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Microsoft Surface Pro price pronounced at $899

The Microsoft Surface Pro will start at $899 (£560) in the US when it arrives in the new year. Expect a hefty markup for the UK.

Microsoft has pronounced a price for its professional high-end tablet. The Microsoft Surface Pro will start at £560 when it arrives in the new year.

That's the US price, though -- UK prices have not been announced. American tablet fans will have to pay $899 (£560) for the 64GB version or $999 (£622) for the 128GB model -- and the Touch Cover keyboard costs an extra hundred bucks on top.

The Surface Pro is a tablet running the full version of the new Windows 8 software, rather than the special stripped-down mobile version found on the already available Microsoft Surface. The Pro has an Intel chip and the same software as a computer or laptop, so you can install your own programs and use all the files your PC can. By contrast, the Surface has an ARM chip, so runs the mobile Windows 8 RT software that can only install mobile apps and access certain types of files.

The 10.6-inch Pro also has a more detailed screen, but is slightly heavier than the RT model because of the bigger battery required to supply the extra power required. Both tablets clip into a keyboard for more involved work such as lengthy typing.

The Surface went on sale at the end of October but has suffered delays, prompting Microsoft to offer £50 compensation to early customers. The Surface has also been controversial because of Microsoft's misleading use of memory statistics -- despite claiming to have 32GB of memory, only 20GB of memory is available to you.

The Surface Pro goes on sale in January. We'll keep you posted when UK prices are confirmed -- we're worried that the dollar sign will be swapped for a pound sign and we'll end up paying £900. Just adding VAT to the US price jacks it up to £670.

What do you think of the Pro price? Can it compete with the iPad? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.