First Microsoft Surface Pro tablets come off the production line

First Microsoft Surface Pro tablets come off the production line

Summary: The first of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets have been manufactured and should be available to consumers within weeks.

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Microsoft's full-blown PC-tablet, the Surface Pro, should be available very soon after the first run came off the production line on Tuesday.

"On my way to the factory to check out Surface Pro coming off the line... arriving in the coming weeks," Panos Panay, Microsoft's general manager of Surface products announced via Twitter on Tuesday.

As a result, Microsoft looks set to make the expected January timeline set for Pro's release. The comany has said it was aiming to have the Surface Pro available within 90 days of the Surface RT's October 26 release.

The key difference between the Surface RT and the Pro is that the latter will be able to run any application compatible with Windows 7 desktop, offering owners a much larger choice of software than the RT.

The Surface Pro runs an Intel Core i5 processor, and will come in a 64GB version for $899 and 128GB version for $999, however Microsoft is yet to reveal availability and pricing outside the US.

The two devices sport roughly the same dimensions with a 10.6 inch screen, however the Pro is 0.5 pounds (226 grams) heavier and approximately 50mm thicker. The specifications for both devices can be found here and ZDNet's hands-on review of the Pro is here.

UBS analyst Brent Thill on Monday wrote that he expected Microsoft to sell around 2.5 million Surface Pros in 2013

A question for many would-be buyers outside the US now would be when and whether Microsoft will distribute to their region - several large markets, particularly in Europe, are still to see any availability of the RT.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

113 comments
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  • The wait is almost over.

    The Super tablet that everyone is waiting for and probably the nemesis of iPAD in the corporate world.
    Owlll1net
    • Hate to disappoint you

      Everyone is NOT waiting for it. More likely, the vast majority of users could not care less and the sales numbers will confirm that.
      D.T.Long
      • So what? Not everyone's waiting in line for an iPad either

        So what was the point of your comment?

        But you keep on with your silly anti-MS crusade, we understand. ;)
        William Farrel
        • Facts are facts

          I know that is a challenging concept to MS shills like you and Owlll1net. Clearly the statement is factually incorrect, even though the release may give you and your ilk wet dreams.

          My point was the factually incorrect post. What was yours??
          D.T.Long
          • what does it matter

            since when corporation own people like you. They are the ones making money and cutting people paycheck and benefit and here you guys defending Apple, Google and Microsoft. it is just an opinion not point to fight, remember that. Unless you have some other hidden agenda. Even that should not justify the way you two Post messages
            Sonlab Mehra
          • So an exageration on his part, as obviouslly not everyone wants it.

            but not too far from the truth in that many where waiting to compare a Surface Pro with Surface RT before buying.

            "More likely, the vast majority of users could not care less and the sales numbers will confirm that"

            Those sales figures of Microsoft are might important to you. You've mentioned them quite alot. Obviously you don't work for MS, so are you an Apple shill?
            William Farrel
          • Re: waiting to compare a Surface Pro with Surface RT before buying

            Then go on an buy an iPad or a Galaxy Nexus.

            It will be funny to see all those disappointed people, who believed in the Microsoft religion and that Microsoft can do miracles nobody else can.

            Tablets running Windows exist for over a decade, they get updated any time new technology arrives. Microsoft putting their name/logo on them won't make it any different. Anyone who thinks so is hopeless.
            danbi
          • "Re: waiting "

            danbi writes: "Tablets running Windows exist for over a decade, they get updated any time new technology arrives."
            And you don't find your comment the least bit nonsensical? Those tablets ran XP, then Windows 7, NOT Windows 8. There's a huge difference since neither of the former systems were designed to be touch-friendly, the hardware wasn't, either. Get a clue, man, Windows 8 is not your father's Windows. If you'd actually try it you'd know that and not be so quick to make a claim that's the equivalent to comparing early 20th century automobiles to a 21st century car and saying the new is the same as the old, since the comparison is ludicrous! Your thought processes, or lack thereof, show you to be the one who is "hopeless".
            xplorer1959
          • Ahh...

            So you can predict the future, eh? Got it. Funny.
            jasongw
      • And I suppose you talked to ALL of these users?

        I have distinct reasons why I'm waiting for it over the iPad, mainly having to do with my job. And I don't recall you talking to me. Just sayin'...
        rtocci
      • You're Wrong.

        I am waiting for mine, and by far more people in the business world will want Surface Pro over iPad. Sorry! And the post didn't have any facts, it was opinion, so your "factually inaccurate" nonsense below is just that. Go troll elsewhere.
        Kovu401
        • agreed

          We looked at iPad for our business needs and laughed our way through the presentation. Too much compromise to be a worthwhile business tool. Surface Pro appears to be a zero compromise pc hybrid.
          Rob.sharp
      • A major step beyond the iOS and Andriod

        Will be decidedly more capable of being a completely productive computer and far beyond what any existing tablet can do.
        sickntired44
        • 'decidedly more capable'

          yep... *and* by all accounts, it will have a very capable stylus, which most reviewers are mostly clueless about. Other than so-so battery life, the Pro will be awesome. And the build quality is super, so it will be a pleasure to use just in a tactile+esthetic sense. MS's advertising, strategizing etc is moot... this thing will sell itself.
          Jorj_X_McKie
    • It’s not about the iPAD, but it is

      “Also Surface is not all about iPAD, iPAD runs iOS” -Owlll1net 16 January, 2013 15:57

      “and probably the nemesis of iPAD in the corporate world.” -Owlll1net 16 January, 2013 16:14

      Typical Owlnet….
      daikon
      • I will help you understand.

        Corporate users who uses iPAd to imitate Windows functionality ( read remote desktop to another machine to use MS Office, Office or other Corporate apps) no longer has to struggle. Surface Pro solves their problem.
        Owlll1net
        • but there were already solutions to this problem

          Surface Pro isn't the only x86 based windows8 tablet/hybrid device.

          Not "everyone" is waiting for these and I suspect it will not blow the doors off of the ipad either. SurfacePro $899/$999 vs Ipad $399/$699 is a sizable gap for typical users.


          I wish people would stop treating Surface as if it is the holy grail of windows mobile devices. It is just 1 option among many and it will most likely sell modest amounts, because there are other choices.
          Emacho
  • cloggeddbottom7, you're projecting.

    You are doing what is loosely known as "projecting", in which you project your image of low self worth onto others.

    I'm in IT, you're (obviously) not, and you hate that - you want to be, but can't stand the fact that we are, so you "project" youself onto others to "bring them down to your level". You work for Geek Squad, so everyone works for Geek Squad. Or something like that; I'n not an expert in psychiatry, but I know enough to see through you for what you are.

    Now go and compile us some sales figures for Surface, iPad Mini, and maybe the Samsung Galaxy. (I'm not picky, any version of the Galaxy is fine.)

    I figured since you're based out of Best Buy, they'd have those numbers readily avaliable for you.
    William Farrel
    • I contest your evaluation

      He is just plain and simple - dull.
      sonnet37
    • IT'S SAID

      that you have made the effort to show up every day just to further your PRO-MS agenda. And then you call other people Shills and trolls.... go figure........
      Over and Out