Microsoft reveals Surface pricing

Microsoft reveals Surface pricing

Summary: Pricing for Surface, Microsoft's flagship ARM-based Windows RT tablet, starts at $499 — $599 with keyboard.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows
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Microsoft has finally revealed the pricing of its Surface tablets, temporarily opening up its online store to show pre-order pricing for its flagship ARM-based Windows RT tablet. The site was only visible for a few minutes, but showed details of the device pricing and specifications.

Originally unveiled at an event in Los Angeles in June, the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra-powered Surface boasts a vapour deposition coated magnesium case, 2GB of memory and a 1,366x768 wide-screen display. Other features include a USB 2.0 port and a HDMI video output. The first TV-advert for Surface ran on US networks on Monday night.

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Surface gets its first TV advert. Image: Microsoft

Pricing starts at $499 for the 32GB version, $599 with the addition of a black multi-touch Touch Cover keyboard case, and $699 for a 64GB version with a black Touch Cover keyboard. Additional Touch Covers in a range of colours will be $119.99 each, with the more traditional Type Cover keyboard $129.99.

Surface will go on sale on the 26 October in Microsoft Stores and in a range of pop-up stores across the US. Devices will also be available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom Pricing in the UK is £399 for the 32GB Surface, with the Touch Cover costing £99.99 and the Type Cover costing £109.99.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows

Simon Bisson

About Simon Bisson

Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.

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98 comments
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  • well

    thats MS boned......
    danjames2012
    • How?

      It's a 32gb tablet that's the same price as a 16gb iPad.

      It could happen.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • And Office

        Thats 16GB more storage, Microsoft Office, ability to side-load apps, etc....
        thekman58
        • Side-loading?

          Limited to developers and Enterprise side-load system, regular users will have to go through the store... we're talking of Window RT here, not Windows 8 yet.
          lepoete73
          • Exactly

            Side loading is important to companies who want to install their own in-house applications. This is very important. They don't want companies like Apple getting any ideas hwile they decide if it's OK by them to let it install.
            fldbryan@...
          • Enterprise

            leposete73 - With System Center and side loading of LOB apps, so much for all the talk about the iPad and BYOD. Yes, the Enterprise can actually use RT devices. They have a managed way for authenication and everything. No contest. You need to do more research before saying RT will not be useful in the enterprise.
            thekman58
          • No different from the iPad

            Many in the enterprise are currently deploying their own internal apps for the iPad.
            dave95.
      • Way Too High...

        Your comparison stops there?

        The matching Surface RT device has an INCREDIBLY INFERIOR screen, an inferior processor, a limited application store and a non-existing third party hardware ecosystem for accessories.

        Trying to align the price strategy with Apple is a mistake.

        Microsoft did somewhat changed, but not enough to prevent them from pulling such an idiotic move again.
        TheCyberKnight
        • Surface is a Productivity and Consumption Device

          Hmm... let us analyze your argument.

          The Surface RT does not have a far inferior screen to the iPad. Sure, it is not "Retina" but it is bonded onto the touchscreen for less reflections. The Tegra has an unannounced quad-core ARM processor which could, as far as we know, be more powerful than the iPad's dual core ARM processor.

          But what you do get is a better looking tablet, the touch cover, and Office. This is a much more productive tablet than the iPad.
          Srinivas Vasudevan
          • Last time I was in math class

            2048x1536 was more than 1366x768 by a wide margin. Plus, the iPad is an 8.9" device while the Surface is an 10.6" device. Even worse.
            Even the iPad 2 with screen resolution of 1024x768 at 8.9" is not worse. In fact, it's about the same display, the Surface's is just taller.

            Office.. is not that useful on a tablet, when you find out that you need keyboard *and* mouse/touchpad to make any use of it. There are plenty Office-compatible apps for both iOS and Android already that provide better user interface and thus productivity.
            danbi
          • Already the iPad 3 screen has been deemed inferior

            In blind tests, the Surface RT screen was chosen to be the better screen.

            You are falling for the old megapixel camera myth where throwing more pixels at a sensor makes dumb people think that it is better. More pixels doesn't make the iPad 3 better, no matter what your math tells you.

            You are just suffering from spec-itis where spouting geek specs is deemed to be more important than what real people think of the real product in the end. Your geek specs lost.
            toddbottom3
          • I agree; tech specs in itself doesn't make a product THE best

            Higher resolution, higher CPU speed, more RAM etc. by itself doesn't make any product superior. It's the actual user experience that's most important (perceived performance).
            Smalahove
          • Productivity

            Srinivas is absolutely correct. One of the main gripes I have with my iPad 2 is email and lack of true Office apps. Like it or not most of America uses Outlook and Office.

            The iPad will be relegated to a consumer device while the Surface will become the Corp. enterprise device of choice. Mark my words, it WILL happen.
            ryork272
          • I don't think so. At least not RT

            I agree with you if you're referring to upcoming Windows 8 tablets, but not RT. Android will be king in that mobile space.

            This Surface tablet setup is inferior to the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity with keyboard dock. And they cost the same.
            laequis
        • I'd rather watch movies on the RT, though

          since one of them it 4:3 and the other is 16:9.

          The screen is a valid complaint in terms of PPI, though.

          We don't know what the processor will be like on the surface, unless you've already used one to compare to the iPad 3?

          And I don't care about application count, I care about whether or not it has the ones I need. I'd rather want 5 good applications than 50 crap that I won't use.

          As for the third party? Which ones am I going to need? It comes with a stand and a keyboard. Those are the only ones I use with my iPad anyway.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: I'd rather...

            "And I don't care about application count, I care about whether or not it has the ones I need. I'd rather want 5 good applications than 50 crap that I won't use."

            I don't really care one way or the other, but I remember back in the early 90's when Mac users were pilloried for using this exact same defense regarding the quantitative lack of software available compared to pc software.

            I just find it so ironic that now someone is using it to defend/support an MS product.

            Have a great day.
            DeeJay627
          • App Count

            That is a silly argument since this is a new tablet on a new OS - you can't expect MS to be on par with Apple on day one. If we were to use your logic, nobody would be there except Apple and we all know what kind of world that would be (let me give you a hint - not good!)
            TurtleJ
          • DeeJay627

            Can you say... Office! Office... you may remember by definition the most widely used productivity application on the planet. Who has it? Ohhhhhhhhh.... yeahhhhh!!
            ryork272
        • wat

          What on earth are you talking about? Inferior processor? The Surface reportedly runs on a quad-core Tegra 3 which outmatches the dual-core A5X any day of the week.

          Processing capability:
          http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2012/03/GeekbenchTest-600x361.png

          Graphics capability:
          http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2012/03/GLBenchEgypt-600x360.png

          About twice as good, and the graphics performance is only SLIGHTLY inferior to the iPad 2. (funnily enough on par with iPad 3, so the Surface is objectively superior to the iPad 3 on both graphics/processing capabilities, but the iPad 2 is a bit stronger graphics-wise because powering 2048x1536 is extremely draining)

          Also, non-existing third party hardware ecosystem? Uh... what? The product isn't even out yet, there was a non-existent "third party hardware ecosystem" before the iPad 1 was out too, what a pathetic point. But it does allow for MicroSD and USB sticks to make the space larger, whereas iPad only allows the non-upgradable storage that's built into the system.

          And also the limited application store was only first introduced in early 2012. What was the state of the iOS App Store when first introduced in 2008, hmm? Crap. If anything, much worse than what's on the Windows Store at the moment.

          So at least do some research before you post absolute tosh like that.
          Warmijwilf
          • clarification

            when I say "but the iPad 2 is a bit stronger graphics-wise because powering 2048x1536 is extremely draining" I mean a bit stronger than the iPad 3/Surface. Not that the iPad 2 has to power 2048x1536. I mean this should be obvious but some people might get confused by the bad wording.
            Warmijwilf