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Microsoft’s Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet available February 9 in the US and Canada

Check out our full review of the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. 

During our three months with Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, we’ve waited patiently for news of the Pro version’s release. Today, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro tablet will be available on February 9 – a couple of weeks later than previous rumors indicated. Unfortunately, everyone living outside of the U.S. and Canada will have to wait even longer to get their hands on these laptop-tablet hybrids running the full version of Windows 8 Pro. 

Panos Panay, General Manager of Microsoft Surface, made the announcement today in a post on the official Microsoft blog. The Surface Pro tablet will be available in two configurations: one with a storage capacity of 64GB for $899, and another with 128GB for $999. Those prices don’t include the Touch Cover keyboard, an optional accessory that comes with a bonus stylus, which you can get for an extra $120. You can also choose to pony up a bit more cash for a limited edition $130 Touch Cover keyboard with laser-etched designs in red, magenta, and cyan. As Surface Pro works more like a traditional laptop than the Surface RT does, Microsoft also made a Surface Edition of the Wedge Touch Mouse specifically to match the Surface tablet.

Aside from the Surface Pro announcement, Panay also revealed that the Surface RT will be available in 13 additional markets in the coming weeks, bringing the total number of countries to 21. These additional markets are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Finally, if you find the the Surface Pro’s pricing a bit too much, you can buy a 64GB Surface RT tablet without the Touch Cover keyboard for $599 starting February 9, as long as you’re in one of the countries where the RT tablets are currently available. The new markets will follow in the weeks after that. 

Since the Surface Pro tablets run the full version of Windows 8 Pro, they can play any app, even those made for Windows 7. The Surface RT tablets, on the other hand, can only access apps downloaded from the Windows Store. The two tablets have a number of differences, including screen resolution, processors, and battery life. If you’re not sure whether the Surface Pro is worth the premium, check out our comparison piece between the Surface Pro and the Surface RT