November 29, 2012, 4:52 PM — The full-blown Windows 8 version of Microsoft's new tablet -- Surface Pro -- goes on sale in January with a starting price of $899 ... and that doesn't include the distinctive snap-on cover/keyboard that will be pretty much essential for anyone wanting to use the machine for traditional Windows applications.
The $899 buys a 64GB version of the device, while $999 pays for a 128GB model, according to a blog at Microsoft's TechNet.
FIRST LOOK: Surface RT
The keyboard, if it follows the price of the keyboard for the Windows RT version of Surface, costs an extra $119 for the Touch cover and $129 for the Type cover, which has mechanical keys.
Because it can run any application that runs on a Windows 7 machine, this is a possible corporate laptop. This is the major difference between the Surface Pro and Surface RT.
Surface RT runs only Windows 8-optimized Windows Store applications. It comes with a pared-down version of Microsoft Office; Surface Pro does not.
While it looks similar to the Surface RT with distinctive keyboard/covers and integrated kickstand to prop up the screen, there are major differences.
Surface RT runs on ARM processors and Surface Pro uses an Intel Core i5 processor. Screen resolution on Surface RT is 1366 x 768 vs. 1920 x 1080 on Surface Pro.
Surface Pro has a USB 3 port vs. a USB 2.0 port on the Surface RT. Surface Pro supports a stylus; Surface RT does not.
The dimensions of the Surface Pro in inches are 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 compared to Surface RT's 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37. Surface Pro also weighs more at 2 pounds vs. less than 1.5 pounds for Surface RT.
Windows 8 has grabbed significantly less of the overall Windows computing market in the U.S. during its first four weeks than Windows 7 did in its initial phase, according to market research firm The NPD Group, and sales of tablets is "almost nonexistent."