Microsoft Surface Pricing Revealed: Is it Too Expensive?

Surface for Windows RTMy inbox is filled with information about the upcoming Microsoft tablet and recent announcements about pricing and what exactly you’ll get for your investment.

Back in June, I wrote a piece describing some of the unanswered questions Microsoft left us with after the big unveiling of the Surface tablet. In the article, I described how important price was to anyone’s buying decision, and whether or not all the features boasted in the press conference would be included in the base model.

To no great surprise, that infamous keyboard cover that really set the Surface apart from the competition will not be included in the base model. That means you’ll have to fork over an additional $120-140 for a keyboard cover if you opt to get the base Surface for Windows RT tablet at $499.

Here’s a look at some of the prices announced by Microsoft today.

  • 32GB Surface for Windows RT – $499
  • 64GB Surface for Windows RT – $599
  • 64GB Surface for windows RT with Touch Keyboard – $699
  • Touch Keyboard – $120
  • Traditional Keyboard – $130

If you want to buy a Surface tablet running anything other than Windows RT, you’ll need to wait a few months as the full-featured Surface isn’t set to release until then. From this price starting point, it’s fairly clear that the more powerful edition of the Surface running Windows 8 (non-RT) will probably be a lot more expensive than a netbook.

What Do You Get?

The Surface for Windows RT may not be a powerhouse in personal computing, but it isn’t a slouch either. It’s an ARM-based tablet so processor-intensive tasks such as video editing and advanced gaming wouldn’t really be recommended on it. The performance should be expected to be on-par with a modern netbook, the iPad, or a high-end Android tablet.

Here’s a look at the specs.

  • Size: 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Screen: 10.6 inches (1,366 x 768)
  • Processor: NVIDIA T30
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 32 – 64GB
  • microSDXC
  • 720p Rear and Front-Facing Cameras
  • Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0, cover port, micro HDMI
  • Audio: Dual Microphones / Stereo Speakers
  • OS: Windows RT
  • Wireless: WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0

With those specs in mind, is the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT overpriced? It boasts more storage at the price than the iPad, and Windows RT (despite not having the old desktop) is still pretty powerful operating environment. It’s the first Windows PC ever produced by Microsoft itself, and that could mean it’ll be the most compatible with the operating system. That’s not to say Microsoft’s OEM partners will experience more issues, but one thing I learned by using a Galaxy Nexus is that it never hurts to get hardware made by the software maker.

What do you think? Is the Surface overpriced? What would you pay for the full Windows 8 Surface with a more powerful processor expected out in a few months?

The Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order on Microsoft.com.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • kami

    yup too expensive, I don’t think many people will want to spend that kind of money on a product without a pedigree (aka Ipad or any of the good Android tablets). As for me I am going to start researching for an Android tablet now…

    • http://www.iamaaron.com/ Aaron Brewer

      Microsoft screwed themselves with the pricing.

      • willdoors

        I agree….. also they screwed themselves in no releasing the PRO version the same day RT goes out

  • Zane chmelyk

    way too expensive. im in canada and microsoft surface canadian website pricing starts at $619, i can get a powerhouse gaming desktop for less than that. will have to wait to see if the consumer reports of the surface are good once these start shipping to see if id consider getting one.

  • http://twitter.com/rbaker1161 richard baker

    for $599, why not get an IPad?….Microsoft has missed the pricing point by about $150

    • http://www.iamaaron.com/ Aaron Brewer

      No, they missed the pricing by about $350.00 USD.

      • http://www.facebook.com/usavieira Ismael Vieira

        agree!

  • Some dude

    but one thing I learned by using a Galaxy Nexus is that it never hurts to get hardware made by the software maker.

    Software maker – Google
    Hardware maker – Samsung

  • Kakooli

    Not expensive in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/DarkHurricane_ Dylan

    well $/£130 for a traditional keyboard if it has usb 2.0 just plug in a cheapy $/£10 keyboard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fraotcaladez Fraot Caladez

    THAT’S the real funtion of Windows 8. To be in these tablets! Not in desktop nor laptops (non-otuch pc’s).

  • http://twitter.com/rjsinc Richard Schindler

    Microsoft past successes were based on volume. This price is not good enough to get people try it and think it out weighs buying an iPad. Touch screen laptops will just kill this product from ever getting off the ground.

  • http://twitter.com/BlurNulled BitLocker

    Yikes, way too expensive. Apple is already established in the tablet market, and regular consumers will not go running to a Microsoft tablet for the same price. I’d pick a google nexus tablet or a Apple tablet before I even bother with a Microsoft tablet.

  • http://www.iamaaron.com/ Aaron Brewer

    You know, I was really excited about Surface and even held my breathe while the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 were being released. I wanted to give Microsoft another chance and start becoming more proprietary with their products. For months I sported the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8. Not only three months ago was it only going to be $200.00, but look at this crap… $699.00, $599.00, and $499.00? I thought their plan was to rule the Tablet market, these prices are not ruling the tablet market, they are only screwing themselves over. If you want to get more customers, you do not pull a stunt like this, and then expect people to buy these crap RT versions for $499.00. In a failing economy, you just screwed yourself over. Microsoft, this goes out to you from a Microsoft Fan boy, you just lost a customer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/usavieira Ismael Vieira

      make your words mine!

      • Bob

        I have been looking forward to buying one of these – probably the Pro version – since they were announced back in June.

        But after learning off the RT devices I ain’t going to buy either the RT or wait for the Pro. They are simply too expensive.

        If the RT is this ludicrous price then the Pro version is going to be an even more scary price. I have been working with and using Microsoft products since 1987 but, nope, I ain’t paying these prices Microsoft.

        The US/UK Dollar Sterling/Pound exchange rate is about 1.60 meaning that 1 Pound is worth about 1 dollar 60 cents. But Microsoft have just exchanged the $ sign in front of their prices for a £ sign – meaning that the Microsoft Surface is, by my reckoning, more expensive still in the UK than the ludicrous price in the US.

        I so wanted to buy one of these things but I will simply refuse to buy. If I do buy a Windows 8 device now it will most likely be a Samsung. But those Android pads and the Kindles now look very attractive. I was not considering them before but now I might.

        Hey, I might even go and buy an ipad – and if I do then it is bye bye from me with regard to ever buying a Windows 8 phone either.

  • http://twitter.com/iSteezTech Alex Andrei

    Yep I really think it’s expensive for me… they could point it at 350$ and it would have been way better and considering it doesn’t have enough apps in the Windows Market I really think it just doesn’t justify the price… I can get an iPad for 400$ even if it has 16 GB cut off

    • willdoors

      also ipad has thousand and thousand of apps…. surface has 0

  • Dane Reynolds

    i do think the touch keyboard is stupidly over priced!!! even in GBP.

  • sinhan

    Too expensive. Not buying surface and selling Microsoft stock.

  • Mr.Sour

    I seem to be unable to grasp why people think this is way to expensive for $600 you get a tablet that you would have to pay $700 for the apple version, (I know there is more to a tablet then storage.) so you save $100; the key board is what’s a bit to expensive, $120 is a bit much but when you factor in that it doubles as a screen cover its not that bad for a keyboard, and this is Microsoft’s flagship tablet there reasoning for price is the same as apples, price = status they don’t want there tablet to be thought of as something that is inferior or less then that of their competitors. Personally I think that Microsoft hit the price point dead on for what this product is and what its going to be compared too. On a side note this is NOT the only windows tablet ever being made there will be plenty of tablets to pick from that you may find are a better deal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001652502450 Joel Beisiegel

      Well here’s the problem… there are no good games for WindowsRT. I can buy a Nexus 7 with similar specs for $250 and it will run almost EVERY android app(Over 675,000). It’s obvious which one is more of a steal.

      • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

        Games will come.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001652502450 Joel Beisiegel

          Yes, but you have to wait for them >.<, it will take Microsoft quite a long time to catch up to iOS and Android.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001652502450 Joel Beisiegel

          Yes, but you have to wait for them >.<, it will take Microsoft quite a long time to catch up to iOS and Android.

  • Edward Williams

    Pricing may be too high, but I gotta think that they believe it will sell. Microsoft believes they set price just right. I’ll pass!

  • Tarin Paul

    Don’t be too proud Microsoft. I expect to buy one when heard of Surface on June. But for this price? Microsoft, you didn’t take a look at your competitor at all!! You are so new in the tablet, also very new in APPS for THIS TABLET!

    People has to weight balance between price & versatile (apps) when buying tablet. You almost has nothing to compete with competitor.

    So RULE is the following ONLY!! to win the game..

    1. Price attractive (lowest as you can) to win customers to buy your tablet.
    2. Gain market share to attract more developers. King is market share ONLY!!

    You have everything to be success and to be iPad killer. But for this price point?? DEFINITELY NO WAY!!!!

    RIP!!

  • Gonzalo Laurie

    After three months learning c++ development for RT, now I feel I wasted my time. Pricing above the leader of the market with a new OS and no apps… no way they can gain a significant part of the market. Amazingly, the OEMs prices are even higher! They are completely missing the point…

  • http://twitter.com/ektorf Hector F.

    Now google will release the Nexus 7 32 GB at $199 and the 8 GB at $99! So what do you think it’s going to happen?

  • http://twitter.com/ektorf Hector F.

    Now google will release the Nexus 7 32 GB at $199 and the 8 GB at $99! So what do you think it’s going to happen?

  • willdoors

    microsoft is SO WRONG on this……
    surface RT = ipad …. also same price (it’s the same price face it, forget de GB) and
    surface: 0 apps
    ipad: thousand of apps
    MS has a killer device in their hands, ‘the PRO version’ and they don’t release it, and also it will be super expensive, like what???????

  • willdoors

    it’s actually sold out right now….. the surface RT without the keyboard

  • willdoors

    it’s actually sold out right now….. the surface RT without the keyboard

    • Bob

      It is only sold out because Microsoft say it is sold out. We have no idea how many devices they were marketing here – 1 million, 100,000, 10,000 or just 500?

      It is an old marketing trick to launch a new product, not tell people how many devices or items you have sold and then claim it is sold out already.

      Don’t fall for this.

  • willdoors

    it’s actually sold out right now….. the surface RT without the keyboard

  • Curtis Coburn

    They couldn’t have made a cheaper tablet? For lower end users I think a cheaper tablet would be better, because as we learned from Google and Amazon, a $200 tablet really makes an impact on people to want to make them buy that tablet. People in general don’t need high end parts, they just want to play low end games, brows the web, read books, and connect with friends.

    For all that, you don’t need a high end tablet. I believe that they should be cheaper, because they are the RT version. The Windows 8 should be the real expensive ones, because they would be used for a more professional use.

    I still really want one to try it out. Maybe the price is realitive like an iPad or a Mac. The experience is what really matters, because maybe the experience is so good that it is actually worth paying that much for it.

    I can’t really tell, I would have to get my hands on a Surface tablet. But then again, I’m pretty sure that other OEM’s will have a tablet that is cheaper than the surface, and just like with android, when that comes around, Microsoft will learn the same thing Google and Apple did. Cheaper sells. That’s why the Kindle Fire is a success, and the Nexus 7 is a success. And now probably if the price is right for an iPad mini, it will be a success. We will just have to wait to see.

  • Boris

    At those prices Ill be surprised if they sell a single one. Nobody nontech is going to want one of those when they can have a ‘proper’ iPad for the same price, and nobody techy is going to be won over by MS nonsense argument that their rubbish resolution is just as good as iPads retina- and we know iOS works for the task, is less vulnerable to viruses etc. That pricing is more in line with what I’d expect for the Surface Pro. I agree with lots of the others here, I think If MS was hoping to win the tablet wars with the Surface, at those prices it might just infact have written its own death warrant.

    • Unregistered

      viruses ? lol. There will be plenty of people buying it.

  • Avg Joe

    Way too expensive. In this economy, why just why? Tablets are likes phones, wait a couple months and something better will come along.

  • straybeat

    When the iPad 3 came out I found an iPad 2 deal for $250 for my wife because she wanted to try one. I didn’t want to blow a wad of cash only to have my wife say, “Well, it’s a cute little toy, but…” and not touch it again. Here it is how many months later and she hasn’t put it down yet. She has all the apps, plays games online with her friends, etc., etc. Now I wouldn’t hesitate to buy her the top of the line iPad 3 knowing how much she likes and uses it. There is no way I would spend that same money on an unknown MS product.

  • http://ironiclee.blogspot.com/ Jentylee

    Well, my factual sentiments are along the lines of the last commenter. They should have kept the surface, without the “if you want the wheels” car salesman trick. at a lower pricepoint and boosted the prices of the Windows 8 touch; as all of the commenters are talking about the real experience being with the touch screen for Win 8. The could have positioned themselves perfectly. They screwed themselves.

  • Dave

    I for one do not like Apple products or Apple users and I was really hoping this would be an ipad killer to shut their smug mouths, I like Windows ( 7 not 8 ) and I waited before buying the Nexus 7 to see what would happen with the Microsoft Surface. The answer is I will not be buying a Windows RT Surface at these prices. Very disappointing, sadly another fail for Microsoft.

  • xinu

    As for myself, had they priced the Windows 8 Pro at the same price as the iPad they would have made a compelling case. I have quite a lot of Windows software which I could use on a mobile device, however with those prices the iPad looks even more attractive. Windows 8 RT at the moment is simply a bad choice for consumers.

  • xinu

    As for myself, had they priced the Windows 8 Pro at the same price as the iPad they would have made a compelling case. I have quite a lot of Windows software which I could use on a mobile device, however with those prices the iPad looks even more attractive. Windows 8 RT at the moment is simply a bad choice for consumers.

  • Curtis Coburn

    I’ll wait a while. Possibly get a used one. When the price comes down.

  • samadams72

    I made a blog on this thing, hoping the same; hoping that the price would be around 300…and now this.

    I lost about 100.00 for a three year site contract..now I’m going to have throw junk on there and be a sellout…Thanks Microsoft for being a bunch of buffoons

  • Dane Reynolds

    hey, is anyone else not scared that the app store will be short on apps???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292299949 Nino Brunori

    I joined the hype with the developer preview and quickly was disappointed.
    I found extremely powerful Android tablets with JB for roughly $220 a piece and does everything under the sun. I’m buying 6 of them for Christmas gifts this year.
    Why spend all that money just because you can link to “THE CLOUD” seamlessly or your XBox 360.

  • Josie

    i have been really excited about windows surface, mainly because it can run programs on it, not just apps, and with a keyboard i was so excited. I have been let down recently though. the fact its biggest capasity is 64GB is depressing because my ipod is the same as that!

    Being 18 myself i cant afford to buy it so i asked my parents for it for the up coming christmas, but a week after asking for it they have had to talk to me because the price was so expensive both of them putting there money together, they cant afford it :(

    once again windows has lost out on another customer buying this all because of the price.

  • leo ElTejano calleros

    I didnt know the top brass in Microsoft smoked crack cocaine.