is gearing up to introduce the Surface RT tablet in a couple of weeks and it will face a pretty tough market. Apple’s iPad is still going strong and a cheaper, smaller version is also on the way. The Android gang is slugging it out in the low-end, so Microsoft has its work cut out for it.
Analyst Sameer Singh believes Microsoft will price the RT version between $399 and $499, and that’s without the keyboard cover. Surface Pro tablets, based on Intel chips, should go for $499 to $899, also without the keyboard.
This doesn’t sound very promising at all. Even at $399 the Surface RT doesn’t sound like a very tempting offer. Apple will gladly sell you an iPad 2 at the same price point and by the time Windows RT tablets start appearing in greater numbers, we should see the next generation iPad, which means current generation Retina models could drop to $399 in six months or so. On the Android side, there are plenty of $399 tablets to choose from and many are based on the same Tegra 3 chip. However, cheaper hi-res models are also trickling in and they don’t cost much more either.
As for the Surface Pro, it could get away with a premium price thanks to x86 compatibility and the sheer muscle of Intel silicon. It won’t come cheap, but at least it will be an attractive device for business users and just about everyone who fancies x86 compatibility and support for legacy apps.