There has probably never been a better time to get a tablet than now, thanks to the shear amount of great choices on the market today. From the iPad to the Nexus 10, there is plenty of options out there, that much is clear. What if you are considering the Microsoft Surface? Should you get the Surface RT or wait for the Surface PRO?
This is a good question, and one that is really hard to answer until we have exact pricing and other information. That being said, we’ll do our best to compare the two models and help you figure out which is right for you.
Microsoft Surface RT
The newly released Microsoft Surface RT is the first Microsoft-made tablet and one of the first Windows tablet that uses an ARM chip instead of an X86 Intel/AMD processor. The Surface RT has a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 10.6-inch display with a 1366×768 resolution, 32GB (base model) storage and has a battery that should withstand about 8 hours of use.
Due to its ARM processor, it has access to the desktop but it doesn’t have the ability to run any traditional desktop applications due to the architecture difference. In a nutshell, that means you won’t be able to use existing Windows programs and will only have access to the newer Windows Store apps.
In early 2013 Microsoft will release the Surface PRO. What’s the difference? Under the hood is an Intel Core i5 CPU, a better 1920 x 1080 display, 64GB and higher storage options, and even a pen input ability.
The Surface still has the same size of display and looks/feels about the same though it is slightly heavier at two pounds.
What makes the PRO so different?
Besides a sharper resolution and a few other perks, what really is different with the Microsoft Surface Pro is that an X86 processor means you don’t have Windows RT— instead the PRO has the full version of Windows 8. With its touch cover, the Surface RT can double as a PC for things like typing and other productivity, but it truly can’t be a real desktop/laptop replacement for most users.
With the Surface PRO model you get the ability to run all your legacy Windows programs, which opens the door to a true laptop replacement experience. There is a lot more processing, graphics and application power with the Surface that makes it more than just a consumer device.
Should you get the Microsoft Surface Pro or the RT Model?
To answer that question, ask yourself what you are using the tablet for. If you want a device for multimedia consumption and entertainment that you might occasionally use for typing and light productivity, the Microsoft Surface RT model will probably fit the bill.
If you plan to no longer use your laptop for business and productivity purposes, the Surface RT model probably just won’t cut it for the vast majority of users. With the Surface PRO you have a no compromise device that is highly mobile and has all the great Windows Store apps, but also has the non-touch optimized desktop apps for when you want and need them. If you are a gamer that wants the ability to use the Surface as a way to play desktop apps, the PRO is the only choice as RT won’t work with any game that isn’t directly from the Windows Store.
Are there other differences that we didn’t mention? Probably, but the bottom-line is if you want to have a full business solution that can truly replace a laptop or desktop— get the Surface Pro. If you own a desktop or laptop that you can use for legacy applications, the Surface RT will do the job and save you a little green.
How much will the Microsoft Surface PRO set you back? We don’t 100 percent know yet but it is believed that the Surface PRO will price competitively to an ultrabook, so expect a starting price around $1000 and launch date of around January 24th. In contrast, the Surface RT starts at just $499.
So are you interested in the Microsoft Surface? If so, which model do you think you will pick up?