Surface Pro to launch at Best Buy midnight event in NYC on Feb 8

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

Microsoft will launch its Surface Pro tablet at a special event in New York City at midnight on the evening of Friday, February 8.

The company will first hold a private reception before the special launch event at Best Buy in Manhattan’s Union Square at midnight, ZDNet reported after seeing an invitation to the gathering.

Panos Panay, general manager of the Surface team, will reportedly be in attendance at the late-night launch, along with members of Microsoft’s Windows team. The Windows 8 tablet will go on sale across the US and Canada the following morning.

The Pro version will hit stores four months after the trimmed-down RT version went on sale. The more powerful Pro model runs on an Intel Core i5 processor and comes in two flavors: 64GB for $899 and 128GB for $999. Consumers interested in a Touch Cover keyboard will have to fork out an extra $120.

Following reports of lower-than-expected demand for the RT version, Microsoft executives will certainly be watching the sales figures for the Pro with bated breath.

The Pro’s prospects won’t have been helped by a report yesterday that a good chunk of its memory will be lost to the operating system, with the 64GB version shipping with only 23GB of available storage space and the 128GB version coming with just 83GB of free space. However, Pro owners will be able to utilize the microSDXC card slot to increase its storage capacity by up to 64GB, if they wish. It’s also possible for users with the know-how to reclaim some of that lost storage space.

Come February 9, consumers will be able to pick up a Surface Pro tablet from Microsoft retail stores, Staples and Best Buy. Online orders will also be possible at microsoftstore.com. While no date has yet been given for a roll out beyond the US and Canada, the Surface RT is set to hit stores in 13 additional markets, all in Europe, in the coming weeks. The RT is already available in Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and the UK, besides the US and Canada.

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