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Poll: Which Microsoft Surface tablet are you going to get?

WP Central

One of the biggest decisions some of us are going to have to make is which Surface device to get--the zippy and light RT version or the big Win8 Pro one?

Of course price, of which we have no idea, will certainly come into play as will your needs. We're a bit torn ourselves between the two but are leaning towards the RT for a "play" device while we keep our Lenovo laptop for our hardcore writing and reporting duties.

To help make it easier (or perhaps harder), Microsoft has gone ahead and done a side-by-side of the two devices and their respective specifications in the above image. We'll also repost them below:

  • Surface for Windows RT weighs in at 676 grams, and measures 9.3mm thick. The Surface Windows RT will be powered by a ARM processor and will sport a 10.6 ClearType HD Display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The Windows RT Surface will have a microSD card slot, USB 2.0 connection, Micro HD Video support and 2x2 MIMO antennae. It will be configured with 32gb or 64 gb models.
  • The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will weigh in at 903 grams and measure 13.5mm thick. The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be powered by a third generation Intel Core processor and will also have a 10.6" ClearType Full HD Display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Windows Pro 8 will be fitted with a microSDXC slot, USB 3.0 connection, Mini DisplayPort Video and the 2x2 MIMO antennae. The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be configured in either 64gb or 128gb models.

That leads us to the main question: which tablet are you looking to get? Take the poll and let us know why in comments!

 

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Reader comments

Poll: Which Microsoft Surface tablet are you going to get?

152 Comments

We don't know the final price yet but I'm sold on the Pro.
 
I tried looking up 2x2 MIMO antennae specs and trying to understand what it is used for. From what I can gather 2x2 simply doubles your throughput. So this means that these tablets will not have LTE in them. Looks like if I truly want to go mobile and need access I can hit up my internet sharing on my Lumia. Which is good I suppose, why pay for two data plans?
 
I seriously can't wait for Wednesday now. I have my fingers crossed and hope MS delivers more good news by making the second generation of Mango devices upgradable to WP8.

2x2:2 MIMO is a huge deal, you have no idea. Every other phone and tablet these days has only used a single antenna for thoroughput. Even if you have one of the best wireless routers available, your phone's Wi-Fi thoroughput is what's holding it back.
 
Most good routers these days are 2x2:2 MIMO and the BEST ones are 3x3:3 MIMO. My laptop also uses a 3x3:3 MIMO Wi-Fi card and it's fantastic. Even comparing it to my old 2x2:2 MIMO Wi-Fi card in my older laptop it's like night and day. Having a 2x2:2 MIMO Wi-Fi card in a tablet when every other phone and tablet these days uses a 1x1 is a huge breakthrough.

RT will only have a 1366 x 768 display according to Engadget. And if it is really around the rumoured $500 ('on par with other Win8 tablets') this is DOA.

Zac man, you're not being negative enough, you only complained about it being "vapourware", too expensive, lack of resolution. You need to say it's way too thin, and the pink colour.

So 1366x768 for you is a 2013 tablet resolution that can compete with other more popular tablets on the market? A $500 pricepoint is something that can compete with pads with better specs but have a cheaper price? MS unfortunately just doesn't seem to get it why all their past 2007 mobile products hadn't any success.

what the hell are you talking about you dont even know the specs yet, you dont know how it compares to other yet, what gpu is in huh? who makes the drives how fast are they, daul core quad? 1.0 ghz 2? all we know is the pro is a intel i5 which none of those other ones you mentioned uses

zacman- why are you on this site? Everytime I read a negative comment it is from you. Get your toll troll and back under your bridge

They haven't stated that as far as I can see. They compared it to 1366 displays from the set of tablets at computex and thought it looked a lot better

So after reading the specs and a few other blog posts, the ARM version definitely doesn't have a 1080p display.
 
I'm going to have to go with the Intel one on this.

If they could get better resolution out of the RT then I'd get that. But it looks like a Pro128 for me.

ok maybe I am stupid or just not understanding .
 
Can someone give me a better description of the differences of rt to pro like for software whats the real difference? (I get the hardware specs of sd card usb things like that)

RT will offer a pure Tablet experience which means you won't have access to older Windows software or even the legacy desktop mode. Win8 Pro will be just like Windows 8 you can get for any PC, means older software will run on it with no fuss and you can do some good old-fashioned desktop computing, too. 

ok so a rt for me then I don't need any legacy kinda stuff as long as they get the xbox live apps on there (some specially made for tablets I am game :0

you wrong in saying that. There will be the desktop mode on RT. Watch Building Windows for ARM devices video for factual reference

RT is a different OS that can not run current Windows software. Only Metro styled apps and a special version of Office 2013, IE10 and Windows Explorer in a special desktop environment. Oh and all device drivers need to be for Windows RT as well (mouse, and so on).

I'm not ready to completely drop my laptop so RT for me! However I think this a huge step in the laptop killer direction. Finally a tablet that can be used as a main device if needed.

I would really love to participate in the survey, but I know that I WILL buy one of the devices, but I don't know which one yet.  Can you put in an option for people undecided on model?

Definitely depends on pricing and what google does with Asus. If they come out with something decent for under 200 I wouldn't pay more than 500 for windows 8 rt and 700 for pro. But if google fails I'll pay more.

Apple is finding ways stop Steven Wozniak from buying another windows product hahaha iPad your gonna go down...

No need for 2 laptops so 32 GB RT for me, unless the 64 GB Pro is priced right. Also, how hackable the RT version is will weigh in.

Love this. Also excited to see what else is being brought to the table by other manufactures. But, being cheap and in the minority, kinda digging RT model over Pro.

Is there a trackpad on the keyboard cover? If not I will be sticking to a laptop. Additionally, I think I'll be able to achieve better ergonomics while working by continuing to use a dock and full size displays. I do like what they're doing here, though, and can see them being successful. Very well done!

Forgot to mention that the pro is the one with digital ink support (according to Engadget that is). I'll have to go Pro just because of that fact alone.

Yeah, there's a trackpad on the keyboard cover.
I voted that I'll get RT, but that will depend on how good the apps are.  Right now, there are a lot of things I don't like about Microsoft's Metro apps (and in most cases, it's because they have done things differently than Windows Phone, whose apps I love).  If they get the apps right, there will be no need for battery-killing desktop, so I'll go RT.

You have to buy it on the pro, rt gives you the slim version of office for free is what I understand so far. Pro is full windows, so you have to load full office.

I guess I'll be getting the RT version. But I have to admit that I'm really disappointed that it won't be 1080P. 720P is just too average. The new iPad's resolution is just way too hi for this. The Intel version will be 1080P but it'll be too thick. I wanted an RT device with 1080P and thin design.

I personally prefer the lighter of the two. If Windows Phone has taught me a thing it's that "lesser" hardware isn't such a huge factor when you have such a beautifully optimized operating system.

If the Pro is $800 for the 64 GB, has NO fan noise at all, and has battery life on par with ultrabooks and ARM tabs I may get that, though I'm leaning RT.  At 5 hours battery life, I'd think about the Pro.  At 7 hours I'd be seriously tempted.  At 10 hours I'd probably just walk into Best Buy on launch day and throw my wallet at the first employee I see.

I just know that there's gonna be a resolution war now with all the apple fanboys. If it could of at least been 1080P. But other than that. I couldn't be happier. The beast has been awaken!!

Everyone crying over the screen resolution of the Windows RT device. Well it doesn't bother me so that's the one I'm going with.

It doesn't bother me either. But when I try to show it off to my friends who have ipads. The first thing they'll rub in my face is the damn retina display.

One for fun and the other for work. Of course, that's without ant pricing, not information or experience with how well either integrates with WinPhone. That might tip the scales on getting one vs the other :-) Either way, glad to have held off on a family iPad :-D

OK, they've stopped me from buying an iPad. Now I need to see what these things can do better, and what they can't do.
Apple has an overwhelming lead in apps and services available, and keyboards haven't sold a lot of Android tabs. We'll see what they say in 2 days.

what? you forget windows 8 can run any current desktop apps and games right? how can ipad compare to that? and we dont know how many WinRT apps will be available on store. but if the same apps can run in any desktop and tablets through WinRT that still would mean, devs will like it becuase windows still has alot of users.
of course WindowsRT will do less than a windows 8 pro. but it also depends if you want x86 or arm, desktop apps vs windows store, aion, startcraft or whatever vs metro style games, etc etc.
also in either version you would be able to plug xbox controller and stuff liek that and it will work, same with a printer and mouse and keybords, etc. so thats another plus.

I'd better just clear this up, WinRT won't be able to run all the old apps you mention here, it will only run the new Metro style apps. The full Windows 8 (version on the Surface pro) is the one that can run all your old software

thats why i said it depends on what he wants.
 
if i want to run Aion like i do everyday, i wont be getting RT version. if i only gonna do simple mail work, chat, facebook, and silly boring stuff and games like ipad has, then windows rt might work for me. and i have no idea which device the person above meant, so the problem its there are 2 version of the "same" tablet.
and IF the person doesn't mention if he wants a ARM or Intel based tablet, then it has to come down to compare Pro vs RT, and if he meant Pro, it means it will have all the current software and games, which is  more than what iPad currently has. but if he meant RT it means not many apps as in ipad but it still have features that ipad doesn't have, like be able to plug stuff in usb ports, like an xbox controller, with no problems, just plugs in and ready. also it will have office included, so if practically he doesn't need desktop software he could get RT version.
also one feature i meant positive about both surface versions, its Metro style apps, both will run the same apps, so if you buy it for one, you can use it in the other, or win8 desktop computer.
so whatever he meant i was trying to cover all the posible corners explaining pros and cons between RT and PRO. more than their pros and cons between Surface tablets vs ipads or android tablets.
 

RT is the one competing with the iPad.  Pro is an ultrabook with a detachable keyboard.  It says a lot about the difference between tech forum readers and general consumers that most here are choosing Pro.  Tablet buyers don't want a laptop, and don't need laptop programs.
Start with the Pro.  Will the screen size be competitive with 11.6, 13.3 and 14 inch ultrabooks?  Especially if there isn't much price difference.  The keyboard is one of the biggest determining factors in buying a laptop.  Will you really be able to work comfortably for extended periods on this thing?  Will you be able to type by feel?  Most importantly, how will battery life compared to the Mac Air, and other ultrabooks?
On the RT, will the metro apps scale to the new res, or will we see a little rectangle in the middle of the screen?  How responsive is the touchscreen, and how smooth is scrolling and transitions?  How is the battery life?  What media and services will be available, the iPad has a huge head start?  I suspect the included Office is just the same starter version included on new laptops, designed for touch, nothing to cheer about.
Most importantly, when will this arrive?  Palm/HP showed what a disaster it can be to announce something, and wait months to release it.  It causes potential customers to move on, and gives competitors to catch up.
Like I said, lots of questions to be answered.

"RT is the one competing with the iPad. Pro is an ultrabook with a detachable keyboard. It says a lot about the difference between tech forum readers and general consumers that most here are choosing Pro. Tablet buyers don't want a laptop, and don't need laptop programs."
 
I disagree.  WinRT is a general competitor to that of the iPad and those just looking for an iPad equivilent.  Surface Pro can be for both, and for those who do not want 3 devices (smartphone, tablet and laptop/PC.)  I for one am very existed about the Surface Pro.  As everyone else points out, I too hope battery life is an average of 6+ hours.
 
As for the keyboard, you can't do any worse than the Logitech or Apple bluetooth keyboards for the iPad.
 
The Surface should be made available when Windows 8 goes Gold.  Surface Pro, I have heard 3 months after Windows 8 launches.

RT for me, unless there are some 199-299 apple tablets or android tablets released before then then my money may be spent lol. Would love to see a 7" running a version of 8 as a kindle fire competitor, for under $300. Maybe that will run wp8? That's what I really want.

I would go with the Win8 version, if it doesn't cost an ARM and a Leg.  I don't really get and understand the RT version of the OS.  It seems like just another version of WinMo, or is it a newer version of WP7x that is incompatible?  Would apps built for WP work with RT like how Droid phone Apps work with Droid Tablets?  I'm still learning about that environment since my wife went droid and now owns a phone and tablet.
If Rt is incompatible with Win8 and WPx.x, would we now have 3 different OS's to contend with?  I'll just stay in a holding pattern until the initial developers and early adopters step in and figure it all out.  Maybe this time next year for me.  Or I'll just wait till someon hacks Rt and I put it on one of my old Dell Axim x51v's........;)

RT. Don't forget screen size. Unless you Think 10" is good enough compared to a comparable 13" Ultrabook for the same price, which I don't. RT is cheaper, does what it needs to do plus more for the right price. Where do I pre-order?

If I'm about to switch to single terminal, then it will be the Intel version.
Hardware companies would take very long time to adapt. Softwares like for scanner doesn't seem to be coming to Metro soon and I'm not sure the likes of Vuescan will be quick to rewrite. That's the deal breaker.
But if the price is too high, I guess it's the two device route and just get an RT device to accompany the old desktop at home.
Don't really care about retina display actually. Saw Apple's promotion picture about the new Macbook's retina display and I can't see the difference between their retina and non-retina screen other than when they compare image resolution.
So, there will be no SIM card slot here ?
And then, the price would be $200~300 higher here, thanks to the local import tax, high-cost bureaucracy and higher profit by the local distributor, much like what has been happening for computer devices.

Today I'm a happy man. Thank you Microsoft from saving us from those robots and evil fruit.

If the Pro delivers a good experience using Revit, I'll be happy to sell both the iPad and the laptop I currently have and get one!

I'm thinking the Pro may cost about 1199.99? And RT about 599.99? Or will the show me love at 899.99 Pro and 399.99 RT? Oh well I'm going pro all the way

Well I remember on the YouTube channel for windows 8 daily they did say bottom end $200 to $1000 for the Intel models that's what I've been going off.

For ARM, I will definately get the Surface. For x86, I rather get the Acer W700 cause it has thunderbolt, and pair the Acer up with the thunderbolt MSI GUS II with HD7850/HD7870, I will have a great docked gaming machine :)

Why is Windows RT only for play and recreation? It comes with a full featured Office suite and is cheaper. It is really a bargain for getting real job done.

Because Office is just one kind of productivity. There's still working with data or multimedia editing.
Even for Office, there's application that's not available in RT version.

My laptop will cover the heavy stuff that the Windows RT tablet can't do (which is little). RT will cover my everyday mobile computing needs just fine.

damn... This is really hard decision... But since I'm not a power user I'm buying RT....i just hope MSFT advertise this and price this the right way..
AMEN...

I'm not a power user either. A big consideration for me is how Xbox Music works as to which one I get. At least with Zune, you couldn't use microsd as storage. It all had to be locally stored. Now if they change that and allow you to drop a 64 GB card in there to increase capacity and store music on it, great, I can get RT. Likewise, if they develop some sort of SkyDrive integration for your music collection, perfect. Otherwise, I'm going to have to get the x86 version simply for media storage reasons.

I'm going with the Win8 Pro version IF the battery life is the same.  Win RT version for my wife, who just wants something simple and small.

Ditto RT for the wife and kids... I've even been training my four year old on our Zune HD to get used to metro. We are a Microsoft family. :)

I voted for the x86 version because that's what I'm most excited about but I will surely buy one of each. As a developer I need to make sure my apps work great on both.

I will pick up the rt version, I mean I already have the new hp envy 15 laptop. It makes sense from my perspective, pretty much I'm using for basic consumer needs.

All depends on battery life for me. If the pro is going to give 5 hrs compared to 10 for the rt then I'm getting the rt. If the battery is the same or very similar then... Hi Pro glad to meet you

RT coz I use my Desktop for heavy work. The RT suits my needs, especially with MS Office. I can't wait to get those devices in my hands. They really represent W8. Oh and I don't think that the RT version is just for play and recreation. I do all of my work with Office.

Intel based pro 128 Gb Version for me. I just hope the graphics card will be as powerful as the CPU. Can't wait to buy my first tablet :D

The Pro, definitely.  It is exactly what I want... a tablet that can replace my laptop.
 
However, I may wait a bit and see what some other OEMs release.

ARM ... because x64 is to draining on a tablet battery. I have a tablet with an i5 right now and it gets about 4 hours battery life running windows 8 Release Preview.

I love my MBA, but i would totally ditch it for a Surface Pro any time. And i would ditch my desktop too if the specs are good.
 
What i want:
 
* a good dockingstation solution with mass-storage
* ability to attach 2 or more monitors
* atleast 4 GB ram
* Wacom-level capability of the pen/digitizer
 
What would be cool for the future: not only keyboard covers, but also a cover with an additional display - so you get something like the never-released Courier.

Pro version seems very thick comparing to the RT one. It's hard to decide but I believe if there's an Atom SoC version (Medfield), I'll definitely choose that one.
Carrying an ivy bridge tablet everywhere seems a little bit overkill.

I'm definitely gonna buy one of em. Leaning towards the pro tho... I thought the pro was pretty thick, but it's as thick as my iPad 1! I can live with that! iPad is going to the wife :D

I need info on battery life and screen resolution.  If those are better or atleast comparable to iPad, I will get one--prob RT.

I'll carry my charger battery life ain't iah but desktop apps as well as wp8 is a game changer u can do nearly anything especially if u bootleg items such as software or games on comps

Its no so much the surface im bananas over its the whole idea even third parties will have their versions hopefully keeping price down I think they will be fair ranged just because Microsoft wants to get in the game plus it's competitors tht sell the same software

Just Think u got a phone, tablet and computer in one bundle with limitless opportunity to grow you can build apps straight from it as well as make apps for others such as apple and Android u can't lose