Microsoft Surface Pro goes on sale February 9
22nd Jan 2013 | 17:00
Surface for Windows 8 Pro comes to the US first, plus more options for Surface RT
When Surface General Manager Panos Panay tweeted recently that he was jetting off to the factory to see Surface Pro units shipping "in the coming weeks" it didn't add much to the original promise that Surface Pro would ship around 90 days after the Windows RT version.
But now Microsoft has confirmed the early February date in addition to pricing - $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB model.
Actual international pricing is yet to be announced, but those directly convert to £567 / AU$852 for the 64GB model and £629 / AU$945 for the 128GB edition.
The specs are the same as the Surface Pro we tried out at CES, with what Microsoft is calling a "third generation Intel Core i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 400"; until we see an actual unit, we can't say whether Surface Pro will have the new low-power Core CPU Intel announced at CES or not.
The external graphics is more clearly identified as an HD Mini DisplayPort now; you'll need an adapter but it lets you drive VGA screens and still get an HD image on an external HD screen. And Surface for Windows 8 Pro also comes with a version of the neat Surface RT power adapter that includes a 5W USB port for charging your phone (or even another tablet).
Both versions of Surface Pro include the active Surface pen we tried out at CES and they work with the same Touch Cover and Type Cover keyboards as Surface RT.
As with Surface RT, the keyboard isn't included in the price though; in fact Microsoft is also introducing a $599 version of the 64GB Surface RT without the keyboard, so you can pick the keyboard colour or design you want.
That could be one of three $129.99 limited edition Touch Cover designs in red, magenta or cyan with a laser-etched design on the back.
There's also a special $69.95 "Surface Edition" of the Wedge Touch Mouse which works like a large external touchpad for Windows 8 gestures, as well as a nicely portable mouse. The special edition part is the casing, which matches the VaporMag coating on Surface RT and Surface Pro.
If it's Surface RT you're after, you'll soon be able to buy it in twice as many countries; the Windows RT tablet will be on sale in 13 more European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).
We asked Microsoft when Surface Pro will be available to buy in the UK.
"We are taking a phased approach to the rollout of Surface Windows 8 Pro to satisfy retailer and customer demand," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "You can expect expansion of Surface Windows 8 Pro in the coming months. We're not confirming where it will expand to right now or the exact dates, however."
Hopefully that will avoid the initial problems Microsoft had in the UK shipping Surface RT.