Microsoft's Surface RT was the gadget of 2012—not the best, nor most popular. But it was hugely exciting thanks to its incredible design and divergent approach to software. It didn't quite usher in the future—there's still unfulfilled potential—but it certainly shows that an exciting segment is developing out of the company's labs. Could the Surface Pro be it?
The device, which has festered in release purgatory, is finally available for consumer purchase in the U.S. and Canada. Or was/is—it's hard to tell right now. Multiple reports suggest that, in addition to the device already selling out through Microsoft's own website, retailers such as Best Buy and Staples are receiving limited (or none at all) units. At this point, it's unclear how many have been sold.
Two versions are available: $899 64GB model and a $999 128GB model. But simply picking up a Surface all by its lonesome isn't really a complete package, so you'll want to also drop money for a Touch or Type Cover, which run for $120 and $130 respectively.
Microsoft hasn't thrown down cold hard figures regarding the Surface RT, but with the Pro model now available, perhaps the company will be in a more sharing mood with demand seemingly so high. Microsoft told Gizmodo that it's working frantically to replenish retail stock, so expect to see units trickle in and out over the new few weeks.
Microsoft Surface Family Grows as Surface Pro, New Accessories Hit Shelves
The newest additions to the evolving Surface family arrive in stores tomorrow.
NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. announced the Microsoft Surface family of PCs is growing with Surface Pro, the newest member of the growing Surface family, along with a number of new products and accessories available tomorrow. Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro is perfect for customers and businesses looking for the power and performance of a PC in a tablet package, and, starting tomorrow, it will hit physical and virtual shelves in the United States and Canada at all Microsoft retail stores and microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the United States and Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada.
New Products Also starting tomorrow, customers will be able to purchase several new Surface products and accessories, letting them further personalize their computing experiences and be more productive.
Surface RT with Windows RT will be available in a new 64GB1 standalone version for an estimated retail price of US$599 to allow customers the option of selecting a cover of their choice.
Customers will be able to purchase a Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition for an estimated retail price of US$69.95 in all markets where Surface is currently sold,2 with additional markets to follow in the coming weeks.3
Three new Touch Cover Limited Editions in red, magenta and cyan will be available for an estimated retail price of US$129.99 in all markets where Surface is currently sold.2
Market Expansion Microsoft also confirmed today that a substantial increase in market availability of Surface RT will take place on Feb. 14, bringing Surface RT to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
"We are thrilled to expand the Surface family with the release of Surface Pro," said Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface. "The launch of Surface Pro marks a pivotal moment for customers who can now do more with their machines than ever before. Within the Surface family, customers will be able to choose a combination of devices that best suit their needs: Surface Pro, which provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package, or Surface RT, which offers the convenience of a tablet with some laptop capabilities so you can get things done."
On Oct. 26, Microsoft released Surface RT – a device representative of a tablet with some laptop capabilities that weaves productivity and mobility into one beautiful product. Surface RT is great for people looking for all-day battery life (up to 8 hours battery life) and an entertainment-first experience with the ability to still get some work done. The newest addition to the Surface family, Surface Pro, is more like a full-blown Windows 8 Pro laptop that also boasts tablet capabilities. Now, customers can have a fully functional PC that looks, feels and acts like a tablet. With Surface Pro, customers can do virtually everything they've ever done on a PC, ranging from using traditional desktop applications to enjoying the protection of world-class safety and security technologies.
The Surface family of PCs represents an extension of the Windows experience, letting customers work, play and connect with others. From an ultralight durable casing, integrated kickstand and covers that allow customers to be productive anywhere to a full-sized USB port, 16:9 widescreen, high-definition display and 22-degree angle that make it optimal for viewing and sharing content easily, the Surface products let customers seamlessly transition between entertainment and creation.
Additional details on Surface are available at http://www.Surface.com, the Surface Blog and Surface on Facebook. Those interested can follow Surface or Panos Panay on Twitter for additional updates.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 System software uses significant storage space; your storage capacity will be less. See surface.com/spec. 1 GB equals 1 billion bytes.
2 Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States 3 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland