Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Surface RT

Guess you’ve already heard that Microsoft’s Surface Pro is coming to stores February 9, 2013 so some of you might be wondering what’s the difference between the upcoming tablet to the previous Surface RT, right?  So here’s a treat for you, we’re comparing the two Microsoft tablets so you’ll know which of the two best fits your needs.

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Operating System

RT:  Windows RT, special version of Window 8 made to run on ARM-based tablets that comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) and works exclusively with apps available in the Windows Store.

Pro:  Comparable to Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate that runs current Windows 7 desktop applications and integrates with existing enterprise management infrastructure which is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users.  Includes all the features of Windows 8 plus the ability to receive Remote Desktop connections, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, and Virtual Hard Disk Booting,Group Policy as well as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Windows Media Center functionality will be available only for Windows 8 Pro as a separate software package.

Dimensions and Weight

RT: 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in x 1.5lbs

Pro: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in x 2lbs

Exterior

RT: VaporMg casing, Dark Titanium color, Volume and Power buttons

Pro: VaporMg casing, Dark Titanium color, Volume and Power buttons

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Storage

RT: 32GB*, 64GB

Pro: 64GB*, 128GB

*System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. See Surface.com/storage for more details.

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Display

RT: 10.6″ ClearType HD Display, 1366×768 pixels, 16:9 (widescreen), 5-point multi-touch

Pro: 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display, 1920×1080 pixels, 16:9 (widescreen), 10-point multi-touch

CPU

RT: Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, 2GB RAM

Pro: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB RAM—Dual Channel Memory

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Pen Input

RT: No

Pro: Yes – Surface pen and Palm Block included when purchased

Wireless

RT: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology

Pro: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology

Battery

RT: 31.5 W-h

Pro: 42 W-h

Cameras and A/V

RT: Two 720p HD LifeCams, front- and rear-facing, Two microphones, Stereo speakers

Pro: Two 720p HD LifeCams, front- and rear-facing with TruColor, Microphone, Stereo speakers

Ports

RT:  Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, Headset jack, HD video out port, Cover port

Pro: Full-size USB 3.0, microSDXC card slot, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port

Sensors

RT: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass

Pro: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass

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Power Supply

RT: 24W power supply

Pro: 48W power supply (including 5W USB for accessory charging)

Apps Included

RT: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview1 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote); Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music, Video, and Games.

Pro: Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music, Video, and Games.

Accessories*

RT: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Adapters, Sleeves, Screen Protectors

Pro: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Adapters, Sleeves, Screen Protectors

*Not included when device is purchased.

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Price and Availability

RT: 32GB for $499, 32GB with black Touch Cover for $599, 64GB with whatever Cover of choice for $599; already available and can be purchased in 13 additional markets worldwide soon.

Pro: 64GB for $899, 128GB for $999, available February 9, 2013

Verdict

The Surface RT and Pro look the same on the outside, but the Pro is thicker and weighs more, plus it has a better display and 10-point multi-touch.  The Surface Pen and Palm Block gives another point for the Pro, so if you’re looking for a tablet to replace your PC or laptop, the Surface Pro is your best bet.  But if you’re looking for something more laid back, the Surface RT maybe worth your while.

If you want to know how the Surface tablets compare to other tablets including the iPad, check out our comparison piece here.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com