Earlier this week Microsoft revealed the full details of its new tablet, Surface with Windows RT, or Surface RT, as everyone in their right mind will surely call it from this day forth.
It was all the way back in June that Microsoft first unveiled the Surface tablet, with two different versions teased at a huge press event that managed to steal quite a few headlines away from Apple. Because, let’s face it, most headlines on tech sites these days are somehow related to Apple. The promise of Windows 8 tablets built by Microsoft was enough to turn heads, at least for a few days.
Unfortunately Microsoft then faltered by not offering any details on the Surface tablets, with a vague promise that the RT version would launch at the same time as Windows 8, with the full version launching early in 2012. Windows 8 is released on Oct. 26, so Microsoft left it until very late to fill us in on Surface RT, only doing so this week.
Microsoft Surface RT will come in three flavors, an entry-level 32GB model for $499, a 32GB model with black Touch Cover for $599, and a 64GB model with black Touch Cover for $699. The Touch Cover is the ultra-slim magnetic cover with built in keyboard, but a Type Cover which adds a mechanical keyboard is also available to purchase for an additional $129.99.
Surface RT offers a pared down version of the full Windows experience, and users will only be able to use apps from the Windows Store, which isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with great apps at the moment. The tablet measures 10.81- x 6.77- x 0.37-inches and weighs 1.5 pounds. It features an NVIDIA T30 processor, 2GB of RAM, and both front- and rear-facing 720p HD cameras.
The price seems to be the biggest surprise, or perhaps people are just disappointed Microsoft hasn’t pitched it lower. Either way there are complaints that $499-up is too high a price to pay for such a device. It also suggests that the Microsoft Surface Pro will likely retail for around $1,000, which could limit its appeal to ordinary consumers.
One bright spot on the whole thing is the new Microsoft Surface commercial (embedded below), which is surprisingly good. Whether it’s good enough to persuade people they need a Windows 8 tablet remains to be seen, however.