Despite its rather steep $899 entry price -- and Microsoft's inability to keep the tablet in stock -- the company has moved more than 400,000 Surface Pro tablets since its February 9 debut. This information comes from anonymous sources in contact with Bloomberg.
While Microsoft is no stranger to making peripheral hardware and even game consoles, Surface represents the software maker's first DIY foray into the cut-throat business of producing an computers. With PC sales declining for the first time in nearly a decade, the stakes may be high for a company who depends on PC sales to move its products.
The relatively swift uptake of Surface Pro tablets in comparison to its much less expensive RT sibling is somewhat unexpected. However, the Surface Pro (and Windows 8) did bring something novel to the tablet space though: a desktop experience.
All told, Microsoft's Surface RT and Surface Pro sales add up to roughly 1.5 million units since October 26, 2012. Although 1.5 million is impressive by most everyday measures, it pales in comparison to competitors like Apple and Google who move millions upon millions of iPad and Nexus 7 tablets each month. In fact, Apple shipped nearly 23 million iPads in just Q3 2012.
In 2012, Microsoft projected it would move about two million Surface RT tablets in December alone. In hindsight though, that's nearly twice as many Surface RTs Microsoft has sold over the course of nearly five months.
Despite Surface's less than impressive sales, it seems Microsoft remains fully committed to the product. In November, Microsoft doubled-down on Surface, guaranteeing four and a half years of support. Recently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted to Surface's relatively sluggish sales but said its tablets are real business -- even if they don't dominate the sales charts.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The Google Nexus 10 features Android 4.2 with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 chip paired with 2GB of RAM, as well as a 10-inch screen at 2560 x 1600 resolution, clocking in at 300ppi. There’s also a 5MP camera on the back, a 1.9MP camera on the front, and a battery that Google says runs for 9 hours. Other features include microUSB, Micro HDMI and not one but two NFC chips.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
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