posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 12:14 UTC
IconAfter yesterday's TV advertisement, Microsoft finally unveiled the pricing for its Surface tablet - the ARM Windows RT version that is. The cheapest Surface - 32GB without touch cover - will set you back $499. They're aiming straight for iPad pricing here, ignoring the popular cheaper Android offerings. Update: only available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. As usual.

After yesterday's TV advertisement, Microsoft finally unveiled the pricing for its Surface tablet - the ARM Windows RT version that is. The cheapest Surface - 32GB without touch cover - will set you back $499. They're aiming straight for iPad pricing here, ignoring the popular cheaper Android offerings.

The pricing was revealed in Microsoft's online store, which right now only serves the US - a link for non-US residents currently leads to an empty page, so I can't give you the European pricing just yet. Most likely, they'll just substitute the dollar sign for a euro sign.

The 32GB version without a cover is $499; the 32GB version with the Touch Cover is $599. If you opt for 64GB, you'll have to part with $699. We're looking at pre-orders right now, but they'll ship by 26 October. No information yet on Surface Pro, the Intel version.

All things considered, the Surface RT is looking like a hard sell. It's the same price as an iPad 3 - but the iPad 3 has far more momentum behind it, including far, far more applications. Worse yet, the Surface RT has a paltry 1366x768 resolution, while the iPad 3 has that beautiful (don't try to deny it!) 2048x1536 display.

Compared to Android tablets, it ain't doing so well either. Both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD are far cheaper ($200 and $299 respectively), and the Fire HD has, to boot, a 1920x1080 display. A lot will ride on just how successful Microsoft will be at advertising Surface as a full PC instead of 'just' a tablet, and, not entirely unimportant, just how much users actually care about that.

I was originally planning on buying a Surface RT - I like Metro on my phone - but I'm not going to shell out $499 for this. Had it had a 1080p display, it would be worth considering - but like this? No thanks. Drop it to $300-400 and we'll talk.

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