Microsoft Surface pricing to undercut Apple's iPad

Microsoft has unveiled the pricing for its Surface RT tablet and it's set to undercut the equivalent iPad by $100

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Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface tablets have finally been given a price in the run up to their launch. Taking a big bite out of Apple, Microsoft has undercut the almighty iPad by a cool $100.

The basic model will start at $499 (£310) with 32GB of storage for the tablet alone. If you also want the fancy cover with the keyboard built in however, you'll have to shell out $599 (£373). The top 64GB model with the cover will set you back $699 (£435).

Compare that to the Godfather of the tablet world -- Apple's iPad -- and those prices seem pretty reasonable. The 32GB iPad comes in at $599 -- exactly a hundred dollars more than the equivalent Microsoft slate. The 64GB iPad shares the $699 price tag with the 64GB Surface, but you won't get a keyboard cover with Apple's tablet, so if typing is on your agenda then the Surface might be the way to go.

Microsoft sadly hasn't said whether the Surface will actually make its way to UK shops or not, so hasn't given any UK pricing (the prices you see above are conversions). Companies often have a nasty habit of whacking a bit of a premium onto their products for the UK market, so whether these prices stay exactly the same if we ever see it remains to be seen.

The prices specifically relate to the Surface RT, rather than the Surface Pro. The primary difference between the two is that the Surface RT runs on a lower-powered mobile processor -- such as those you'd find in other tablets and smart phones -- rather than the beefy laptop processor in its bigger brother.

It therefore runs on the tablet-specific version of Windows 8. You'll still get the Metro interface with the large, colourful tiles to swipe through but you won't be able to install desktop programs like Adobe Photoshop as you would with the Pro version.

Details are fairly scarce on the specifications of Surface RT for now, but it's powered by an Nvidia ARM processor -- probably the quad-core Tegra 3 found the HTC One X -- and will likely have a 1,600x900-pixel resolution.

More details about the Surface RT and Pro should appear in the coming days and weeks in line with the official launch of Windows 8 on 26 October. In the meantime, make sure to keep it CNET UK for all the latest news.

What do you think of the Surface tablets? Is there room for another slate on our shelves, or is it too little too late? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.