Surface tablet price rumour

The latest whisper to come out of the rumour mill about Microsoft's hotly anticipated family of tablet PCs is that the lower spec, Windows RT version of its new slate could retail for significantly less than many experts originally anticipated.

According to an inside source at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference, Microsoft have revealed plans that not only set the launch date of the Surface RT tablet at October 26th (the same date that Windows 8 officially goes on sale), but that it could also retail for as little as $199.

If true, this would have profound implications for a market which has seen a lot of shakeups recently, not least following the release of Google's bargain-priced Nexus 7 Android tablet.

Even though the Surface RT is the lower spec model of the series, it still packs a serious hardware punch that puts it a class above the Nexus 7. It features a 10" ClearType HD Display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, an ARM-based processor with Nvidia technology and onboard storage options of either 32 or 64GB as well as microSD and USB connectivity.

Some commentators have already cast doubt on this rumour, suggesting that a $199 price tag wouldn't even cover the bill of materials to produce the Surface RT and therefore that it wouldn't be possible without heavy subsidies.

Microsoft, which is reportedly building the Surface tablet in-house has already earned the ire of OEM hardware manufacturers by its decision to produce the Surface tablet in-house, prompting Acer CEO JT Wang to say in an interview for the Financial Times:

“We have said [to Microsoft] think it over. Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice.”

Until an official confirmation is forthcoming we're taking the price rumour with a pinch of salt, but it's certainly got us excited!

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