$900+ Microsoft Surface Pro is short on battery life

Microsoft’s Intel x86 Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet apparently boasts only half the battery life of the less expensive Surface RT which is powered by Nvidia’s power-conscience (ARM) Tegra chip.

As you may recall, Redmond recently confirmed pricing for its Surface tablet lineup: $899 for the 64GB standalone iteration and $999 for the 128GB standalone version. In comparison, Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet starts at $499 for 32GB (without a touch cover), $599 for 32GB with a touch cover and $699 for 64GB with a touch cover.

In terms of spec differences, the Windows 8 Pro Surface is slightly thicker and heavier, as it boasts a 10.6-inch screen (1920×1080 pixels), an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM.

The power-hungry x86 chip allows the Pro to run regular Windows software in desktop mode, such as Photoshop, while the RT is limited to MS Office in desktop mode and Windows Store apps.

Nevertheless, as PC World’s Daniel Ionesco points out, the Surface Pro costs more than a high-end tablet and only offers half the battery life. Plus, ultrabooks from Vizio, Asus, Acer and Dell have consistently passed the five hour battery mark, with some hitting six-hours, or approximately an hour more than the Surface Pro.

In related news, Redmond seems to be moving ahead with plans to release additional mobile hardware. As industry insider MS_nerd (via BGR) recently reported, the Washington-based company is preparing at least three Surface tablets that may very well hit the market by the end of 2013.

The first tablet – apparently dubbed the Surface RT 2 – will boast a 8.6-inch display, along with a Qualcomm chipset instead of Nvidia’s Tegra CPU which powers the current Surface RT.

The second device, reportedly an 11.6-inch Surface Pro, could be equipped with a yet-to-be-released AMD Temash APU instead of the current Intel Core i5 processor. Finally, Microsoft is said to be eyeing the design of a Surface Book with a with a 14.6-inch display and Intel 22-nanometer Haswell chip.