New Microsoft specialty stores offer Surface RT for $199, Dell Venue Pro for $99

A few weeks ago, we reported that Microsoft was opening 11 of its smaller specialty stores in the U.S. during the month of May. Now there's word that the opening days for those locations will feature deep sales discounts for two tablets, including the 32GB Surface RT.

According to a sales terms and conditions document from Microsoft obtained by WinBeta, each store will have a limited quantity of the Windows RT tablet it will sell for just $199 on its opening day. In addition, it will sell the 8-inch Dell Venue Pro tablet, with Windows 8.1, for a mere $99.

While the Microsoft specialty store at the North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia is already open, there are still 10 more locations that will have these two deep tablet discounts on their opening day in May. Here is a list of those remaining stores and their opening dates. Needless to say, if you live near one of these locations, you might want to get to the shopping center early to be sure you get the Surface RT and the Dell Venue Pro at these fire sale prices

May 13
The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, CA
Park Place, Tucson, AZ
Jordan Creek Town Center, Des Moines, IA

May 15
FlatIron Crossing, Broomfield, CO
North Star Mall, San Antonio, TX
Westroads Mall, Omaha, NE

May 17
The Mall in Columbia, Columbia, MD
The Maine Mall, S Portland, ME
Mall of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA
Boise Towne Square, Boise, ID

Source: WinBeta | Image via Microsoft

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With the improvement that Intel has made in their Atom and Core lines I really don't think the future is in Windows on ARM. The battery life to performance ratio is just not worth it for the incompatibility now. I would like to see Microsoft bring out an Atom base Surface in line with the Dell Venue Pro. After using a Venue Pro for a couple of days I was quite amazed at home good it was for the price. The Baytrail Atom CPU is fast and battery life is very good. I can imagine with Microsoft controlling both hardware and software they would be able to get even battery life than Dell. I think that is the future of Surface not ARM. Although we will obviously see Windows RT continue to exist now we have universal apps coming to the Windows Store.

Until universal apps can do everything win32 can, Windows RT in its current state has a big problem. Microsoft really needs to allow 3rd party developer access to win32 and .NET in Windows on ARM. Otherwise it is going to be a hard sell compared to similar Windows 8 devices. No, it still won't have x86 compatibility, but it would open up the OS to so much more. I know, I've been using a Surface RT with the "jailbreak" for about a year now... it is so much more useful than it would have been in Microsoft's intended vision (modern UI only).

Getting close to the Surface Mini, have to make room at the low end, they can't have many original RTs left at this point.

bigmehdi said,
You are assuming that the Surface Mini would sell better.

I don't know where you got that idea from, what I said was that they're clearing out to make room for the new mini and if the rumors are true, whatever other model they might show off. My comment was about stock/supply and not so much about sales.

smot said,
The Dell is well worth that price. I really like mine.

I hated mine at first, the touch sensitivity was flawed and I would have to tap multiple times in frustration to select the correct thing.

But after the recent update it's been flawless.

That Surface deal is weak. There are manufacturer "refurbished" ones on eBay constantly for $180 or $200 with a keyboard with the same 1 year warranty. I say "refurbished" because I bought one in August and I'm pretty sure it was new. It came in the original box (refurbs usually don't) with a small sticker on the box that said REFURBISHED. The plastic was still on everything and there was no signs of usage.

The Tegra 3 is TERRIBLY slow and I didn't really ever use it so I just flipped it for a profit on Craigslist.

I'm pretty sure Microsoft is dumping excess stock as "refurbished" as damage control.

On the other hand the Dell Venue Pro deal is HOT!

wixostrix said,
It got a bit zippier with the official Windows 8.1 release.

Yes, you have used the correct expression: "a bit zippier". And it still sucks, to be honest. No software magic can speed up underpowered junk CPU. Tegra 3 sucks in all applications other than video playback of sub-1080p resolution.

In IE (regardless if it is IE10 on Win8RT or IE11 on W8.1RT, its the same sh*t) it takes sometimes 8-10 seconds, until that damn Surface RT junk recognizes I have pressed the stop button to cancel loading of a webpage, it stays in a frozen-like state, thinking about something while I am waiting something to happen.

I am familiar with what the constraints of Windows on ARM means, so I dont bash the OS, for what I use this platform, it works... sort of. But the hw under Surface 1 RT (actually the lack of CPU power is the biggest pain) did not worth the 599$ when I bought it shortly after the announcement. It was simply a bad deal.

I did not hear much complaints regarding the Surface 2 RT since its launch (there were couple of issues with the UEFI firmware, not going to concted standby etc.) but as there are not dozens of complaining posts all over the internet, its probably safe to assume, the hw got better with the surface 2RT. I would only buy surface 1 RT, if its really is as cheap as this 170-190$ at maximum. Including the cover, of course! It was a nasty ripoff of customers to sell those covers for 100$.