First Microsoft Surface Pro tablets come off the production line

The first of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets have been manufactured and should be available to consumers within weeks.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

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.

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