Microsoft’s True iPad Killer Will Cost Nearly As Much As A MacBook Air

microsoftsurfaceproishere

The first Microsoft Surface RT tablets were supposed to be Redmond’s answer to the iPad. They have a cool design, with a fancy keyboard and an innovative new operating system to boot. Sales have been abysmal. The reviews were bad. And we weren’t too impressed either.

Microsoft swears that the Surface Pro is going to be way better though. It’s going to actually run a full version of Windows 8, meaning it will have access to a lot more apps than its Windows RT counterpart. It’s totally going to compete with the iPad 4 now, except the problem is the Surface Pro is going to cost nearly as much as a MacBook Air.

Starting out at $899, the Surface Pro will come with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5 processor with HD4000 graphics. The display gets boosted up to 1920 x 1080 and it’s going to weigh 2.0 lbs.

If you think the Surface Pro is worth the $899, then get ready to stand in line on the February 9th launch date with all the other Microsoft fans. If you’re still not sold on the value of a Microsoft Surface Pro, Anantech put together this handy little chart comparing the Surface Pro and Surface RT to the iPad 4:

microsfotsurfaceprochart

Microsoft let a few journalists play with the Surface Pro at CES this year, and from what we’ve heard, the Microsoft Surface Pro is a lot better than the Surface RT. Really.

Having full Windows 8 onboard should make a huge difference for users who hope to replace their Windows laptop with a Surface Pro. While a lot of sites on the Internet claim that the Surface Pro is an iPad-killer, it’s really positioned more to compete with the MacBook Air. Microsoft will need to do a lot of marketing to let people know that it’s more of a laptop than a tablet, but with that crummy keyboard, we can’t see why you’d want a Surface over a touchscreen Ultrabook.

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  • Aidan Taylor

    Apple does say that price does not matter with quality products…

  • dcdevito

    Nexus 10

  • FriarNurgle

    Balmer needs to go.

  • Aybara

    Apple does say that price does not matter with quality products…

    True, but we’re talking Windows 8 here.

  • Clink503

    I just wrote a really long and thoughtful comment about this, but apparently signing in wipes that out.
    So… great job guys.

  • daov2a

    I won’t be waiting in line but I plan to get one. As it is a full laptop replacement and I can easily pop in a USB 3G connection, it is well worth the price of admission. The Surface Pro looks pretty darn good to me and I am a fan of Windows 8.

  • markrlangston

    I think this is where the confusion really begins between RT and Pro and where customers will question why the two operating systems look the same but have completely different prices and capabilities.

    I can imagine a customer seeing the Desktop on RT and then on the Pro version and asking him/herself why in the world did they bother putting the Desktop on the RT when it can’t do anything but run Office? Why not just make a version of Office that’s similar to Pages/Keynote/Numbers on the iPhone/iPad instead of teasing you with a Desktop that’s a one-trick pony?!

    MSFT’s biggest faux pas was removing the Start menu from the Desktop. So many easy workflows were sacrificed and it’s a shame the development community had to hack it to bring it back.

  • markrlangston

    I just wrote a really long and thoughtful comment about this, but apparently signing in wipes that out.
    So… great job guys.

    Always log in BEFORE you comment. Or copy it first, then log in, then paste.

  • Andrew Newsome

    The annoying thing is the hypocrisy of so many people regarding the Surface.

    For years, Apple fans would scream about how their computers were superior even though their app selection wasn’t as vast compared to windows computers.

    Now the surface (RT) comes out, and all i hear from Apple fans is “UGHH THE SURFACE IS GOOD BUT HAS NO APPS. IT’S NEVER GOING TO COMPETE WITH THE IPAD”.

    Annoying!

    Also, the Surface Pro isn’t supposed to compete with an iPad. I’m not sure if Buster is seriously reporting on this, or is just kidding around, but the Surface RT is the competitor to the iPad, and as everyone knows, it just doesn’t have enough apps to entice people used to using iPads.

    The reason the Surface Pro is so expensive is because it is a full computer, not just a tablet like an iPad. It isn’t supposed to be competing directly with an iPad. If anything it should be compared with a Macbook Air. But even then it is still different.

    As i said, Buster could just be joking around and typically having a go at Microsoft as he does. But if he is serious, I sure hope he does some more research before posting another article.

  • Robert X

    Doesn’t that make it not an iPad killer?

  • RadTech5000

    Andrew Newsome, Speaking strictly as an Apple guy here I have nothing against this new surface tablet in fact it’s just the opposite. While It’s true that the surface tablet does lack App selections in comparison to Apple I don’t think anyone expects differently at this point in the game. I’m hoping all goes well for Microsoft even Google for that matter. In fact I’m glad to see other options out there, from the consumers point of view it’s a win scenario.

  • davester13

    Increase prices of MS ‘tablets’ by $100 because you need to also buy the Microsoft touchpad/keyboard covers to actually use them.

  • Steven Quan

    Funny thing is, Surface Pro isn’t a tablet even though it’s being billed as one, therefore it’s not really competition to iPad, but more the Macbook Air. Surface Pro uses: Intel chips (just like laptops), it’s designed to be used in landscape mode (just like laptops), it gets only 4 1/2 hrs of battery life (just like a laptop).

    MSFT has made a laptop with a touch interface. The Surface RT is closer to a tablet but it’s sales have been abysmal and will likely get killed off.

  • Steven Quan

    I won’t be waiting in line but I plan to get one. As it is a full laptop replacement and I can easily pop in a USB 3G connection, it is well worth the price of admission. The Surface Pro looks pretty darn good to me and I am a fan of Windows 8.

    Surface Pro is a laptop, so yes, you are replacing one laptop with another. So you’re a fan of Win8, been to Best Buys lately? There are a plethora of lightweight laptops with touchscreens running Win8 all between $500 and $1,000. If you don’t mind shelling out $1200 for a real keyboard and 64GB of on board memory (of which roughly half will actually be available to you) for Surface Pro, then knock yourself out.

    Nothing wrong with MSFT coming out with a premium laptop. It’s their first. It’s annoying when people call it a tablet because it’s anything but. The question we have, is MSFT offering the customer a premium experience? There’s nothing wrong with companies like Apple charging premium prices, but you better back it up with premium service from top to bottom, including customer service.

    Try to return a Surface ‘tablet’ to a Microsoft Retail Store and see what they tell you? If you bought it online, you can’t return it to the retail store. That should give you a pause for concern right there. They don’t have a premium support system in place. Their app store? It’s embarassing, 3rd most valuable company in the world, years to get up to speed and they still lacking in this area.

  • Paul Burt

    The annoying thing is the hypocrisy of so many people regarding the Surface.

    For years, Apple fans would scream about how their computers were superior even though their app selection wasn’t as vast compared to windows computers.

    Now the surface (RT) comes out, and all i hear from Apple fans is “UGHH THE SURFACE IS GOOD BUT HAS NO APPS. IT’S NEVER GOING TO COMPETE WITH THE IPAD”.

    Annoying!

    Also, the Surface Pro isn’t supposed to compete with an iPad. I’m not sure if Buster is seriously reporting on this, or is just kidding around, but the Surface RT is the competitor to the iPad, and as everyone knows, it just doesn’t have enough apps to entice people used to using iPads.

    The reason the Surface Pro is so expensive is because it is a full computer, not just a tablet like an iPad. It isn’t supposed to be competing directly with an iPad. If anything it should be compared with a Macbook Air. But even then it is still different.

    As i said, Buster could just be joking around and typically having a go at Microsoft as he does. But if he is serious, I sure hope he does some more research before posting another article.

    Applications written for different OSs is quite a bit different than applications written for different processing architectures. Look at what happened when Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel. Applications that used Rosetta to run on Intel processors ran slower than they did on PowerPC machines. And that was moving to a more powerful processing architecture! The fastest ARM processors are as powerful as 10 year old Intel chips; I can’t even begin to imagine the handicap that would come with trying to emulate a more powerful architecture on a chip designed to be more power-efficient. And if Microsoft won’t do something like Rosetta for RT, it’s up to the individual developers to make the decision to spend the time and effort to port their apps to work with ARM processors. Obviously, it’s gonna take time for them to catch up.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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