By Robert Schoon / ( | First Posted: Jan 22, 2013 05:01 PM EST

(Photo : Microsoft)

Microsoft's new tablet, the Surface Windows 8 Pro, will be released on Feb. 9 at Microsoft stores, Staples, and Best Buys in the United States, with a starting price tag of $899.

For that record price, you get Microsoft's best new tablet on offer, featuring either the 128GB or 64GB storage capacity and 3rd generation 64-bit Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD graphics 4000 and 4GB of dual-channel RAM. And, as the name implies, it will be loaded with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft's most recent, premier consumer operating system.

The tablet sports a 10.6-inch 10-point multi-touch capable full HD display at 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, and rear-and-front-facing-cameras both clocked in at 720p. Other perks include a microSDXC card slot, three full-sized USB 3.0 ports and a cover port, for those cover keyboards that you can use with Microsoft Surface tablets (though these are not included).

Microsoft introduced the less expensive, less powerful Surface RT tablets with the integrated Kickstand before the holiday shopping season last year. They start from $499. The new Surface Windows 8 Pro will be slightly larger and heavier than the Surface RT, but not by much - the screen is the same size, though the Pro has a nicer one.

"The response to Surface has been exciting to see," said Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay in a release to AFP. "We're thrilled to continue growing the Surface family."

What will be interesting is to see how robust that response will be, considering the price point is above Apple's iPad, and the Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet does not include the keyboard cover out of the box, which costs $100 more. 

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