3286 Surface Pro Microsoft Core i5 Surface Pro tablet available January, 2013 starting at $899

Early Windows 8 adopters who have been waiting it out for the Surface Pro will have to shell out a bit more for the Intel-based tablets—as expected.

Microsoft announced on its blog recently that its Intel Core i5 Surface Pro tablets will start at $899 with the 64GB model and $999 for the 128GB model.  All Surface Pro models will come with Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Pen stylus, 4GB of RAM, dual 2×2 MIMO antennas, built-in kickstand, Dark Titanium VaporMg casing, one USB 3.0 port, and Windows 8 Pro OS to boot.

Weighing in at less than two pounds and measuring less than 14mm thick, the Surface Pro has a full 1080p 10.6-inch HD screen, and is capable of 2560×1440 output via a Mini DisplayPort.  The Surface Pro has the ability to use a Touch Cover or a Type Cover, but in the interest of Microsoft the tablet will be sold as a 'standalone' (meaning, no Touch/Type Cover add-on will be included).

Many are saying that the Surface RT is Microsoft’s answer to high-end tablets such as the Asus Transformer Prime, and Apple’s new iPad.  The Surface Pro on other hand is meant to compete with Ultrabooks, or ‘superslim’ and ‘ultraportable’ laptops.  Whatever the case may be, Microsoft is still trying to gain notoriety in the portable market its Surface devices.  Many users have griped about Windows 8’s lack of a ‘desktop’ feel, and the barren app store.

Microsoft projected that 4 million Surface RT tablet were going to be shipped in 2012, but that number had been cut by about half a million to a million.  Nevertheless, the Redmond-based software giant has its mind set on taking on the tablet world with its in-house hardware.

ARM-based Windows 8 tablets are cheaper, but users will not be able to run legacy software designed for prior versions of Windows.

Here's a quick comparison of the Surface RT and Pro:

Features

Surface RT

Surface Pro

OS

Windows RT

Windows 8 Pro

Weight

676g

903g

Thickness

9.3mm

13.5mm

Battery

31.5W-h

42W-h

Connectivity

microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD video, 2×2 MIMO antennae

microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort video, 2×2 MIMO antennae

Software bundle

Office Home & Student 2013 RT

N/A

Storage

32 or 64GB

64 or 128GB