Can the Surface Pro Save Microsoft?

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Success for Apple would ultimately mean success for Intel; the majority of laptops and desktop PCs run on Intel’s chips, but sales of those devices have slackened as the computing device of choice has become the tablet. As a result, in the third-quarter, its chip sales were down eight percent.

The Surface Pro’s specifications will help the device compete with Apple’s iPad. The Pro’s 1.7 gigahertz Intel Core i5 processor and its 4 gigabytes of RAM prompted Joe Wilcox of BetaNews to describe the device as a beast that “roars and runs fast” in his review. But some of the Pro’s design elements may hinder its adoption by a wider audience. The tablet’s 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display, with 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution, has been praised, but the larger screen and its accompanying kickstand also makes the device cumbersome for mobile use. Not only is it cumbersome, but it is heavy as well, weighing in at two pounds.

The cost of the PC-like tablet stands at a prohibitive $899 for the 64 gigabyte model, a price significantly higher than the $499 base-model fourth-generation iPad 4. In fact, the Surface Pro costs more than many desktops and laptops made by companies like Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and rings it at just $100 below the retail price of an 11-inch MacBook Air. But the Surface Pro has already made Apple react; the company just released an iPad with a whopping 128 gigabytes of storage, twice that of its next biggest iPad, on February 5, in order to better compete with Microsoft in a previously unexplored space that has as yet unknown potential.

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