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Summary:

Microsoft announced its Surface RT tablet in June, leaving everyone wondering about the price. Now the details have appeared: $499 to start with more storage and a keyboard cover an additional cost. Is this what you expected or were you hoping for lower? Take our poll!

Microsoft Surface Blue

It’s official: Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet will cost $499 for the base 32 GB model without a keyboard cover. The news leaked out on Tuesday morning and Microsoft later confirmed it with pre-orders beginning today at 9am PT. For $599, Microsoft will include the thin Touch Cover with the tablet and a bump to 64 GB with the keyboard cover is $699.

The Surface RT is a bold strategy for Microsoft as it hopes to stay relevant in the growing tablet market. How bold? Microsoft designed the slate and contracted out the production of it, similar to what Apple does with all of its products. Microsoft is effectively competing against its own hardware partners as a result. However, Microsoft needs to take dramatic action as it has been shut out of this new post-PC era. With Surface RT it has, but will people buy it?

That’s highly dependent on the available apps and the price of the tablet itself, although 41.1 percent of our readers said they wouldn’t be interested in a Microsoft-built tablet when asked in June.

We’ll surely hear more about the apps and ecosystem in the coming weeks as Windows 8 is officially set to launch before month-end. But we do know the prices now and I’m reading some very polarizing thoughts here, so we’re running a poll on the pricing. What do you think of Surface RT prices given that the tablet won’t run all old Windows apps and is powered by chips used in today’s smartphones and tablets? Have at in the poll and comments.

Personally, I think this is the highest possible pricing tiers Microsoft could set and still have a chance to be successful. I’d like to see them lower by at least $50 to $100 each, but maybe I’ll change my mind once I get some hands-on time with a Surface RT tablet.

  1. There is no software ecosystem,no matter how nice the hardware is and the keyboard should have been very cheap.to help tablet sales.
    The device is rather bulky at: 676 grams and 9.3 millimeters and can’t be used as a laptop unless on a flat surface because of the stand.
    Microsoft is selling it only thorough it’s own stores so they have great margins on it but we don’t know if the pricing is greed or to avoid annoying partners even more.

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    1. its a little bit heaver than the ipad but it has a kickstand built in gorilla glass 2 and the design of the case which is magnesium ads that extra weight and its worth it considering its much more tough than the ipad. And thick please. the new ipad is 9.4mm surface is thinner you retard. And don’t go on to compare the pro because if you do all I can say is that that runs windows 8 and is comparable to ultrabooks.

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  2. I think the pricing is fine. They HAVE to try and make money on them
    They can try and subsidize them and sell them at a loss ala Amazon and the Nexus 7, but how long can they sell them at a loss? Not very long. Especially when Apple can sell their stuff at a profit.
    The lowball pricing is a temporary unsustainable pricing gimick.

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  3. It seems that they are attempting to replicate the “Apple Premium” in their pricing. Very unfortunate. Agree that if they lowered the price by $100 it would be a much more attractive purchase.

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  4. I think the idea is to undercut the iPad which it is doing but more importantly where is the Surface Tablet being made? If its being made in China then they are making huge over head just like Apple and in turn making them no better. If its being made in America then hats off to them for actually contributing to the economy and justifying the price.

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  5. I really wish writers wouldn’t say “post-PC era.” It makes them sound like shills for Apple’s marketing department. From phones to the things under the desk, they’re *all* personal computers.

    I think the pricing is actually the right thing to do strategically. Oddly enough, it sends the message that “this is just as good as an iPad,” and I believe that if the hardware is as good as they say, it will be. I already firmly believe that Windows 8 is better than iOS because I’ve been using it for about two months. The app lineup is already impressive.

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  6. I was excited and ready to order until I saw the price. This is about $100 too much for the entry level tablet with keyboard. Sorry Microsoft, I was fired up but now I am taking a pass.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. I was ready to whip out the AMEX @ $399 w/keyboard, $499 wo/keyboard and up is just too steep and i divert my attention to my shiny iPad or the iPad mini being released in a week

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  7. windows tablet without legacy application compatibility is just not interesting.

    the interesting one will be the intel version.

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  8. If the price includes Microsoft Office apps Word, Excel and Powerpoint, even if Windows RT requires a limited form of the desktop apps, then $500 seems OK.

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    1. Yeah that is where they can have some leverage.

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  9. At that price point, the question will be “Why should I get this instead of an iPad?” I doubt there will be many takers considering that, while it has more storage at the lowest price point, it has a significantly worse screen and ecosystem.

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    1. Is the screen worse than the iPad? No one knows. I mean I know it loses out on resolution (it’s not resolutionary) but what about brightness, viewing angles, color reproduction etc etc

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  10. This thing has a much lower resolution screen and heavier compared to iPAD, price is same. Why buy Surface at all?

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