Microsoft will begin sales of the Surface Pro this weekend. The Pro and RT model look alike, but that’s where the similarity ends.
The Surface RT (left) and the Surface Pro.
With the Surface Pro set to go on sale Saturday, consumers will have a pretty stark choice between two Microsoft tablets that look remarkably similar.
When I walked into my local Los Angeles Microsoft Store earlier this week — where the Pro was already on display next to the RT model — it was hard to tell right off the bat which Surface was which.
Not surprising, since both tablets display the same Metro screen and there’s a mere 4.2mm difference in thickness.
So, let’s recap what sets the Pro apart from the RT version.
Price: The RT model with Microsoft Office starts at $499. The Pro without Microsoft Office starts at $899.
Compatibility: The RT model is not compatible with older Windows applications. The Pro is.
Thickness/weight: The Pro model is about 0.5 inches and 2 pounds, the RT model about 0.35 inches and 1.5 pounds.
Disk space/storage tech: The Pro comes in 64GB and 128GB versions, RT in 32GB and 64GB. Note that the Surface Pro’s solid-state drive is fast, the same class of speedy SSDs you find in mainstream laptops.