A lot of rumors have been swirling about the price point that Microsoft would be launching its Surface Tablet at especially considering the two model approach. Well today it appears as though Microsoft has given confirmation on what the RT model of the Surface Tablet will cost consumers.
According to listings on the Microsoft website (which have since been pulled) the Surface RT tablet will start at $499. That will get you a 32GB model of the RT without the Black Touch Cover one of the biggest selling points of the Surface line. For $599 you’ll be able to get a 32GB model with a Black Touch Cover, and for $699 you can get a 64GB model with Black Touch Cover.
The interesting thing to note here is that the RT version of Surface while physically similar to the PRO version does not have all of the same features or capabilities. The RT version also runs on ARM processors while the PRO version will be based on Intel chips. The PRO version also includes Pen and Palm Block support which in the initial demos of the Surface were great inclusions.
This price point puts the RT tablet in direct competition with the 16GB version of the current generation iPad which starts at $499 (for Wi-Fi only). But you’re also getting an additional 16GB of storage, once you get to 32GB models of the iPad (Wi-Fi only) the pricing is even at $599 but with the Surface RT you’re getting the Black Touch Cover.
It’s hard to predict how this is going to play out, but if Microsoft really wanted to take a chunk out of the Tablet market they certainly should bring the RT model of the Surface in at a lower price point. With the PRO version being the “power house” it should have been priced to match the iPad in order to force consumers to purchase based on features and not on price. The RT tablet is more of the functional version and should have been priced to undercut the iPad especially considering the elephant in the room that is the iPad mini which is speculated to launch on October 29th.
It will be interesting to see if these prices turn out to be true, and what price point Microsoft is going to put the PRO version at, but right now it looks like the Surface line is going to have a tough hill to climb.