Ahead of its Oct. 26 Windows 8 launch, Microsoft has released more details about its Surface tablet PC, outlining pricing, market availability, and special limited quantity pre-order. For more information, or to pre-order, visit:
Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.
A variety of accessories will also be available, including Touch Covers with a touch technology keyboard that wil be available in five colors: black, white, magenta, cyan and red, and priced at US$119.99 . Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover with a real, movable keys keyboard in black for US$129.99.
Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. More details can be found at Surface.com.
Surface with Windows RT Specifications
Software – Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
Exterior – 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons
Storage – 32 GB (3); 64 GB
CPU – NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
Wireless – Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Cameras – Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
Audio – Two microphones, stereo speakers
Ports – Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
Sensors – Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Power Supply – 24W power supply
Warranty – One-year limited hardware warranty
Apps (included) – Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games
1) Available Touch Cover colors may vary by market.
2) Final Office version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download, ISP fees apply). Some features and programs unsupported. See:
Surface: Designed To Win, Priced To Fail?
The Register’s Iain Thomson, citing Microsoft’s of more details on and pricing of its Surface tablet PC, says that based on what he’s seen so far, Apple and Android-tablet makers don’t have much to worry about.
While Thompson acknowledges that Microsoft appears to have created an OS in Windows 8 that could give Apple a run for its money, at least at the low end, base starting prices of $499 for 32GB Surface tablet for without the cover that doubles as a keyboard, $599 with the keyboard, or $699 for the 64GB version with the keyboard aren’t likely to cause much lack of sleep at Apple.
Hardware-wise. Surface RT tablets are powered by an ARM-based Tegra 30 processor, have 2GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 resolution display. All Surface tablets will be Wi-Fi-only, with no 3G or LTE versions available, but do come with a microSD slot and BlueTooth.
Thompson notes that while Microsoft is giving low-end customers 32GB of RAM at $499 while Apple only supplies 16GB at that price point with the New iPad, it’ll cost you another hundred bucks for the much-ballyhooed Touch keyboard cover, and the iPad gives you Retina screen resolution and supports a greater range of apps, not to mention the Apple the cool factor.
To say nothing of course of the impact of a smaller, lighter, cheaper iPad mini Apple is expected to roll out three days prior to Microsoft’s Surface launch.
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