Microsoft Surface RT vs. Pro: You Decide

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The newest Microsoft product has come to town and the buzz is louder than it ever has been. The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s latest tablet and it is arriving on the heels of their earlier model, the Microsoft Surface RT. So what does the Pro have that you won’t find in the RT?

From a design standpoint, the tablets look pretty similar. But the similarity stops at design.
These two models vary widely in things like size, price, software, applications, screen, battery and connectivity. We’ll look at each aspect and see what the Surface Pro has that the Surface RT lacks or vice versa.

Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Size
Size wise, both the Surface Pro and the Surface RT are very close. They measure 10.81 x 6.81 and 10.81 x 6.77, respectively. The difference is not just in the dimensions however, but the whole package. The Surface Pro ends up being thicker than the Surface RT, due to the cover. So whereas the RT’s thickness comes in at 9.5 mm, the Pro tops out at 13.5 mm.

Also worth noting is the weight – the Pro is considerably heavier at 2.0 pounds, compared to the lighter RT at 1.5 pounds.

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Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Price
Price is a big jump. The Pro comes in at about S$1068 for the 64 GB. In contrast, the RT hovers at around S$688 for the same 64 GB.

To put it in perspective, Apple recently announced the release of its latest iPad. This fourth generation, 128 GB iPad is priced at S$1048. But that’s only a side note and not comparing apple to apples…

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Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Software
The Surface Pro and the Surface RT run on different operating systems. The RT uses Windows RT, which is a limited operating system designed to be used with ARM-based tablets and PC’s. It works exclusively with the apps available in the Windows store.

The Surface Pro runs on Windows 8, which is a full version system. This means that regardless of where you use it, Windows 8 preforms the same. This is a major consideration as Windows RT can only run apps specifically designed for the Windows RT interface. Stepping up to Windows 8 is huge.

Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Applications
The Surface RT includes Microsoft Home and Student RT, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Internet Explorer, Bing, Xbox Music, Video and Games are also loaded.
The Surface Pro runs the full Office suite. Plus the above mentioned applications AND any programs you currently run on Windows 7.

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Screen
The screen of the Pro is a different ballgame than the RT, they may be on the same field, but the screens play a different game. With the Pro, you’re looking at a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels. With the RT, you’ve got 1,366 x 768 pixels. And the RT offers a 5 point touchscreen, whereas the Pro is a 10 point touchscreen. They both will have scratch resistant glass and an ambient light sensor. Plus, the screen size is a match at 10.6 inches.

This better resolution of the Pro means images and videos have a crisper and all around higher quality appearance.

Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Battery
Battery life has been a hot topic with the newest Surface. The actual size of the battery in the Pro version is proportionally larger than the RT, coming in at 42Wh. The RT has a 31.5Wh battery.

Where the bigger difference comes in is in the actual battery life. Microsoft has confirmed that the Pro will only offer about half of the RT’s battery life, or 4 hours.

Surface Pro vs. Surface RT Connectivity
Looking at connectivity differences between the two models, there is not much difference. Both have a full-size USB, Bluetooth 4.0, a headphone jack, microSDXC card slot and a 2 x 2 multiple input multiple output antennae for 802.

The Pro does boast the version 3.0 for the USB and a mini DisplayPort.

Final Thoughts
Even though the appearance is very similar in these models, the Surface Pro offers a complete package. The RT just doesn’t compete with the capabilities of the Pro.
From a PC standpoint, the Surface Pro could very well replace your PC or laptop. The Surface RT is limited and just doesn’t have that capability. But, having said that, if a more laid back, tablet-like experience is what you are looking for, then the Surface RT fits the bill quite nicely.

But for a full throttle, laptop-like tablet, the Surface Pro is the clear winner.

For more information on the Microsoft Surface, please visit
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Updated 04-09-2013 at 05:12 PM by er_swee_kee

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