New day, new rumors about the Microsoft Surface tablets. Of course the one thing everyone’s dying to know right now is how much these puppies are going to cost. Yesterday we brought you the first report on the matter, with rumors saying something about a $599 minimum price for the RT (ARM-based) version, and at least $799 for the one with Intel processor.
Today some new leaked info purportedly coming straight from “a source close to Microsoft” brings us more details. Apparently the RT version of the Surface will in fact start at $599, just like we told you. It’s bad news though if you’ve been thinking on going for the Intel variant. That will be priced from $999, according to this particular rumor.
That’s a lot, no matter how you look at it. Microsoft has said that it’s looking to price the Intel Surface as an alternative to ultrabooks, but starting at $999 means it will be similarly priced only to the most expensive ultrabooks (and the MacBook Air). With that price, it’s almost certain that the Intel-powered Surface will be an enterprise-only affair. For businesses used to shelling out more than $1000 for laptops, this may be an interesting proposition. Everyone else though, including Mr. Joe Average Consumer, will be focused on the RT Surface.
And, at $100 more than the cheapest iPad, and $200 more than some 10-inch Android tablets, it will be a pretty tough sell too. So let’s hope that Microsoft will somehow come to its senses and change these prices before the official release of the tablets. Otherwise, they’ll just be (pretty) expensive niche offerings forever. Apparently there is still a chance that things could change, so cross your fingers.
One of the (actually quite a few) details missing from Microsoft’s unveiling of its tablets was whether they’ll have some sort of 3G/4G mobile data connectivity built-in. And in case you had any doubts on the matter, the answer seems to be no. At least not at first. So these units we’re talking about will be Wi-Fi-only. That’s bad news for those of you who were hoping that the $100 more that you’ll have to pay for the cheapest Surface compared to the cheapest Wi-Fi-only new iPad was explained somehow by such built-in connectivity.