So What Will The Surface Tablet Actually Cost? Can The Price Compete With iPad and Co?

Microsoft Tablet Surface Price

Microsoft’s shyness over the price of its upcoming Surface tablets hasn’t stopped us from speculating.

Looking at the hardware of Surface, we can estimate what the Windows 8 tablet will cost

Buying Windows 8 devices could be expensive, depending on who you’re talking to. The Microsoft Surface tablet debuted on Monday doesn’t have a price, but by looking at the competitors Microsoft referred to when talking about price a rough estimation can be gained.

During the closing moments of the Surface reveal, Steven Sinofsky frustratingly said Surface would comparably to ARM tablets and Intel Ultrabooks for the Windows RT and Pro varieties respectively. Of course Surface will also launched around Windows 8, probably in October.

The hardware itself of the tablets is pretty thin, and comparable to the market leader: the screen’s are similar – 9.7 inches on the iPad, 10.6 inches on Surface – while Surface RT weighs 676g and is 9.7mm thick. Surface Pro weighs 903g due to being more powerful and is 13.5mm thick – the iPad is 9.4mm thin. We don’t know the exact resolution of the ClearType displays, apart from the fact they’re called HD and Full HD for the RT and Pro versions respectively.

Source speaking to tech site DigiTimes claimed the prices will be above $799, and the RT variety will be above $599. That’s pretty comparable (more on that below), but $799 for a tablet will be too high for some consumers regardless of what Microsoft says about the device being a “PC.” The baseline new iPad costs $499, which offers 16GB and if Wi-Fi only.

Competitive With Competition?

Though the iPad is, depending on your configuration, more expensive: the 32GB iPad is $599 with just Wi-Fi, and that’s the minimum storage on offer for Surface RT. On the other hand, the 64GB iPad is going to set you back $829.

Microsoft insists Surface won’t be as cheap as the Kindle Fire, and I don’t see how Microsoft would ever able to able to make a successful tablet like Surface for $199. The Fire isn’t a full-featured tablet, and Amazon was rumored to be taking an initial loss on the device.

That’s just a snapshot of a very rough price ballmark. Microsoft could yet throw a curveball, or price itself out of the market.

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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