The hardware:There are several version of the surface that you can purchase; I ended up with the middle of the road version with 256 gig solid state hard dive, Intel i5 processor and 8 gigs of ram. For the rest of the tech specs you can compare the different versions of the device here (Microsoft's site). As far as the hardware is concerned, I've had no trouble at all. There as been no lag, crashing or freezing that I can trace back to the hardware (and very little of that at all to be honest). This version of the machine costs $1,200 USD unless you can find it on sale. The colors are great, and the 12 inch screen size just feels right when your working on it. The speakers are fairly powerful, and playing music through Spotify while painting didn't cause any latency. Its fast to charge, and the battery life is pretty great as well. I get around 8-8.5 hours on general use, 5-6 for painting, although I could most likely extend that if I closed everything else. I found playing games kills the battery the fastest, which is no real surprise. But even an older game like Baulders Gate 2 II will take the battery life out fast. Lastly the power block/charge cord its fantastic: small, lightweight and magnetic, it makes it harder to knock out of the port. There is also a USB charge port on the power block for charging other devices. The device has a fantastic kickstand, the USB is a full size 3.0 port and there are also a MicroSD card port and a mini display port.
Unlike the Surface 2, the pen that comes with this device comes equipped with Ntrig tech instead of Wacom. The very first thing you're going to want to do if you buy one of these is go to the Ntrig website and download the driver updates; this improves the pen quite a bit. You can find them here (Ntrig Website). The other thing you'll want to do regarding the pen is go to the Windows Store and install the Surface Hub app; it's small and allows you to manually adjust the pressure curves of the Surface's pen. I got a chance to talk with one of Microsoft's reps for the product, and they claim they are also working out how to make the buttons remappable like they are on a Wacom pen. This is currently the only shortcoming of the pen. It's very comfortable to use while drawing. Lastly, I highly recommend that you get the pen loop so you don't loose the pen (available separately or with the keyboard attachment).
This is by far the weak spot of the device, once you have used it, it's clear why it isn't offered with the unit standard,because its made from cheaper materials than the rest of the unit. The material the keyboard is made from feels cheap in comparison to the unit itself; however, you absolutely need one as using the onscreen keyboard is very limiting. The keyboard also doubles as a screen protector, and in that role it does an adequate job. I have had some issues with functionality, but they always fix right away if you detach the keyboard from the unit and reattach it. One nice feature of the keyboard is that it can convert to a stand for the Surface without depressing any of the keys. Microsoft sells the keyboard for around $120 USD, but you can get it on eBay for less than half of that.