Microsoft have finally unveiled prices for the new Surface Windows RT tablets, less than 2 weeks before launch on October 26. See our June review for more details of the Surface tablet range.
Prices In US – Start at $499 for the 32GB model, without a Touch Cover (touch keyboard). The same model with a Touch Cover costs an extra $100 whilst the 64GB with Touch Cover costs $699. The Touch Cover is available separately in 5 colors for $119.99 and a Type Cover (with actual keys) is available in black at $129.99
It does seem odd (but profitable for Microsoft) that the top spec 64GB Surface RT is not available without a Touch Cover – so if you want to combine it with a Type Cover (or fancy a different colored Touch Cover) you’ll end up paying well over $800…
The base model price of $499 is higher than many expected/hoped but it does match the price of the cheapest new iPad – pretty reasonable as the cheapest Surface RT benefits from twice as much storage, a larger 10.6” screen and Office Home & Student 2013 RT included.
Pre-orders are being taken from today at Microsoft US Store here.
Prices Outside US – As well as the US, the Surface with Windows RT will be available for sale online in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and the UK.
The prices of the Surface RT in the UK start at £399 and rise to £559 for the 64GB model – the Touch Cover is £99.99 but is only available in black, white or cyan (why no magenta or red version like the US Surface?). The Type Cover is £109.99 and pre-orders are being taken from today at Microsoft UK Store here.
Prices in Europe start at around €480 and go up to €690 for the 64GB model – price varies by country.
Surface RT Sales – RT (aka Windows on ARM) is a version of Windows 8 specifically for ARM (architecture) devices such as tablets – it will not be available to purchase separately by consumers.
Windows RT will only run software from the Windows Store (or included programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote). In addition, it can only run
Metro Modern UI-style apps – so you can’t just install existing Windows programs like you could on a laptop.
According to the WSJ, Microsoft has placed orders to produce 3 million to 5 million of these tablets in the fourth quarter of this year. I’m not convinced that these prices will help those sales take off. They do compare favorably to the iPad but Windows RT is not Windows 8 – it may face an uphill battle against the traction the iPad has in this market.
What do you think of the pricing?