By Alexandra Burlacu | May 30, 2013 01:12 PM EDT
A new 256GB version of Microsoft's Surface Pro Windows 8 tablet surfaced, for now set to launch only in Japan.
Microsoft did not make any U.S. listing for a larger-capacity version of its 10.6-inch Surface Pro tablet, but the Japan launch leaves way for hope that a 256GB version will launch globally as well.
Aside for the larger storage capacity, the 256GB Surface Pro tablet is otherwise identical to the 128GB version. The 256GB Surface Pro will go on sale in Japan next month, on June 7, alongside the smaller-storage model.
According to the Japanese listing, roughly 208GB of the total 256GB of solid-state storage inside the tablet is actually available to the user. The rest is filled with recovery images and other system files Microsoft packs. It's a major step forward from the 128GB Surface Pro nonetheless, as that model comes with just 89GB of free storage for users. The 256GB also marks the first time that Microsoft increased the storage on its Surface Pro from the 64GB and 128GB models.
The 64GB version of the Surface Pro, meanwhile, will not launch in Japan. The company offered no explanation, but this could have something to do with the firestorm of criticism Microsoft faced for providing just 28GB of actual usable storage in the 64GB version of the tablet.
Coming back to the 256GB Surface Pro, the tablet will sport the same 1920 x 1080 touchscreen, core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of RAM. In terms of connectivity, the slate includes Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Ports include a full-size USB 3.0, micro SDXC memory card slot, Mini DisplayPort, headphone socket and a docking connector for keyboards that magnetically attach to the slate.
The 256GB Surface Pro will cost 119,800 yen (roughly $1,180) and will come with exclusive Touch Covers when it launches. The 128GB Surface Pro will go on sale in the country on June 8 with a 99,800 yen (about $987) price tag.
Both versions of the full-Windows 8 tablet will also pack a copy of Office 2013, as well as Microsoft's digital stylus that can serve for handwriting and sketching on the slate. The Touch Cover will cost 9,980 yen ($99), while the Type Cover with raised keys will sell for 10,980 yen ($109).
Microsoft did not unveil any plans to launch the 256GB Surface Pro outside Japan, but the new version sparks hope that the U.S. and other parts of the world will get to see the larger-capacity tablet as well. How about it, Microsoft?
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