Microsoft Surface Pro to have half the Surface RT's battery life

Summary:Microsoft has shared not only Surface Pro pricing, but also expected battery-life stats for its Intel-based PC/tablets coming in January.

How much does battery life matter to tablet users? Microsoft may soon find out, first-hand.

Microsoft went public today with pricing for its Surface Pro PC/tablet devices -- the Intel-based ones running Windows 8 Pro that will allow users to run their existing third-party apps on the Desktop. The 64 GB version will be $899; the 128 GB version, $999. (Both prices include a pen, but no Touch or Type keyboard/cover. So add another $120 to $130 for that.)

Pricing is not all the team shared about the Microsoft-branded Surface Pros, due out in January 2013.

Surface Pros are going to get about half the battery life of the Surface RTs. Surface RTs get between eight and ten hours of battery life, based on various estimates I've seen (and my own personal experience on mine).

The Surface team Twitter account confirmed the battery-life plans in a November 29 tweet to @Shahroom:

surfaceprotweet

 

For me, that'd be a deal breaker. With a tablet, I count on not having to lug a power cord around. Other readers of mine say they plan to use the Surface Pro like a PC, so they are less worried about only getting four to five hours of battery.

Why the low battery life? Surface Pro, as Microsoft officials announced a few months ago, uses the Intel "Ivy Bridge" (generation 3) Core i5 processor. It doesn't use the lower-power-consumption/higher-battery-life Atom/Clover Trail and it doesn't use the fourth-generation Core Haswell .

Some had hoped/wondered if Microsoft's decision to deliver Surface Pro after Christmas was related to a last-minute substitution of a more powerful Intel processor. But that isn't the case, a Microsoft spokesperson reconfirmed when I asked today. Surface Pro uses the Intel Core i5.

If you want to see the rest of the Surface Pro specs and how they compare to the Surface RT ones, you can download the PDF of Microsoft's comparitive spec sheet from a few months back. It's still accurate.

There are trade-offs in every device. Do you think Microsoft made the right choice between processor power and battery life on this one?

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft, PCs, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.