When Microsoft released the Surface with Windows RT at the end of October, it promised to deliver the more powerful Surface with Windows 8 Pro 90 days later. Today, the Redmond devices and services company announced that the Surface Pro will go on sale on February 9 – 106 days after the Surface RT. In conjunction with this release, Microsoft plans to make available three limited edition Touch Covers and a Surface edition of the Wedge Touch Mouse, as well as wider availability for the Surface RT and a new cover-less 64GB SKU.
Most of the Surface Pro specs remain unchanged, including the Intel Core i5 processor, 64GB/128GB of storage, 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display (1920 x 1080), 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and the inclusion of a Surface Pen. The company did, however, tweak a few minor things based on user feedback, including the screen angle, power cable, and microUSB card slot.
More importantly, the Surface Pro will ship with a Type Cover in the box, eliminating one of the device’s two biggest complaints. The other, of course, being the five-hour-or-so battery life. The Surface Pro will retail for $899 (64GB) and $999 (128GB).
If the Surface RT is more your style, you’ll be able to pick up a 64GB model without the bundled Touch Cover on the same date. The big question, however, is pricing. There is a $100 difference between the 32GB Surface RT and the 32GB Surface RT with Black Touch Cover, so it would stand to reason that the 64GB Surface RT will retail for $599, $100 less than the 64GB Surface RT with Black Touch Cover and matching the price of the 32GB bundle. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a little while longer for the exact details.
Additionally, the Surface RT is expanding to new 13 markets. Specifically, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This is in addition to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK, and the US, where the device is currently available. The device, of course, is sold at Microsoft Stores in the US and Canada, as well as select retailers like Best Buy, Staples, and others around the world.
Last but not least are the two new accessories: The Touch Cover Limited Edition and the Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition. The former features a laser-etched design which differs based on which color you pick up – red, magenta, or cyan. These limited edition Touch Covers will retail for $129 – the same price as the Type Cover – and will only be available for a short time. The new Surface edition of the Wedge Touch Mouse, on the other hand, is the same Bluetooth-with-four-way-scrolling model that Microsoft Hardware released last year, but with a similar finish to the Surface’s VaporMg casing. It will retail for $69.95.
Update: While the press release initially said that the Type Cover would be included, this is apparently not the case. You will have to purchase it separately, just as Microsoft originally stated.[The Official Microsoft Blog]