Surface for Windows RT vs Surface for Windows 8 Pro, what’s the difference?

Microsoft has just announced two new tablets to form a new range of own-built devices called Surface, but which one is better and which one will you want?

The basic specs detailed by Microsoft are as follows:

Surface for Windows RT

- Runs Windows 8 RT

- Powered by an Nvidia ARM chip

- Weighs 676 grams

- 9.3mm thick

- 10.6-inch ClearType HD 1366 x 768 resolution display

- 31.5 W-h battery

- microSD, USB 2, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antenna for better Wi-Fi

- Comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover keyboard

- VaporMg Case and stand construction

- 32GB and 64GB storage capacity

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

- Runs Windows 8

- Powered by an Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge) processor

- Weighs 903 grams

- 13.5mm thick

- 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display

- 42 W-h battery

- microSDXC, USB 3.0, a Mini Display port video socket, 2x2 MIMO antennae for better Wi-Fi

- Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block for writing on the screen

- VaporMg Case and stand construction

- 64GB and 128GB storage capacity

Decision time

It’s still early days for the newly announced products. What isn’t detailed as yet is the battery life or the specific processor for either device. We also don’t know pricing or exact availability aside from the fact that the Surface for Windows RT will be available at the launch of Windows 8 (expected to be in October) and that the Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be available 3 months later.

Pricing we are told by Microsoft will be comparable to other tablets and Windows 8 devices on the market suggesting a £500 price for the consumer model and £800 plus for the Pro version.

Pricing and availability questions aside the best way to determine which one you should opt for, if of course you’ve decided to get one, is to determine what you will want it for.

The Surface for Windows RT will be limited by only running Windows RT Metro apps and won’t be able to double up as a full laptop computer.

If you already have an iPad or know someone with one, it’s the same approach here. This is Microsoft’s answer to sofa computing and will let you benefit from a big chunk of Windows 8 but without going the full hog of running desktop apps, that means basic image editors rather than full blown Photoshop for example.

The Windows 8 RT model is also likely to deliver better battery life and be considerably cheaper when it gets a release date.

On the other hand the Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be a very thin Ultrabook challenger that will make the Asus Zenbook and others look fat while allowing you to enjoy a tablet experience when you don’t need the keyboard.

The ode to the past with the use of a pen will also let you tell your Samsung Galaxy Note owning friends where to go, while getting something new and different over the competition.  

So which one?

If you just want something for the sofa the specs suggest you should go for the Surface for Windows 8 RT model.

If you are looking for something to replace your aging laptop and want to have the latest “cool toy” then the specs suggest you should consider the Surface for Windows 8 Pro based on the specs.

Let us know which one you are thinking of getting in the comments below.

 



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