Microsoft Surface to start at just $199?

Microsoft Surface to start at just 9?A while back there was a little worldwide web flutter over suggestions (based on placeholder values on a Swedish retailer's pre-order page) that the cheapest Microsoft Surface tablet would come in at a ridiculous £650.

How wrong they were. The latest suggestion, reported by Engadget, is that Microsoft is aiming for a Google Nexus 7-matching $199 for the cheapest model – that's just £127 to you and me.

It'll no doubt cost more than that when it actually makes it over here (once the standard “sod you, you're not American” tax is factored in...), but still – it doesn't look like a bad deal considering the Nexus 7 starts at £159 and the Amazon Kindle Fire costs... oh yes, of course, you still can't buy it here yet.

Engadget claims an insider at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference – where the Surface for RT's October 26 launch date was revealed a couple of weeks back – says a closed-door session also saw the $199 price point divulged.

Windows RT's real-world performance, especially combined with what's likely to be a fairly lean spec beyond the ARM-based Tegra 3 chipset, has yet to be determined – so comparisons are hard to make at this stage.

But with a trio of tablets from Amazon, Google and Microsoft all coming in at under $200 and the Apple iPad (never mind the prospect of an iPad mini) likely to continue lording it over devices costing any more than that, it paints a pretty stark picture of the tablet market's future: make 'em cheap, or don't make 'em at all.

Read more about: Windows 8Microsoft Surface RT

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27 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 14, 2012 at 20:02

So that'll be £200 by the time you stick on 20% VAT (taking it to ~£155) and some extra for shipping them to the UK and the fact stuff costs more here.

Still, that's a bargain for what looks to be quite a competent tablet. It'll certainly give the N7 a run for its money.

Pondlife  Aug. 14, 2012 at 20:11

I'll be very surprised if it launches at that price.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 14, 2012 at 20:13

I'll be very surprised if it launches at that price.
As would I, though I would probably buy one if it did.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 14, 2012 at 20:20

No. Way.
Maybe the keyboard....

Pondlife  Aug. 14, 2012 at 20:35

I'll be very surprised if it launches at that price.
As would I, though I would probably buy one if it did.


Dependant on how much weaker the spec was than other versions maybe, but am concious of how well each MS OS I've used has run on low end spec machines.

blizzard7  Aug. 14, 2012 at 21:08

So that'll be £200 by the time you stick on 20% VAT (taking it to ~£155) and some extra for shipping them to the UK and the fact stuff costs more here.

Still, that's a bargain for what looks to be quite a competent tablet. It'll certainly give the N7 a run for its money.


Eh?

Xbox 360 is $199 in the US and £139 over here, so why would MS charge £200 here and $200 in America for the Surface RT?

barrybarryk  Aug. 14, 2012 at 21:26

I'd love to see it launch at that price, if just for the hope that the pro isn't crazy expensive but I seriously doubt it. Microsoft have to charge themselves the same as their 3rd parties for the Windows license (And Office is coming on all the RT tablets too) or the monopolies folks will fine them some ridiculous made up sum of money.

Actually, has it even been confirmed for a UK/ Worldwide release?

blizzard7  Aug. 14, 2012 at 21:31

I'd love to see it launch at that price, if just for the hope that the pro isn't crazy expensive but I seriously doubt it. Microsoft have to charge themselves the same as their 3rd parties for the Windows license (And Office is coming on all the RT tablets too) or the monopolies folks will fine them some ridiculous made up sum of money.

Actually, has it even been confirmed for a UK/ Worldwide release?


It would be nice to see it at this price, but I think Microsoft can charge anything up to $600/ £450 (32 GB iPad) and still grab a decent section of the market.

I fully expect the Pro to be over £700. It's going after Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air after all.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 14, 2012 at 21:32

I'd love to see it launch at that price, if just for the hope that the pro isn't crazy expensive but I seriously doubt it. Microsoft have to charge themselves the same as their 3rd parties for the Windows license (And Office is coming on all the RT tablets too) or the monopolies folks will fine them some ridiculous made up sum of money.

Actually, has it even been confirmed for a UK/ Worldwide release?


It would be nice to see it at this price, but I think Microsoft can charge anything up to $600/ £450 (32 GB iPad) and still grab a decent section of the market.

I fully expect the Pro to be over £700. It's going after Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air after all.

It's also using proper computer parts, not ARM based chip.

barrybarryk  Aug. 14, 2012 at 21:35

Yeah the pro would easily be worth £700 for an Ivy bridge i5 with some decent amount of ram, I'm just hoping they keep it under a grand.

blizzard7  Aug. 14, 2012 at 22:07

Agree to both of the above. Not to mention both the Surface and the Surface Pro have a microSD slot, a USB port and a dedicated video-out port (micro-HDMI or mini-DP) which are worth their weight in gold on a tablet.

satchef1  Aug. 14, 2012 at 22:15

If it does go this way it's going to break the tablet market. Once it's done there's no going back - people arent going to pay double that for the Surface 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab ### or anything else (that isn't an iPad) for that matter - they'll expect a similar price point (maybe an increase of $50 per generation could be managed?). Amazon's fault really - they started all of this.

satchef1  Aug. 14, 2012 at 23:19

Seeing a few people throw around the idea of this relying on a subscription - a way for Microsoft to make the money back from the loss over time. They launched the Xbox this way, making a loss on each console sold and then slowly making the money back through Xbox Live subs and software sales. They took this idea further earlier this year, offering an Xbox 360 for $99 with a 2 year contract for Xbox Live at $14.99/month. Could we see the Surface follow a similar pattern? $199 + $25/month for Xbox Live and Xbox Music? A subsidised Pro with a choice of Xbox Live/Music or Office 365 subscriptions?

Pondlife  Aug. 14, 2012 at 23:27

Screw that, would explain the low entry price, but that would definitely remove any attraction to it.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 14, 2012 at 23:31

Screw that, would explain the low entry price, but that would definitely remove any attraction to it.
+1.

Contracted tech is usually way too expensive (the US contract Xbox, for example).

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 00:21

It's Wifi only, there'll be no subscription.

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 00:23

Unlike the 3g xbox eh?

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 00:28

there is no subscription for an xbox, xbox live sure but it's an optional service not a piece of hardware. it's not like MS are a mobile carrier or ISP. there is zero chance it'll have a subscription

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 00:42

Did you read the part above where they are actually selling the xbox that way in the states?

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 00:51

No they aren't, they're selling an xbox and kinect for $99 as long as you take a 2 year xbox live subscription. NOT a subscription for an xbox. It's exactly the same way people sell contract phones. What are they going to subscribe a Wifi tablet to? Charging for Windows update?

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 01:01

Help!

blizzard7  Aug. 15, 2012 at 07:00

Help!

Nah, I'd rather see how this plays out. :)

Oh OK, barrybarryk, it's $99 + $15 a month. In that $15 a month, the Xbox Gold subscription is worth about $5 a month, the rest goes towards the cost of the hardware.

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 10:57

But you don't need an xbox gold account to use the xbox apps on windows 8/ RT, and even if you did want it you'd already be paying for it for an xbox. It make no sense whatsoever to be paying for an xbox gold account for PC

Treab  Aug. 15, 2012 at 12:45

But you don't need an xbox gold account to use the xbox apps on windows 8/ RT, and even if you did want it you'd already be paying for it for an xbox. It make no sense whatsoever to be paying for an xbox gold account for PC

barry your applying logic to this... they are american they haven't got a brain.

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:07

We so need a banging head against a brick wall smiley.

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