/// Surface Pro: Hefty Tablet Is a Laptop Lightweight
[ See post to watch video ] Microsoft is introducing its second-ever personal computer. As with the first, it’s a multi-touch 10.6-inch tablet that has some of the attributes of a laptop, such as a USB port and snap-on keyboards. But unlike the first, this new tablet is capable of running full-featured Windows 8, though at a price — in dollars, bulk and battery life. Both machines are called Surface and at first glance, they look similar. But there are big differences. The original Surface, launched in October, uses a limited version of Windows 8 called RT and runs on the type of processor common in rival tablets and smartphones. As a result, while it can fully handle Windows 8’s new Start Screen tabletlike interface and apps, it can only run four standard Windows desktop programs — Microsoft’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You can’t install other desktop software. The new Surface, called Surface Windows 8 Pro, is powered by an Intel processor typically found on laptops and uses the high-end Pro version of Windows 8. So it can run a vast array of standard Windows 7 desktop software. That means you could theoretically use the new tablet as a full replacement for a Windows laptop — if you used one of Microsoft’s thin keyboard covers. The Surface Pro looks like the Surface RT, but it has a much higher screen resolution. The Pro also comes with a pen that makes navigating on the desktop much easier and allows for jotting notes or annotating documents. Microsoft views the Pro as a new kind of PC, a sort of hybrid of a tablet and a laptop that spares users the hassle of carrying two devices. It goes on sale Saturday. The Surface Pro starts at $899 — $400 more than the base model of the biggest, newest iPad or the base Surface RT. To be fair, this entry-level Surface Pro has 64 gigabytes of storage, four times what the base iPad offers
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