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Microsoft Issues Surface Getting Started Guide

Microsoft makes a mini-book about Surface Pro and Surface RT

Microsoft has published a handy 68-page Getting Started guide for both Surface with Windows 8 Pro and Surface with Windows RT. It’s a useful document for users—or potential users—of either device. And it does a decent job of highlighting some of the differences between the two.

You can download Surface Getting Started Guide from the Microsoft web site. It’s in PDF format.

If you’ve been reading along about Surface RT and Surface Pro here and elsewhere, you are probably up to speed. But a few interesting tidbits do emerge:

High-level differences. Microsoft actual notes that the ARM processor in Surface RT is “commonly used in mobile phones” (!) and that the device “makes for a thin and light tablet with awesome battery.” Surface Pro, meanwhile, is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, can do “everything you’ve ever done on your PC,” and can connect to a “broad variety of accessories … just like you always have.”

Power supplies. Contradicting what Microsoft told me during the Surface Pro briefing, the Surface Pro and Surface RT power supplies are compatible in both directions. “The Surface Pro 48 watt power supply with USB charging port can be purchased separately and used with either Surface RT or Surface Pro. The reverse is also true, though the 24 watt Surface RT power supply will “take much longer” to charge Surface Pro.

Register your Surface. If you haven’t done so, be sure to visit to register your new Surface Pro.

Windows 8 user experience can be hard to learn. This guide amazingly notes that “there are a few things you must know to successfully navigate the new Windows. If you read nothing else in this guide, be sure and read this and practice on your Surface.”

Power management. Surface RT will lock itself and turn off the screen “just like a smartphone.” But if you don’t use Surface Pro for a while, it will “go to sleep just like a laptop.” A coming part of my Going Pro series deals with this topic, so more soon.

Touch and Type keyboards. A connected keyboard cover is “disabled” when you fold it back behind the screen. When you close it, the device turns off the screen (but behaves a bit differently internally as noted above). Surface Pro requires you to tap the power button to wake it up.

There’s more, of course. But snag the guide. It’s surprisingly decent.

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