Should you buy a Microsoft Surface RT or a Surface Pro?

Should you buy a Microsoft Surface RT or a Surface Pro?

Later this year, Microsoft will be releasing two important products: Windows 8 and the first Windows 8 tablet, the Microsoft Surface RT, will both be released on October 26, 2012.

However, a second Surface will be released sometime later. Called the Microsoft Surface Pro, it will be significantly more powerful than the Surface RT. Although we’re still a few months away from release, consumers are already wondering if they should buy the Surface RT on day 1 or wait a little while longer for the more powerful Surface Pro.

Fortunately, PCWorld.com compiled a list of features we can expect from both versions of the Surface. Here’s how both the Windows 8 Surface tablets break down:

Surface RT

The Surface RT will cater to consumers who want basic tablet functionality. It will feature an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which means a couple of different things. First, it means that the Surface RT will have quad-core functionality. And second, it means it will require less power than Intel CPUs, which could mean longer battery life.

There is one big drawback with the Surface RT. Well, some users might call it a drawback, while other users won’t notice the difference. There is no traditional Windows mode with the Surface RT. Users have to stick with the Metro interface. Since some apps only run in desktop X86 mode (aka classic Windows), this means that users could be limited in the types of apps they can install. It also means Surface RT users won’t be able to install programs that they have already bought for their PCs.

Of course, if the Windows 8 app store turns into the bustling marketplace that Microsoft hopes for, there will no doubt be a number of apps fighting to fill the void left by the lack of X86 programs.

Surface Pro

The Surface Pro blows the Surface RT out of the water in terms of performance and capabilities. It’s as powerful as most Ultrabooks. For those who don’t know, Ultrabooks are the premium Intel-based laptops that are designed to compete against Apple’s Macbooks. At that level of performance, Surface Pro users will be able to do all sorts of fun stuff on their tablet. With a Core i5 processor, your Surface Pro will be more powerful than many desktop or laptop computers purchased over the last 2 years or so.

The Surface Pro will also feature an X86 mode, meaning users can run any program or app they want. It’s basically a mobile version of the classic Windows experience, which is sure to be a game-changing feature for many users.

Surface RT versus the Surface Pro

So which one should you choose? Ultimately, both devices will have a 10.6-inch widescreen display, although the Pro will be full HD 1080p while the RT will be slightly lower ‘HD-qualtiy’.

If you’re going to use your Surface to browse the internet, watch videos, and type up the occasional Word document, then the Surface RT will be just fine. The RT has been designed for the average computer user who wants exceptional performance, visuals, and audio quality along with an easy-to-use attached keyboard.

If you want to access all of your favorite Windows programs on your tablet, or if you need the maximum amount of power, then you’ll want to choose the Surface Pro. It has been designed for premium users who want the highest level of visual quality and performance power.

The Surface Pro is rumored to start at $999, which is quite a bit higher than the average tablet. The RT, meanwhile, is expected to be priced closer to an iPad, somewhere between $499 and $599, which is why the Surface has been dubbed an iPad killer.

Which one will you choose? The RT or the Pro? Let us know in the comments!

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