Microsoft announced Thursday that its Surface Pro, a version of its new tablet aimed at business users, would be available in January starting at $899 for US customers
The Surface Pro will be powered by an Intel processor and have a full version of the new Windows 8 operating system, which is designed with both PCs and tablets in mind.
"It's a full PC AND a tablet," said a blog post from Microsoft's Panos Panay.
"And all this in a PC that will weigh less than two pounds and be less than 14 millimeters thick. We are excited about both Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro."
Microsoft started selling the Surface last month in a version featuring a mobile-style processor and a tweaked new operating system called Windows RT. Its pricing was roughly in line with the iPad, the top-selling tablet on the market.
The Surface Pro will be more expensive, and is apparently aimed at corporate users and those seeking a laptop replacement. The least expensive version with 64GB of memory will sell for US$899, not including the touch cover with keyboard. A 128GB version will start at US$999.
Mashable called the price "very competitive... given the specs of the device," saying it is cheaper than similar Ultrabooks and Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has described the iPad challenger -- complete with a built-in stand and ultra thin covers which double as keyboards in a range of colors -- as a tablet that "works and plays."
It has a 10.6-inch display, 4GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, front and rear-facing cameras, a USB port and a stylus pen.
Click on the images above to see more of the Surface from its launch earlier this year in New York. Or read what Oprah Winfrey has to say about the new tablet.
The cheaper Surface RT is already on sale, but you will have to wait till January for the high-end Surface Pro.
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