The Surface Pro was released earlier this year to compete not with the iPad, like its cheaper Surface RT sibling, but to take on the growing Ultrabook segment. While it was trivially thicker and heavier and non-trivially more expensive, the Surface Pro has become my go-to tool for working when I’m travelling and need something more powerful than a tablet and less bulky than a laptop.
One of the main issues to affect the Surface Pro was its minimal storage space; though the higher-capacity model purported to come with a 128GB solid state drive, that number was sullied by nearly 40GB of space made unavailable to the user. Perhaps in response to this, as well as the lower costs of SSDs, Microsoft has quietly launched a new 256GB variant of the Surface Pro. The updated model is only available for purchase in Japan at the moment, but comes with Office 2013 and Windows 8 Pro pre-installed. There is no doubt that Microsoft will expand the reach of the new SKU, which costs some $200 more than the 128GB model, which in Canadian dollars may bring the price up to $1199 from $999.
Considering Intel’s Haswell chips are about to be released, it may not be prudent to purchase a first-generation Surface Pro now; it’s likely Microsoft will announce a model with a more energy-efficient and battery-friendly CPU in the coming months. Nevertheless, a 256GB Surface Pro is a nice option to have, especially since it still comes in cheaper than the equivalent MacBook Air with the same configuration.