Microsoft has finally announced a launch date for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablet, and while it isn't going to make the originally intended January release timeframe, the good news is it won't miss it by much.
The big brother to the Surface for Windows RT will officially go on sale on February 9 in the US starting at $899 for the 64GB version. The bad news is there's no UK release at all for now.
That much isn't too much of a surprise, to be honest. What would be nice, however – and what we're still waiting for – is news on exactly when it will go on sale on our own shores and elsewhere in Europe.
In the meantime, though, we can cast our eyes across the Atlantic to see what amounts to the acid test for Microsoft's vision of tablet computing.
With its premium pricetag, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro is relying on the traditional PC and laptop user being willing to pay similar prices to ultrabooks and old-style desktop powerhouses for a tablet – a device that users thus far have proved decidedly picky about at half the price.
Microsoft will argue, naturally, that that's because they never had the Surface Pro as an option. It's powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, features a full HD 10.6in display and runs the full version of Windows 8 Pro, plus has more pro-spec connectivity options such as a full-blown USB 3 port. Plus there's the decent-looking stylus that comes as standard.
The rest of the specs – and particularly the details about many of the internal components – have still to be fully revealed.
Price-wise, we already knew the $899 starting point for the 64GB model, with the 128GB edition pegged at $999. The Surface pen is included, but as with the RT model the Touch Cover and Type Cover aren't. Microsoft is also introducing a new-look touch cover available in red, cyan and magenta for $130, plus a Wedge Touch Mouse capable for four-way scrolling for $70.