Surface Pro: Twice the Price, Half the Battery Life

Surface ProIt hasn’t been long since the Microsoft Surface hit stores and started being picked apart by every technology pundit and reviewer out there. The dream of a Microsoft-produced computer that ran Windows has been in the back of the minds of many a Windows user for decades. The reality of the situation was a bit disappointing to some.

Perhaps the last commercial hope for the Surface brand might come by way of the Microsoft Surface Pro. With a next generation Intel Core i5 multi-core processor onboard, the performance issues seen with the less-powerful Microsoft Surface should be mitigated. That’s the hope, at least. The addition of a full version of Windows 8 rather than the stripped-down mobile Windows RT also puts the Surface Pro at an interesting advantage.

So, what’s the price of this highly-anticipated item going to be?

  • $899 – Microsoft Surface Pro 64 GB
  • $999 – Microsoft Surface Pro 128 GB

This information was confirmed by the Official Microsoft Blog and I’m personally very surprised at this development. It was expected for some time that the starting price for the Microsoft Surface Pro would be around $999, but at $899 it feels like a tiny bit less of a punch to the wallet than expected.

The Surface Pro comes with Windows 8 Pro (the equivalent of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition on the new OS) as well as the Surface pen, a stylus which is used (in addition to palm blocking technology) to make note taking a little easier for the user during meetings. It could also prove useful for an artist wishing to jot down concepts while they’re out and about.

Downsides to the Surface Pro

Even at $899, it’s a high price to pay for what consumers see and perceive as a tablet computer. It’s a hard sell to push something the size of a netbook at a costs closer to that of an Ultrabook. In addition, the battery life on the Surface Pro will suffers due to the more power-hungry Core i5 processor. It’s currently estimated that the Surface Pro will have just four hours of battery life. This is a far cry from the nearly 10 hours most larger (and less pricy) tablet computers on the market currently boast.

Touch covers are still sold separately, so the $899 entry-level price is actually just a starting point. If you want a keyboard, you’ll be looking at a price in the low four figures at minimum.

I’m still not sold on the Surface as a first-generation product. Early adopters have been burned by the Surface already, and I would hate to recommend anything that hasn’t had at least a generation or two of development behind it. 90 days isn’t a very long time to learn from the mistakes of the first Surface, and introducing a more powerful processor and additional RAM doesn’t exactly fix what comes down to software optimization. Granted, Microsoft does have the ability to fix a lot of these issues through software updates, but you should never buy anything on the hopes and promise that updates will eventually come.

Are you going to buy a Surface Pro?

Image: Microsoft

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.