Microsoft Announces Surface RT Price


16.10.2012

Microsoft Announces Surface RT Price

Microsoft is getting ready to launch the Surface RT line-up running on Windows  RT, the Windows 8 version developed for slates with ARM processors. Apple has made the tablet segment popular in 2010 when the iPad was officially introduced, then continued the successful story with iPad 2 and the new iPad, the latter one launched in March 2012. Google also developed it’s first tablet, the Nexus 7, a device co-developed with ASUS.

Meanwhile Microsoft has announced the pricing for its new tablets running on Windows RT. Surface RT with a 32 GB of internal storage will have a price of $499. In Europe the price might be transformed in Euros, but that’s another story.

Let’s have a look at the technical specifications of the three tablets that are supposed to become the biggest players of the segment: Microsoft Surface RT, The New iPad, and Nexus 7.

The New iPad features a 9.7-inch IPS TFT display with a resolution of 1,536 x 2,048 pixels, a dual-core 1 GHz A5X processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16/32/64 GB of internal storage, quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU, 3G, 4G, WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB and GPS. The Apple tablet also comes with a 5 megapixel camera on the back with touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, and support for full HD video recording and a front-facing 0.3 megapixel camera. The New iPad has a 11,560 mAh battery while weighing in 652 grams and being 9.4 mm thick.

On the other hand, Google’s Nexus 7 comes with NFC, microUSB, WiFi in all standards and 3.5 mm jack. The terminal has a 4,325 mAh battery, 340 grams and is 10.5 mm thick. Nexus 7 sports a 7-inch IPS display with HD resolution, 1 GB of RAM and a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz. The tablet runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and features a 1.2 megapixel camera for video calls and 8 or 16 GB of internal storage .

The tablet developed by Microsoft, Surface RT, sports an HD 10.6-inch display it comes with Wi-Fi, microSD, USB 2.0, 2×2 MIMO, 3.5 mm audio jack, GPS, runs Windows RT, weighs in 676 grams and is 9.3 mm thick.

The Redmond-based company had two marketing alternatives for the Surface RT. Either to make a cheap tablet, a response to Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, a possible approach that ignited some rumors saying that Surface RT will be priced around $200. It would have been almost impossible for Microsoft to sell the tablet on profit, as the slate is definitely targeting the premium segment. Moreover, all the Windows RT tablets will come pre-loaded with MS Office 13.

Or, Microsoft could have approached the premium segment with a competitor for iPad, but with a price to justify Surface RT choice. On the US market, the 32 GB New iPad model has a price of $599m and Steve Ballmer and his team were smart enough to make their tablet $100 cheaper than the Apple tablet that currently dominates the market with a market share above 60% in 2012.

Another important aspect for the success of the Surface RT will be the apps available in the adjacent store, plus the materials and the design of the tablet. For the time being there are no solid details regarding the tablet’s CPU, GPU or RAM. My guess is that Microsoft will use a dual-core CPU.

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