Home Icon
surface-rt-pricing-2012-03

Microsoft’s Surface tablet with Windows 8 available October 26, won’t be $199

By Leigh D. Stark | 10:42 am 17/10/2012

Unlike Apple, Microsoft has never really developed its own computer for consumers to touch and feel, but next week, we’ll see one, and you’ll be able to buy it too.

Microsoft is set to join other manufacturers in releasing the next generation of Windows – now with touch – when it releases its Windows RT-based Surface tablets next Friday.

Previewed earlier this year, the Surface is a 9.3mm thin tablet with a 10.6 inch ClearType HD display, with storage in 32 and 64GB varieties, microSD expansion, USB, cameras, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, magnesium casing, built-in kickstand, and a version of Windows called “Windows RT” that will run Windows 8 apps, but none of the Windows 7 or older ones.

Earlier this year, we heard a rumour of a $199 price for Microsoft’s Windows RT Surface tablet, but that, sadly, looks to be only that: a rumour.

This week, Microsoft has announced the price of $559 for a 32GB model, with a black touch cover bundled in for $679. Want a little more space? That will cost you a touch more, understandably, with the 64GB with black cover grabbing a $789 RRP.

That black cover isn’t just a simple cover, either, including a touch-based keyboard and able to be purchased separately for $139.99 in more than just black – white, magenta, red, and cyan, too – or in a black cover with moving keys for ten bucks more ($149.99).

Looking at the prices, they’re not as good what we had hoped, but we’re always hoping to save a few bucks here and there.

No, Microsoft is looking to hit at Apple’s prices here, and given the Australian iPad price of $649 for a 32GB WiFi or $759 for a 64GB model, they’re not too far off the mark, especially since the Surface models for the similar prices include the keyboard accessory, something that will cost you at least a hundred more for something similar.

Will the pricing work in Microsoft’s favour, though? We’re not sure.

Windows RT is expected to offer a more computer like experience than iOS, given its roots, but this version of Windows will not run older software from XP, Vista, and Windows 7, because it’s made for a different style of chip, the same Nvidia Tegra processors we’ve seen on Android tablets all year, albeit with 2GB RAM instead of the regular one.

As such, the experience is more like a dedicated tablet, more like the iPad because the software you buy is specific to that platform. If you have apps for Windows like Photoshop or games you miss, they have to be ready for Windows 8, otherwise they won’t run. Sure, Microsoft Office will come with the tablet, which is great, but your favourite app may not.

Instead, if you definitely want to run legacy Windows apps, you’ll need to wait for proper Windows 8 machines – not Windows RT-based computers – like the models being released by Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and all the other typical computer manufacturers. Microsoft will release one of these later too, a slightly thicker Surface model, but the pricing has yet to be announced.

Still, there could easily be some keen buyers for the first Surface tablet, and if you’re one of them, Australia will be one of the first markets around the world to see Surface on October 26, joining the UK, US, Canada, China, France, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Latest reviews

  • Review: Beats Studio Wireless headphones

    Wireless headphones can look strange, but Dr. Dre’s “Beats” brand is here to show that cordless doesn’t necessarily have to mean clunky. Now, the real question is are they…
  • Review: Nokia Lumia 830

    Now that Microsoft Devices owns the "Nokia" name, there aren't likely to be many Nokia phones to come out, replaced with Microsoft's badge in the months to come. So…
  • Review: Jawbone Up Move

    Summer's nearly here, and if you need a gadget to help kickstart the whole fitness thing, we're looking at Jawbone's $69 Up Move.
  • Review: LG G Watch R

    Smartwatches started off square, but now they're finally taking on a more watch-like design, with circles back in. Motorola got their first, but LG's is totally circular with no…
  • One of the best phones around: Sony's Xperia Z3 reviewed

    Sony has been improving its smartphones so much that it’s impossible not to see the electronics superpower as a serious competitor to Apple and Samsung, and here we are…
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 reviewed

    Now that we've seen Apple do its first take on the whole big phone thing, it's time to see Samsung make its Note phablet better than ever.
  • Review: Pendo Pad 8

    You’ve seen cheap Android tablets, now brace yourself for the onslaught of cheap Windows tablets, starting with the Pendo Pad 8, a Windows 8.1 computer in an 8 inch…
  • Review: Sonos Boost

    As more players enter the multi-room audio market, Player One -- Sonos -- is ready with a fix for people suffering from buffer and WiFi problems. If this is…
  • Review: Marshall Monitor headphones

    If you’ve ever played in a rock band in your teens, or even if you do now, you know the “Marshall” name. It’s a brand that practically screams rock,…
  • Thinking thin: Apple’s iPad Air 2 reviewed

    A new year means a new iPad, and here we are with another model ready for consumers to take home. Is the latest iteration Apple's best, and does it…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More