Microsoft Surface Pro expected to arrive in 'weeks'

The Surface Pro tablet is about to roll off the factory production line, Microsoft says.

Microsoft's Surface Pro makes no compromises on Windows 8. It runs everything a mainstream laptop can.
Microsoft's Surface Pro makes no compromises on Windows 8. It runs everything a mainstream laptop can. Microsoft

The Surface Pro's arrival is only a matter of weeks away, according to a tweet today from Microsoft.

"On my way to the factory to check out #Surface Pro coming off the line...arriving in the coming weeks," tweeted Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft's Surface products.

This should be of no great surprise, of course. When Microsoft announced the Surface tablet last year, it said the Windows 8 Pro model would be available about 90 days after the release of the Surface RT.

That model was released on October 26, so the 90-day mark is fast approaching.

Surface Pro will be available in two versions and pricing will start at $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB version.

Other specs include an Intel Ivy Bridge processor -- that's the fast Core Series chip found in Windows 8 laptops -- a 16:9 ClearType display sporting a 1,920x1,080 resolution and goodies like a Mini DisplayPort that can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution. And Windows 8 Pro of course.

"The Surface Pro is the more significant product, because it makes no computing compromises: it's the dream of a tablet as your PC, while the original Surface felt more like an iPad competitor," said CNET Reviews.

Reviews continued. "It all worked exactly as advertised, and with a extremely elegant, bordering on beautiful, sense of design."

One of the limiting factors of the Surface Pro may be battery life. Intel's Ivy Bridge processors are powerful but that power comes at a price. Even the most power-efficient Ivy Bridge chips cannot match the battery life of devices sporting ARM processors, like the iPad -- or Surface RT, for that matter.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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