Microsoft Surface pricing will be comparable to PCs -- analyst
A bill-of-materials analysis of upcoming Microsoft Surface devices suggests pricing will be line with low-end PCs and ultrabooks. But that doesn't include the cost of Microsoft's snazzy keyboard.
Brooke CrothersFormer CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
The least expensive Microsoft Surface tablet will be priced more in line with a low-end laptop than a $199 Google Nexus 7, one analyst argues.
Microsoft's imminent Surface RT tablet will priced between $399 and $499, excluding the smart cover/keyboard, according to Sameer Singh, an analyst with India-based consulting group Finvista Advisors, a mergers and acquisitions consulting group.
And the Pro version -- due next year -- will fall in the $799 to $899 range, also excluding the smart cover/keyboard.
Surface RT uses an inexpensive Nvidia ARM chip and won't run older Windows software. The pricier Intel Core i5-based Pro version can run older software.
Singh's estimates line up, more or less, with comments by CEO Steve Ballmer, who said last month that pricing would fall between $300 and $800. And Microsoft has offered similar official pricing guidance.
But the analysis also begs the question, how much will Microsoft charge for its "revolutionary" 3mm thin cover/keyboard? If that part of the package is pricey, then the device-plus-keyboard enters more rarified pricing tiers.
Keyboard-equipped devices announced today by Microsoft's hardware partners may provide some guidance.