd say those reasons alone make the Surface Pro an extremely poor replacement for a tablet (for anybody, not just those used to the iPad).

As for the Surface Pro as a laptop replacement, for my tastes the screen is too small and the keyboard too awkward to use ... it's not a bad ultrabook replacement, but since it fails miserably as a tablet replacement, why not just get a real ultrabook at a much lower cost and be done with it? The metro interface just gets in way and adds nothing to the overall desktop experience.

Since the device fails as a tablet replacement, it fails overall as a "laptop/tablet hybrid" concept ... something Microsoft already tried in 2002 with the Microsoft Tablet PC ... were you defending that concept when it was released too? My guess is yes.

So, because it doesn't conform to what YOU think is a good device it's inadequate for everyone is it?

BTW, you do know that a good portion of the space is used for the recovery partition, don't you. Move the contents of that partition to a USB memory stick and guess what, you get that space back.

neo158 said,

So, because it doesn't conform to what YOU think is a good device it's inadequate for everyone is it?

BTW, you do know that a good portion of the space is used for the recovery partition, don't you. Move the contents of that partition to a USB memory stick and guess what, you get that space back.

If I don't consider anything else, the weight and poor battery life alone make it a poor tablet replacement. Get one, and I'm pretty certain you'll come to the same conclusion once you've used it for a week or so. Those two factors will drive people to either not buy this device, or to return it soon after purchase, if they intend to use it as a tablet to any real degree.

The other factors (lack of decent apps, clunky UI, lower PPI, usable storage) are subjective faults ... so there is no point arguing about them. Some people may be satisfied with those aspects, and some may not.

sabrex said,
Get one, and I'm pretty certain you'll come to the same conclusion once you've used it for a week or so.

Subjective. If another device runs for hundreds of hours but doesn't run anything I need it to run, that right there puts it in the useless category.

sabrex said,
lack of decent apps

Seriously?

sabrex said,

If I don't consider anything else, the weight and poor battery life alone make it a poor tablet replacement. Get one, and I'm pretty certain you'll come to the same conclusion once you've used it for a week or so. Those two factors will drive people to either not buy this device, or to return it soon after purchase, if they intend to use it as a tablet to any real degree.

The other factors (lack of decent apps, clunky UI, lower PPI, usable storage) are subjective faults ... so there is no point arguing about them. Some people may be satisfied with those aspects, and some may not.

What you don't realise is that I do have one, I used it for a week or so and guess what, I haven't returned it yet. I would say that you need to use one for more than 5 seconds instead of assuming that everyone is just like you and has the same needs and requirements.

Just look at the other comments, most, if not all of them disagree with you.

My laptop died so i'll be getting a Surface Pro. I expect the second version of Surface Pro to be considerably better though. The first Pro will have a 17w Ivy Bridge CPU. Not even the newer 10w versions.

Once Intel release Haswell CPU's later this year they will be as low as 7w and support Connected Standby, which is new Win 8 feature, where the CPU will use hardly any power and also wake now and again to check for emails/new messages and stuff. You'll get much longer battery life with Haswell Win 8 tablets, they will be closer to ARM tablets (Android/iOS) but with the power of a laptop.

Because of the lower power consumption you'll also get thinner/lighter tablet designs. They will still likely need fans for cooling though. To be fanless you need to get to around 5w and under. ARM SoC's typically use 2 - 3w.

rojorojo said,
I want one really bad but I may end up waiting for version 2

I want version 2 as well,because it will have awesome performance with great battery life with the new intel chips coming out, BUT im still getting the pro,and i'll just sell it when the new one is out. I think the loss i'll take on it will be worth the use i'll have with it.

vcfan said,
BUT im still getting the pro,and i'll just sell it when the new one is out.

I'm thinking of doing the same!

1Pixel said,
My laptop died so i'll be getting a Surface Pro. I expect the second version of Surface Pro to be considerably better though. The first Pro will have a 17w Ivy Bridge CPU. Not even the newer 10w versions.

Once Intel release Haswell CPU's later this year they will be as low as 7w and support Connected Standby, which is new Win 8 feature, where the CPU will use hardly any power and also wake now and again to check for emails/new messages and stuff. You'll get much longer battery life with Haswell Win 8 tablets, they will be closer to ARM tablets (Android/iOS) but with the power of a laptop.

Because of the lower power consumption you'll also get thinner/lighter tablet designs. They will still likely need fans for cooling though. To be fanless you need to get to around 5w and under. ARM SoC's typically use 2 - 3w.

^ Knows what he's talking about. Guessing you read this? http://www.anandtech.com/show/...ntels-haswell-architecture/

I've already decided that I'm not to get the Surface Pro this time because I want 256 GB storage space + the battery life that I'm pretty sure the next Surface will have.