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Microsoft reveals pricing of its Surface RT Windows tablet, starts at $499

Microsoft unveiled its plan to release a family of Windows tablets branded Surface. From that point onwards, we've waited patiently, speculating what the pricing could be. Today Microsoft has revealed the pricing for both of the available ARM-based Surface RT tablets on its online store. So, how much are we required to save before looking to make the purchase?

Going on sale on October 26th, the 10.6" Surface tablet powered by Windows RT will be priced at $599 for the 32GB version with the Touch Cover, while the 64GB will set one back $699. But should you desire the tablet wihtout a Touch Cover you'll be looking at $499 for the 32GB version. Not too shabby.

Microsoft Surface RT tablet pricing revealed

Pre-orders will be available shortly for the launch of Windows 8 in the coming weeks. Pricing for the Type Cover (black colour listed only) as an optional accessory has also been revealed to cost $129.99 each, while the Touch Cover has a price tag of $119.99. Unlike the Type Cover, the Touch Cover is available in white, red, black, blue, and purple variants.

As well as the rumour of an already started planned mass-production, Microsoft has already begun to kick-start its advertising campaign for the Surface tablets with energetic videos and graffiti street art. We'll likely see the temporary stores set up by the company spring into action soon enough to meet demand and spread the word to "Click in."

Update: It looks like Microsoft has pulled the listing from the online store. Could we have had a glimpse at something that was not meant to be just yet? Or could we be on the path to cheaper pricing? We'll keep our eyes peeled for more details.

Source: Microsoft Store (opens in new tab), via: The Verge; thanks to those who tipped us on this!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Yes sir... Wonder how long the line will be. I'll be waiting!!
  • Well, I know I can forget about the Surface Pro right now.
  • I can forget the pro version too for now if someone can confirm RT has remote desktop??
  • I will use Remote Suite instead on my RT
  • Definitely does
  • from the Surface website:
    Some features aren't included in Windows RT: Windows Media Player Windows Media Center HomeGroup creation (you can join an existing HomeGroup but you can't create a new one) Remote Desktop Domain join
  • Wonder how expensive the pro version will be
  • $1350 for the 128GB model. Bet is on!
  • Well, I did see this coming, but none of the zomg 299$ optimists beleived! :P
    As I've said, I'm willing to pay up to 600€, and looking at the dollar prices, it's probably gonna be 600€ at least, seeing that in tech, money conversions are simply done by replacing the dollar with an eurosign, done :D
  • I mentioned in a few places, especially in the news about Samsung prices, that RT would be around $550. I was close...that's what I expected.
  • I was thinking, more like hoping, it would be 449 and include the cover.  There was no way it was going to be priced 200 or 299. 
  • Lotta people gripin' about the price in my other reading this morning. With specs like that, it's gonna cost more and i'll gladly pay for quality.....and a touch cover.  I do believe they did say the touch cover would be included.
  • They did say the touch cover would be included.  But the fact that they are separating it as a $120 accessory is a SERIOUS buzzkill.    This is not an iPad, this is not an iPad, this is NOT AN iPAD!!!!!  So so stupid for Microsoft to price it right at ipad pricing.  PCs biggest advantage up until now has been price.  Microsoft isn't having to pay for the license yet they still charge as much or more.  Hell you can get full blown Windows Pro Acer for THE SAME PRICE.
    I'm very very very disappionted in Microsoft today, they could have killed it...instead they just gave people a reason to ask "why"?  And sadly all the dubstep dancing hipsters in the world cannot convince people to buy this over the same priced iPad.
  • I still cant even consider an iPad, despite or not similar pricing.
    The Surface is still unique enough that I dont really have any options. That said, normal tablets dont interest me anyways, it was the great integration of the cover and keyboard that has me hooked.
    But I'd rather not buy anything over buying an iPad..
  • Precisely. Im hooked and cant consider any other option. But this price makes me begrudgingly fork it over.. Its just $100 more than I'd like
  • Exactly what I was thinking. $100 too much, but I'll probably gork it over.
  • If you are not happy with the high price you should all wait at least a month after launch, to at least kill Microsofts initial sales, maybe then they will rethink the pricing.
    If the consumer is just going to cave on the overprice, then you can forget about cheaper prices.
  • iPad 32GB costs $599 compared to $499 Surface which comes with USB,HDMI,SD and Office (and granted lower resolution).  With USB you could buy cheap keyboard to reduce costs.
    There are other choices as well from other brands. But I've yet to see any W8 tablet with keyboard/dock under $599.
  • I was in a store yesterday, and I saw the most amazing looking Logitech wireless keyboards. Some might consider them too small, but they're actually really great. Get a wireless keyboard+mouse and you have a pretty sweet laptop with a large touchscreen :-)
  • The Apple loyalists have been way too much for their iPads w/accessories gladly. The Surface brings more to the tablet market not to mention their partner offerings too. Yeah, gork (I assume you meant fork) it over.
  • Are you aware that a full blown Acer doesn't offer the same hardware quality as the Surface? The thinnest and lightest tablet pc on the market in a vapourised magnesium shell with a badass kickstand and keyboard cannot be priced the same as a cheap plastic Acer you know.
  • I knew someone would reply with that crap.  yes it is an Acer and yes it uses plastic and not vaporwaremagpolydilithium whatever.  But you know what, it runs FULL FRICKIN WINDOWS. 
  • But does your Acer come with a flux capacitor?
  • Lmaooooo +1!!!
  • Lol and does it have adamantium components inside?
  • Quality matters. Microsoft put its H/W partners on notice with the Surface design. Plastic or alloy, quality matters. The Surface beats them all.
  • Man, this made me laugh sooooo hard, I was looking through this for another comment I saw yesterday that made me laugh harder.
  • "in a vapourised magnesium shell"  -----Someone has bit on the hype machine...
    "with a badass kickstand and keyboard"-------HAHAHA!  Nice!  Yea, laptops don't come with those...?
  • No, laptops don't come with a kickstand and a detachable touch keyboard/cover.
  • I was hoping for 399 or less. They priced it to move out the door slowly this holiday season. Wait until the kindle and nexus 7 adds show up. Consumers will skip surface, by the upgrade instead, and and get a bunch of kindles, nexus 7, and iPad mini.
  • totaly agree with the above, if you want to intice people to switch, you need to price your new alternative a lot better. At this price I doubt anyone will switch from Kindle, Nexus, or the iPad, and 2 years down the line Windows Tablets are going to be in a crappy market position just as Windows Phone is all because Microsoft was too greedy and wanted a premium price for their Surface.
  • I completely disagree, very few people that actually had seen/tried a surface will opt for a kindle or iPad. The usb connection and file management are by themselves enough reasons without even mentioning office/xbox music/ xbox live, etc
  • So far Windows Phones haven't been up to-date. They have old hardware, yet they're not that much ( if at all ) cheaper than way better specced smartphones. But a lot of people have taken a liking to it, and starting with Surface, it's as if Microsoft started out with Windows Phone 8, which I think we all can agree, would've been pretty sweet.
  • The Surface is not competing with these devices, it's in a higher class, different target market.
  • Might want to re-read the article again.  The pricing included the touch cover.  The $120 price was for extra covers, for those who can't have enough...  Of course, you can also purchase the Surface without a cover, which also had it's price included.
  • The $500 model indeed does not come with either touch or type cover. 
  • I dont know why peoples are talking about switching from ipad, kindle or Nexus. Tablets are personal decides but still not as personal as a cellphone or smartphone. I see peoples owning an ipad and still want a galaxy tab. So in my opinion peoples will buy this surface anyway. Switching smartphones is way harder for consumers and that s the main reason why wp is still strugling. if peoples can buy an unlock iPhone for more than $500, i m sure they can afford this Surface.
  •  Yeah, and there biggest disadvantage has been build quality. They've addressed this with the surface, furthermore, you still have to purchase accessories for the ipad with cost $100+ which bumps the price up as well. The ipad doesn't have dual memo antennas or the keyboard you purchase for the ipad doesn't have the sensitivity like the touch/type cover to prevent accidental typing when resting your hands on the cover, the ipdad isn't constructed from Vapor-mag either. I'll guarantee that if you compare the build quality of the surface against the ipad or any of the other W8 tablets/pads, the surface's quaity is much better. As for the ipads display, many people cannot even tell the difference between the II & III displays as the human eye has limited visibility as far as pixels go.
  • We're not even sure of the Surface's build quality yet.  Most iPad accessories cost well under $100.  The difference between an iPad 2 and 3 is very, very easily noticeable.
  • You're very wrong about the "up until now" part with Apple's pricing - Apple has been killing the Android competition with iPad because nobody can match them on cost.  Microsoft has done that, and that should be achievement enough. 
  • Design influences the cost, not the specs. That's why Apple have done so well - good on you MS, you have an RT product for the low end market, and a Pro for the high end - The surface will be a winner folks!
  • Except that Microsoft is NOT pricing it right at the the iPad:
    32gb iPad = $599
    32gb Surface = $499
    Woah, mind blowing! Idiot.
  • Do you mean the Acer W510? It's $749 with keyboard dock ($499 without). Although it comes with larger 64GB HDD.
    Very different kind of device though. Weight of W510 with dock included is 1.2 kg / 2.7 lbs. Definitely cheaper in looks if you read the reviews and look at pictures. But it might be better choice if you want full Windows exp.
  • They don't want everyone-on-Surface. They want to kickstart the Windows 8 tablet market, which isn't done by taking over the entire share of that market and giving only a tiny percentange to their OEMs.
    Also, a smartphone for the same price as a desktop, seriously. Everything is so expensive these days, and for some reason a phone is worth the same as a desktop.
  • Yep, I remember the Touch Cover was to be included, too, with the Type Cover as an optional upgrade. I expected $499 for 32GB with Touch Cover, $599 for 64GB with Touch Cover, and $50 more for Type Cover.
  • So it is $100 less than the "new" iPad 32 gig, or on par with the 2nd Gen ipad. I want it a lot, but I want the pro more.
  • Without a cover, it's the same as a 16GB iPad 3, and I'm pretty sure it's the same as a 32GB iPad 2.
  • No touch is extra 100
  • :(. Well, that price is not going to be enticing for the masses..
  • The Ipad would like to have a word with you sir.
  • Why no UK :(
  • I knew the base model wouldn't be $199 or $299 like some people thought, but I was really hoping for $399. I think I'll just upgrade my Vista laptop to W8 for the time being and wait for the tablet prices to drop a bit.
  • What's the difference between RT and pro
  • RT is ARM based (if you are not tech sawwy, basically the same kind of CPU that smartphones and tablets usually have) and can only run apps that are designed to work in the "Metro" UI thingie. The Metro thing is also in the full Windows 8, so those apps will work in both the full OS and the tablet OS (RT).
    Pro can run x86 apps and is basically a full PC. You can run any Windows application that you would run on your normal PC with them.
    So the RTs are more like iPad kinda tablets while the Pros are more like tablet-ultrabook hybrids.
  • Hm. And why has the Asus RT a desktop app? I'm confused :(
  • This one probably has desktop too for file management, but the Asus RT cant run Win 7 (or x86 apps as they are called) apps either.
    It's not about the desktop, its about CPU architechture or something.
  • But isn't he using it?
  • That tablet can run Metro apps, which are essentially mobile apps. It can't run programs that you have on your current PC.
  • Watch the video... He is using the desktop!!!
  • Yes you can use the desktop on RT, you can use IE desktop-mode browse files in Explorer etc but you still cant install any x86 apps. Only apps from MS Store.
  • Okay, thanks. That's awesome still... ;)
  • Exactly. As far as I'm aware the bundled office apps in RT run in the desktop but run full screen and look like Metro styled apps.
  • Keep in mind that Metro RT and Metro x86 are not exactly the same apps. The developer actually has to release two versions to the Store.
  • On the RT Version you cant run normal windows 7 apps, like photoshop. On the pro you can. The pro is like a laptop in tablet size. The rt is like an ipad. 
  • RT = toy.  Pro = actual computer.  Very disappointed in this pricing but not surprised one bit.
  • Still a better toy than an oversized iPod Touch.
  • I'm sorry, but not with the current app catalog.  We are EXACTLY where we were with the first Gen Windows Phones.  Better hardware than the iDevice at the time, but SEVERELY lacking app store.
    Microsoft needs to figure out it is not Apple and it has to compete on price.  That is where it got with 90% Windows share today.
  • The iPad doesn't come with Office 2013 bundled, so there's that. Also, the OEMs are there to compete on price. iDevices were always expensive, lacked features and apps, and still got to the top. Microsoft has enough moneys to go the Apple way.
  • "iDevices were always expensive, lacked features and apps, and still got to the top. Microsoft has enough moneys to go the Apple way."
    Apple was riding a wave with crazy innovating design and software that MS missed, that wave has passed and they are paddling like crazy behind.
  • I strongly disagree. Innovation at Apple stopped like 5 years ago, when they introduced multi-touch and accelerometers to the masses.The iPhone didn't really change since the initial release and it's touch-unfriendly UI was streched to 10'' to create the ipad - cool hardware with a subpar UI, along with the OS being only a fart-app launcher. The Zune HD was far more innovative than all the Iphones 2 through 5 and the ipad combined. And not only had the Zune HD introduced the revolutionary Metro UI but also superior social features. Unfortunately it seems that history is written by market share winners.
  • Unlike the Touch Cover, the Type Cover is available in white, red, black, blue, and purple variants.
    reverse that.
  • Reversed. You thanking. :-)
    Your price quotes are actually backwards too...The Type is $129 according to your picture.
  • I'll have to wait on the UK prices before commiting, but my initial reaction is that thats a little bit more expensive than I'd like. The covers being over $100 each seems a bit ridiculous to me. Still, if I can get the Surface and the Type cover for under £500, I might go there, I don't like my chances though.
  • AFAIR I payed circa $100 for an attachable keyboard for my Acer Iconia Tab W501 a year ago so Microsoft's price doesn't fell high after all.
  • That keyboard came with additional ports and was more like a dock than a cover. This is a cover and yet it costs more than almost all professional pc keyboards. If the touch and type covers were priced at $50 and $70 respectively, you'd have a surface and keyboard for $550, which is all of a sudden much more competitive.
  • Oh I wish it was more a cover than a dock. That thing altogether is twice as heavy as laptop with the same screen size. The more I use this clunky junk the more I adore the Surface.
  • $499 is fine for me. Sign me up!
  • Ouch.....
  • Besides color, what is the difference between the two covers
  • The touch covers use touch and the type cover use real keys. The type cover is a little bit thicker 
  • I'm confused. What's a touch cover vs a type cover? Pricing looks good for what you get. I was just chatting with an MS store rep and of course they offered no info so this is not yet official.
  • A touch cover is flat. A type cover has more along the lines of traditional keys.
  • "The touch cover is completely flat and the type cover is a little thicker that has a response when you type, like an actual keyboard." that came from a chat with MS Store rep. No official word on when pricing and pre-orders will be back up.
  • I'm... just not sure I want to pay that much for an RT version. Maybe I'll wait or go third party.
  • Well, it's not as bad as I thought it will be - but to be honest being on the same price point as iPad (and with much worse screen and tiny amount of apps) won't make it any easier for Microsoft to compete!
    And it looks like Surface Pro will be too expensive for me!
  • Pro will be too expensive for me, but not my company : ]
  • I had a feeling that (unfortunately) $499-599 for each model respectively would be the price. I'm just disappointed that a non-black Touch Cover is more expensive. That price is just too high to compete with the iPad. I'd spend that much because I'd much rather have a Microsoft product over Apple, but most people don't feel that way. Moreover, this means the Surface Pro will likely be $999+, way too expensive for just about anyone in this economy.
  • Not totally unreasonable, especially since Office 2013 comes preinstalled. I was hoping for $399, but will get this day one and skip getting a WP8 device.
  • I was thinking the same! This is not good for MS. They want to move forward with WP but also introduce new w8 and surface at same time. With surface price not oems price not what people had expected, consumers will most likely skip one for the other. And just not good strategy.
  • I'll take 4 please!
  • You guys are forgetting that the surface comes with Office 2013 as well. The prices are pretty good for a premium device.
  • Exactly!!! Somebody who gets it!
  • nobody in the Android or iOS world cares because they have moved on to sufficient alternatives to Office.  Microsoft has held the Office carrot out for too long that it is one is clamoring for Office anymore so the value proposition is where it is
  • I love it but that price is just a tad bit beyond me, looks like I'll either have to wait or go for another RT tab.
  • Given that iPad has better display and for the time being more&better apps and RT tablets are basically iPad rivals and MS needs to catch up I think it's to expensive. 399$/£/€ with cover would've been it.
  • Better display is debatable as it depends how you define better. IF you define it by number of pixels then yes, else not really.
    More and better apps? Like which?
    Seems to me all the important stuff is built in to the point where it's seamlessly integrated into the systesm (FB, Twitter, LinkedIN, Office, Cloud, and more) Store is exploding right now and anyway more then half the apps in appstore are fart apps anyway. I can build most of the RSS feed/webaccess apps by pinning the webpage to the startscreen..
    Oh, you get all this and a cover with integrated keyboard and USB, SD card, microHDMI out and then some for the same price as the iPad with the same basic storage(and no way to expand but buy a bigger model).
    Now obviously Apple won't do a RT version of iTunes as that would kill off half their ecosystem which kind of proves the point.
  • I rather spend the $$ into a new WP8
  • I know I'm not getting one till Christmas.
  • Funny how people are unwilling to pay for a quality windows device, yet will run out and pay it for an ipad. The accessories people purchase for their ipads run $100+. I don't know why people were thinking the touch/type cover would be included; C'mon people, the base surface is all touch, if you want a keyboard, you have to pay for it. Any pad/table, be it Apple or Android, you have to buy keyboards and accessories separately. The build quality and tech put into the surface is not cheap, starting with the vapor-mag casing, dual memo antennas, gorilla glass 2, etc. I too wish it was a bit cheaper, but at the same time, I see what they've put into these units.
  • I wouldn't say that, cause I don't have an iPad (I find them useless). I would buy a Surface, but I don't have the budget too. Well, I'm just 17, soo.
  •  There's always mom & dad. people on this site are such cry babies; I would love for this device to be less expensive, but the build quality is superb, vapor magnesium, 1080P HD+ gorilla glass II display, dual memo antennas, integrated kickstand, Office 2013 included. Ask yourselves, how much does office cost at retail stores? how much do you spend on a keyboard cover for the ipad? If you can't afford or don't want to buy one at that price point, then don't. I only need a couple hundred more dollars and I'm good for one!
  • I wouldn't ask my mom, cause I'm not like that. I actually work hard to buy my stuff. I have a BB, which is my first phone. I want a WP8, and also a Surface for Senior Year. But like I said, I might buy one for black friday or christmas.
  • Well, there's the tiny problem of you confusing specs for the Surface Pro.  The Surface RT (the version coming out this month) only has a "10.6” ClearType HD Display", meaning only 720p.  The Surface Pro has a "10.6” ClearType Full HD Display", which is 1080p.  While like most others, I was hoping against hope for a $399 price tag, I'm still grabbing a Surface RT at launch.
  •  There's always mom & dad. people on this site are such cry babies; I would love for this device to be less expensive, but the build quality is superb, vapor magnesium, 1080P HD+ gorilla glass II display, dual memo antennas, integrated kickstand, Office 2013 included. Ask yourselves, how much does office cost at retail stores? how much do you spend on a keyboard cover for the ipad? If you can't afford or don't want to buy one at that price point, then don't. I only need a couple hundred more dollars and I'm good for one!
  • I do not think everyone is being a "cry baby".  I think some, myself included, are thinking about potential sales.  I want the Surface to be a success and sell very well.  The masses (majority) that purchase devices such as the ipad and surface know very little about build quality.  Also let us be honest here.  I have never heard anyone complain about the "build quality" of an ipad. It comes down to a few things and price is always a factor as well as applications.  I would hate to see such a cool device go the way of the Zune. 
    Is it priced well for what it is, yes!  It is 100% worth the price of entry.  However, MS is entering into a competition that the ipad has dominated and will continue to dominate and to be so behind and come this late something as simple as bundling the cover with every Surface could really benefit MS and the sales of the Surface.  At the end of the day I want to see the Surface sell more than the ipad. 
  • This! People ask me about Surface and if it will cost £200 (or dollars).  I say "Have you seen this thing?  It's not a cheap Google tablet with a tiny screen and more plastic than Legoland".  
    The idea that this was ever going to be priced like that is laughable - I mean, £200 for what appears to be an extremely well built, well stacked tablet with Office, Windows (near enough), a USB port, etc etc is TOO cheap. If someone said to me, here's a new car and you can have it for a pack of cigerettes I'd be a bit suspicious.  If, and I'm not sure how you can, you compare this to an iPad it is actually a better deal - assuming they'll be priced to just below iPads (i.e. £449 for the 32GB with TouchCover).
  • I'm with everyone thinking it should be $399 base price. But I'll give in and get one for $499. I'll just buy a type cover later, blue one please to go with my cyan lumia 920!!!!
  • ^3
  • Pre-order down and processed. This will be a nice second device in the household. Price was pretty much as expected.
  • This is interesting. Basically they've targeted the iPad crowd, but I am surprised they didn't go $399, $499 and $599 for the RT and $699, $799 and $*99 for the Pro. At those price points, they would probably have dominated the holiday season. Clearly they're throwing their OEM partners a bone here. Its a tad expensive for a consumption device (RT) but not out of line with the market. In truth, I really want a surface with an LTE modem (a constant connection is important to me) so I'm basically 4 or 5 months from getting one.
    If they're smart, we should see a holiday bundle with the 360, and a Surface for $599. If the really want to help their partners and corner the market, we should see a bundle with an XBOX 360, Surface RT (32) with Touch Cover and a 920/8X/Ativ with 16 GB of SkyDrive service, a free XBOX Gold Subscription and 3 Months of XBox Music's Premium service for $1000. What better way to sell the entire ecosystem and snatch market Share. College kids (Parents) and Techies would buy those in bulk. Its basically what you'd pay for a laptop (Mac) today, only MS would have you locked in for a year of Xbox Live and 2 years on the mobile phone carriers. At&t, Verizon, T-Mobile, Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Microsoft all win under that Scenario. If They want to bundle a full Year of XBox Music, $1099 is even resaonable.
    I'd be pretty hard pressed to choose a Laptop over that bundle if I was college Kid, because I'm still getting a 10 inch semi-laptop with Office as part of the package. In fact, i'd say thats the ultimate temptation package for people on the line thinking of getting an iPhone, Macbook or iPad heading back to school.
  • Too much, but I frankly have never seen that much value in a tablet. Not sure how many they will sale at these price points
  • You make a very good point.  The USB and display port alone move it from toy to productivity device for me.  I should have expected this price.  It can do so much more than other tablets but I was expecting the price of a normal tablet.  That wasn't very bright of me.
  • er...$500 IS the price of a normal Tablet.
  • So...the difference between the touch cover and the type cover is...?
  • Type has depressable physical keys.
  • THAT'S apparent. But WTF is the touch then?
  • As much as I want the Surface RT, I can't warrant paying £500 for the RT when I've just purchased a BRAND NEW Dell XPS 15 for £460, then this price point it way too high! Shame really.... If the 32GB RT here in UK is under £400 with touch cover in blue, I would have grabbed one instantly! Looks like a trip to PC World or CPW in the New Year Sales for me
  • Convert that pricing for me, because I paid $1500 U.S. for my XPS 15z which is much more expensive tha this by a long shot without touch functionality. I'm still waiting for Dell to release the new driver for my touchpad so I can use gestures with Windows 8 Pro I have installed.
  • Read through the previous posts, its been addressed several times
  • £399
  • I think for what your getting, the price is reasonable, but if Microsoft wanted to take it to apple, a 50-100 dollar undercut would have made all the difference in the world. This is speaking competitively. IPad has mass appeal, so Microsoft needs to counteract that with price. Don't get me wrong though, I would pay for it as it stands right now.
  • It is a $100 undercut to Apple - Apple charges $599.99 for a 32GB iPad.  The problem is that Microsoft isn't releasing a 16GB device to go against the entry level iPad.
  • Too expensive for me.
  • Eh this certainly makes it a lot less of an insta-buy for me.  I still think I will probably wait until the iPad 4's come out and get an iPad 3 on the cheap.
  • 3G/4G Support? Anyone?
  • It's not an ereader like an iPad. My laptop doesn't have 3g.
  • Nope, wifi only.
  • Price is fine. Just let me preorder FFS