19 Oct Microsoft’s Surface Tablet: Priced Too High Or Just Right?
Microsoft’s long awaited re-entry into the tablet market with its new windows 8 OS has finally arrived.
Despite criticism levelled at the Windows 8 operating system due to the omission of its iconic Start Menu, Microsoft is putting high hopes on its Surface range. It’s no secret that Microsoft is challenging the iPad with Surface, with the tablets priced roughly on par with Apple’s wi-fi only iPads, which sell for $539, $649 and $759 for the 16, 32 and 64GB models respectively.
The first version of the Surface tablet has been launched without a regular Intel-style PC processor and without the capability of running regular PC software. However, it does include a version of the Office suite.
Microsoft plans to release another version of the Surface, called the Windows 8 Pro Surface in 32, 64 and 128GB storage with a Core i5 processor in January next year with the ability to run regular, deskptop Windows programs, however the pricing for that model was not disclosed.
Surface with Windows RT will is available in three variations: a 32 gigabyte version priced at $559.00, a 32GB version bundled with a black touch cover priced at $679.00, and a 64GB version bundled with a black touch cover priced at $789.00.
Microsoft have created two types of keyboard covers to go along with their surface tablets, which will be priced at $139.99 for the touch cover (available in black, white, magenta, cyan and red) and $149.99 for the type cover, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel (available in black).
One thing to note, however, is that none of the Surface models will support 3G/4G broadband, all models are wi-fi only.
For a quick run down on the specifications of the Surface tablet:
- Storage: 32 GB; 64 GB
- CPU: NVIDIA T30 quad-core, 2 GB of RAM
- 10.6″ ClearType multi touch screen, 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution.
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
- Two microphones, stereo speakers
- Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
- Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
- 31.5 Watt-hours battery with eight hours life and 24W power supply
- One-year limited hardware warranty
- Made from magnesium, the dark titanium colour case dimensions are 274.6 by 172 millimetres and the tablet is 9.4 millimetres thick and weighs 680 grams
We’re undecided as to whether pricing the surface in line with the iPad will hurt or help Microsoft gain traction with its new Windows 8 platform, particularly with the level of criticism Microsoft’s new OS has received.
If you’re contemplating waiting for the full featured Surface Pro, check out this comparison table on Microsoft’s Surface website to compare the two models. You can also order the Surface RT from Microsoft’s website.
What do y0u think? Will Microsoft’s pricing strategy be effective in launching its newest OS?