Microsoft Tablets: Surface Windows RT vs Surface Windows 8 Pro

Yesterday Microsoft announced their very own line of Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft’s Surface Tablets are sure to have really annoyed some of Microsoft’s OEM Manufacturing partners, but Microsoft clearly feel that it’s a risk worth taking. There’s an adage that if you want something done right, you should just do it yourself, and this is obviously something that Microsoft have decided to follow.

I’m sure you’ve read about these new Surface Tablets or watched the Keynote Online so by now you should know that Microsoft have actually announced 2 different Surface Tablets. Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows 8 Pro.

So what’s the difference between these two tablets? Well on the outside they look pretty much identical, except that Surface for Windows 8 Pro is slightly thicker and heavier. But it’s on the inside where these tablets differ.

  Windows RT Windows 8 Pro
Processor NVIDIA Tegra-based ARM Chip Intel Core i5
Weight 676 grams 903 grams
Thickness 9.3 millimeters 13.5 millimeters
Display 10.6-inch ClearType HD 10.6-inch Cleartype Full HD
Battery 31.5Wh 42Wh
I/O MicroSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video MicroSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort
Software Windows RT + Office Home & Student 2013 Windows 8 Pro
Accessories Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand Touch Cover, Type Cover, VaporMg Case & Stand, Pen with Palm Block
Capacity 32GB / 64GB 64GB/ 128GB
Availability Around Windows 8 Launch 3 Months After Windows 8 Launch
Pricing In line with other Windows RT Tablets In line with comparable Ultrabooks


Microsoft haven’t really given us many detailed specifications, especially when it comes to the exact type of processors, memory and crucially, battery life. This is most likely because they are still working on the finalising the exact specifications of the tablets but also because Microsoft are looking to focus more on the users experience rather than on pure specifications.

Of course it’s in Microsoft’s interest to have these tablets running as smooth as possible since they want to showcase Windows 8 more so than anything else. Throughout the conference Microsoft stressed that the focus was on Windows 8 experience here and not the actual hardware it’s running on.

It’s worth nothing that the Windows RT based tablet is noticeable slimmer and lighter than the Windows 8 Pro version. I’m assuming that’s because of the increased battery size needed to cope with the increased processor power and drain from the Full HD display as opposed to the standard HD display on the RT tablet.

Microsoft also haven’t made any of these tablets available for pre-order as of yet. They can’t really without giving us full specifications, but they might also be trying to keep their OEM partners somewhat satisfied by not trying to blow their products out of the water with a full blown marketing and sales campaign…just yet.

Overall, Microsoft have had a pretty good go at making some great devices here, and early hands on seem to agree. What do you think of Microsoft’s Surface Tablets?

Let us know in the comments below


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