Microsoft today revealed the pricing scheme for the upcoming Windows 8 version of its Surface tablet. The devices will cost $900 to $1000, depending on storage, with Touch and Type covers being a separate, added cost.

“Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in January 2013,” Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay wrote in a post to the Official Microsoft Blog. “Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in two versions and pricing will start at $899. Both versions will both include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover (sold separately).”

The two Surface Pro versions include:

64GB standalone version at $899

128GB standalone version at $999

While the Surface Pro utilizes the same VaporMg casing, dual 2x2 MIMO antennas and kickstand as the Surface RT, Panay also highlighted some differences between the two Surface versions:

Next generation Intel Core i5 processor. While the Surface Pro spec sheet claims that it will come with a “third-generation” Intel Core i5 processor, the phrase “next generation” suggests something else. No details on that yet, but Panay says this processor will “give Surface with Windows 8 Pro a graphics boost for its 10.6” 16:9 ClearType display that runs at a 1920x1080 full HD resolution”.

USB 3.0 port. Where Surface RT includes just a single USB 2.0 port, Surface Pro includes just a single USB 3.0 port. Why not two? And why no dock? I have no idea.

Mini DisplayPort. Where Surface RT includes a micro-HDMI port capable of driving a 1920 x 1080 display, the Surface Pro includes mini-DisplayPort, good for driving an external display up to 2560 x 1440 resolution.

Pen input. Whereasthe Surface RT lacks a capacitive digitizer on its screen, Surface Pro includes one. “This is an amazing feature for all you note-takers or document editors out there, especially since it has expanded capacitive and digitizing technology we’re calling Palm Block that will prevent your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidently place your palm on the screen as you write,” Panay notes. “This feature is pretty cool, and allows for a great inking experience alongside a great touch experience when needed.”

Windows 7 application and hardware compatibility. Because Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro, and not the more limited Windows RT, it “will run your current Windows 7 desktop applications – it’s a full PC AND a tablet.”

Thicker and heavier. The Surface Pro will weigh less than two pounds and be less than 14 millimeters thick. That’s both heavier and thicker than the Surface RT, which weighs just 1.5 pounds and is less than 9.4 millimeters thick.

There are a number of other specifications that Panay skipped over, and of course most of this was previously known. You can find out more on the Surface web site.