Poll: How much would you pay for a Microsoft Surface RT tablet?

Microsoft surprised everyone on June 18th by announcing their brand new tablets. Microsoft Surface is the way Microsoft sees tablets and supposedly the best way to enjoy Windows 8. It comes in two versions: RT and Pro.

There's been some controversy ever since this announcement regarding the pricing and availability of these tablets. We now know the Surface RT will be launched on October 26th alongside Windows 8. What we still don't know is what it will cost.

Ballmer is famously quoted as saying the sweet spot for Windows 8 tablets is somewhere between $300 to $800. However, we have no clear indication of what the exact pricing will be. And with a lot of controversy around pricing, we've decided to ask you, our readers, and Microsoft's potential customers, what you would be willing to pay for a Surface RT tablet.

Of course everyone would want one for free but sadly that won't be the case. Instead we want to know what you'd actually be willing to pay for the tablet. So go ahead and let us know by voting in this poll. And in case you need a reminder, you can find the tablet's specs below.

Surface RT is meant as a direct competitor for the iPad, running on an ARM CPU which means it won't be able to run legacy Windows apps. Alongside that ARM CPU it will also be sporting:

  • 10.6" HD screen
  • 32GB or 64GB + MicroSD slot
  • 1xUSB, MicroHD Video out
  • VaporMG case and stand
  • 676 grams weight
  • Office Home&Student 2013

Poll

How much would you pay for a Microsoft Surface RT Tablet?

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jasonon said,
I would hope it only costs around $300, however I might pitch $500 if it is really awesome build quality

Same here. Decided a couple of months ago to buy a tablet and I'm waiting especially untill Surface (or other Windows 8 tablets) are available.
Seeing that other Windows 8 tablets like Lenovo are quite expensive I would be very dissappointed if the Surface is more expensive then the iPad.

runningnak3d said,
Missing poll option:

Microsoft would have to pay ME to use that POS OS. (even on a tablet)


Since i assume you are paying them (MS and some android phone manufacturer) to beta test the Android OS (i know i did)

iguanas said,

Since i assume you are paying them (MS and some android phone manufacturer) to beta test the Android OS (i know i did)

As opposed to beta testing Windows Phone 8 with Windows Phone 7.x?

Let's get the prices out now! We are 2 weeks away from launch! And I am in a city with no Microsoft Store or plans for a popup...I want to pre-order!

If Microsoft wants that Surface become a successfull product, Surface RT must be cheaper than the cheapest iPad., because iPad has a very good reputation and applications. Surface RT is not compatible with old Windows applications, and on Windows Store it will be just 5000 apps at launch day.
In this case, the cheapest iPad is $499 and Surface it should be for $349.

I'd pay up to $300 for the RT and $800 for the Pro.
If it's more than that I'd take a higher rez Android tablet along the lines of the Nook HD+ over the RT and just stick to a Win7 laptop over the Pro.

£350 is the absolute maximum I'd be willing to pay for it. I'd really like to have a tablet like that, but if it was any more I'd end up buying a good laptop for £400.

The votes tend to suggest that the Surface will be either an auxiliary computer to some other "main" computer--full size laptop or desktop, or a cutesy high-tech toy. Pity that Windows-8 put way too much of its energy for that platform.

Same price as equivalent iPad (storage and connectivity comparison). Your then actually getting more with office bundled, the only downside is a smaller store but that just needs time.

Anything above $400 will not do will. This product should be the starting point to get the RT up and running for it to have a change against the iPad. When I mean $400 that should be the 32GB model and $300 for the 16GB.

ACTIONpack said,
Anything above $400 will not do will. This product should be the starting point to get the RT up and running for it to have a change against the iPad. When I mean $400 that should be the 32GB model and $300 for the 16GB.

When I mean 32GB, I meant 64GB and 16GB, I meant 32GB

ACTIONpack said,
Anything above $400 will not do will. This product should be the starting point to get the RT up and running for it to have a change against the iPad. When I mean $400 that should be the 32GB model and $300 for the 16GB.

The WiFi only 32GB iPad is $600 dollars. How can the Surface with the same capacity, thinner and bigger screen be $200 cheaper?

Ricardo Dawkins said,

The WiFi only 32GB iPad is $600 dollars. How can the Surface with the same capacity, thinner and bigger screen be $200 cheaper?

Because a larger, lower resolution screen is cheaper than a smaller, higher resolution screen. Also where do you get it's thinner, I read the RT is 0.37" vs. the iPad that is 0.34".

300 at the most with those specs. Yea, it runs W8 and has office, but don't think that will make people want to pay more.

$100? Not what you can spend but what it's worth to you and you think it is only worth $100?

I have a feeling it will come in at about $349-$399 without keyboard. I am willing to go to $1000 for the Pro since it will be close to retina quality display, USB 3.0, kickstand, full windows 8 and I have a good feeling battery life has been tested over and over as this seems to be a major sticking point for everything that has tried to compete with the iPad.

I would like an App that will let you change tiles in the future to maybe allow for monochromatic tiles when it is Not active That's more business like to me and perhaps a little shading details or shadowing.

Wow you guys are ****ing cheapskates. I'd pay at least as much as an iPad costs. Provided the build quality, polish and finish are the same, Surface RT provides a greater value because it's a more versatile computer.

saposmak said,
Wow you guys are ****ing cheapskates. I'd pay at least as much as an iPad costs. Provided the build quality, polish and finish are the same, Surface RT provides a greater value because it's a more versatile computer.

We're not being cheapskates, Apple set HUGE markups on the iPad, we're all just hoping Microsoft won't be douchebags as well.

saposmak said,
Wow you guys are ****ing cheapskates. I'd pay at least as much as an iPad costs. Provided the build quality, polish and finish are the same, Surface RT provides a greater value because it's a more versatile computer.

Well, it _will be_ a more versatile computer. Right now the app market is tiny even compared to Android. It remains to be seen whether the Metro apps really take off. Microsoft really could've kickstarted it with Metro Office but if even they're not taking their own medicine...

I mean I'm hopeful (and really want it to beat the iPad) but expecting people to be early adopters for a device that won't be usable at the same levels as an iPad for another 6-12 months or so while app developers catch up?

djdanster said,

We're not being cheapskates, Apple set HUGE markups on the iPad, we're all just hoping Microsoft won't be douchebags as well.

It's not about the "markups" or profit margins. Today the cheapest new iPad costs $500. Provided the Surface's build quality and finish are in the same league, the Surface should be able to sell for at least that much. Selling it for $300 will cheapen the brand and give the impression that it's "not worth as much".

icwhatudidthere said,

Well, it _will be_ a more versatile computer. Right now the app market is tiny even compared to Android. It remains to be seen whether the Metro apps really take off. Microsoft really could've kickstarted it with Metro Office but if even they're not taking their own medicine...

I mean I'm hopeful (and really want it to beat the iPad) but expecting people to be early adopters for a device that won't be usable at the same levels as an iPad for another 6-12 months or so while app developers catch up?

Nobody said you should be an early adopter. It's not about the number of apps. It's also arguable that it's "less usable than the iPad" because it has less apps; even with no apps there are things that you can do on Windows RT that you can't with an iPad.

It's about the perceived value of the iPad vs. the Surface. If they sell for much cheaper than the iPad, guess what, the perceived value will be precisely that it's not worth as much as an iPad... An alternative tablet for cheapskates.

saposmak said,

Nobody said you should be an early adopter. It's not about the number of apps. It's also arguable that it's "less usable than the iPad" because it has less apps; even with no apps there are things that you can do on Windows RT that you can't with an iPad.

It's about the perceived value of the iPad vs. the Surface. If they sell for much cheaper than the iPad, guess what, the perceived value will be precisely that it's not worth as much as an iPad... An alternative tablet for cheapskates.

It is not a full desktop OS. It cannot be sold for more than the cheapest Win 8 pro tablet or it WILL NOT sell period. And if it does not come in cheaper than an iPad it will not sell. Also it has to come in cheaper than a win7 netbook or it will not sell well because of the amount of people that do not want to use Win8.

That pretty much means less than $450 dollars. It will not be less than $300 so that leaves a $399 price point as very realistic.

No matter what the cost, my next computer will be RT or Pro.
You have a choice, you can buy an iPad ($400-$800) to play with and then a computer to run MS Office ($600-$1200) or you can get WinRT. Up to you, don't really care what you choose.

iPad + laptop w Office = WinRT

$399 or $449 with keyboard would be the sweet spot for me. I personally can even get light work done on that thing as I only need remote desktop to connect to my VM that has all my software (that's how I work presently anyways, via Remote Desktop) so the RT is very attractive option for me. It has Office which is the main thing I need available locally, the rest I can run remotely as long as I have decent WiFi...

<ahem>
Over 9000!!!!!!
10 dollar if it last long time

I would expect the price to be in the same region as the Transformer Tablets tbh, functionality seems about the same and it will probably be using the same or similar spec chipset for RT

Teebor said,
<ahem>
Over 9000!!!!!!
10 dollar if it last long time

I would expect the price to be in the same region as the Transformer Tablets tbh, functionality seems about the same and it will probably be using the same or similar spec chipset for RT

This is what I expect too. Priced around Asus Transformer/iPad price. If it's more expensive, I can't see people buying into it. This is why I'm holding out at the minute. If it comes in around that price, I'll snap one up no problem. Any more, and I'll probably just get the next Transformer.

I would be willing to pay $400 for Arm device, $50ish for the keyboard.

The thing is tho, I would buy this, and then resell it when the Pro version comes out in Jan.

The pro version, I am willing to spend $800-900 for, maybe max $1000 if it has keyboard included.

One other question I have, not sure if it has been answered anywhere. Does anyone know if you buy apps on the RT version, does that mean you also get that app on the Intel versions?

greensabath said,
One other question I have, not sure if it has been answered anywhere. Does anyone know if you buy apps on the RT version, does that mean you also get that app on the Intel versions?

Yes. The apps are tied to your Microsoft account so you can use them on any Windows 8 device with your account.

greensabath said,
One other question I have, not sure if it has been answered anywhere. Does anyone know if you buy apps on the RT version, does that mean you also get that app on the Intel versions?

from what I've seen, apps are per user. So you buy an app and you can use it while logged into any machine that supports winRT. its no available to other users of the computer though, per user not per machine.

To be even slightly interesting, it has to be less than $300 with keyboard.

Before nubs say "but then they'll make no profit!". I say "LOL" and "they'll charge for the apps to make the cash".

I'd say $400, up to $600 if it was maxed out with a keyboard.

I'm hoping I can get a 32gb surface with a sleeve for somewhere around $435.

I could do $299, I am looking at the Pro as a definite though. I like how its a full Windows OS, but with the lack of legacy application support kind of kills it for me due to the Arm arch.

The question is how much would you pay, not how much do you think it would cost.
I'm a cheapskate so I would pay anywhere up to £300...

S_Herbie said,
The question is how much would you pay, not how much do you think it would cost.
I'm a cheapskate so I would pay anywhere up to £300...

£300 != $300

A 32 GB, Wi-Fi only iPad is $599. It does not include a keyboard. I guess they might be able to get away with selling the Surface for the same amount, provided that they keyboard cover was included.

I'm definitely drooling over the Surface, but price is a factor.

Personally, I don't have an iPad because $600 is too much money to spend on a toy, and i wouldn't pay that much for a Surface either. I'd probably end up actually purchasing one if it sold for $499 and included the keyboard cover.

They are probably going to mess with the price to make the tablet cheaper and the keyboard more expensive because it is somewhat essential..

It will probably be 299-399 for the surface
as well as 150-200 for the keyboard
and 499 for the bundle of both

Lachlan said,
They are probably going to mess with the price to make the tablet cheaper and the keyboard more expensive because it is somewhat essential..

It will probably be 299-399 for the surface
as well as 150-200 for the keyboard
and 499 for the bundle of both


According to the FCC filing the keyboard will be bundled.

siah1214 said,
God all you cheapskates on this site. Why is the Surface worth less than an iPad? Give me 1 good reason.

Apps. As soon as Windows RT has an equal amount of quality apps available the Surface will be worth as much as the iPad.

siah1214 said,
God all you cheapskates on this site. Why is the Surface worth less than an iPad? Give me 1 good reason.

It's not worth less than an iPad. Surface RT is worth more. The iPad is overpriced which is why I have not bought one.

siah1214 said,
God all you cheapskates on this site. Why is the Surface worth less than an iPad? Give me 1 good reason.

1) The screen resolution is a fraction of that iPad
2) The app ecosystem is embryonic in comparison to iOS
3) Apple has a much better brand when it comes to hardware products

theyarecomingforyou said,

1) The screen resolution is a fraction of that iPad
2) The app ecosystem is embryonic in comparison to iOS
3) Apple has a much better brand when it comes to hardware products

All of that may be true, but the price of hardware is based on the cost of that hardware, not some magical pixie dust based on how useful you think the device is.

siah1214 said,
God all you cheapskates on this site. Why is the Surface worth less than an iPad? Give me 1 good reason.

iPad also comes with 3G/LTE. Unknown if Surface has it or is Wi-Fi only. Also, battery life is unknown and given Mac OS X has excelled at battery life than Windows as AnandTech once showed, iOS is also likely to beat Windows RT.

MsftGaurav said,

iPad also comes with 3G/LTE. Unknown if Surface has it or is Wi-Fi only. Also, battery life is unknown and given Mac OS X has excelled at battery life than Windows as AnandTech once showed, iOS is also likely to beat Windows RT.


Apples and oranges. Compare the wifi only price of the iPad ($599 for 32 GB) to the wifi only Surface. The 4g iPad is substantially more expensive. And you have no idea the battery life of the Surface, so again, you're shaving $200 off the cost of the iPad based on mere speculation.

dagamer34 said,

All of that may be true, but the price of hardware is based on the cost of that hardware, not some magical pixie dust based on how useful you think the device is.

Really? Then why does the iPad cost $200 dollars more than it should for no reason other than Steve Jobs sprinkled some magic pixie dust on it?

I only care about the Pro, the RT could end up being a "toy"... Akin to those Android tablets that - well yes they do what you want, but it's not a satisfying or elegant solution...

aviator189 said,
399 is my limit, but I don't want the rt. i want the pro instead. more curious about that.

I can't assign a price to the RT version. I don't want it. I want a Windows 8 tablet with a core i5 or i7 processor. They shouldn't price it any higher than the iPad obviously, but with the keyboard they could possibly price it the same. $50 less would make it a pretty good deal.

I just don't like mobile OS (and Windows RT, whatever that is classified) powered tablets in general. They're too limited in functionality.

ahhell said,
I agree. I don't really want an RT either but you're out of your mind if you think a Pro will only be $399.

I'm expecting pro to be at LEAST $800. I don't really care though, by the time it comes out I hope to have already had a Windows 8 tablet for a few months already. I don't quite like the Surface's laptop mode, it looks like it would just fall right out of your lap. The transformer style tablets look much better for usage as a laptop.

NastySasquatch said,
I would be willing to pay $399 for the surface and up to an extra $50 for the keyboard.

Ditto that and $100 for the keyboard.

WooHoo!!! said,
Does the keyboard come with it as standard?

That is probably the only thing that might push the price up.

I don't think it will be included. You'll probably have to pay extra, though I'm sure there will be special offer bundles.

WooHoo!!! said,
Does the keyboard come with it as standard?

That is probably the only thing that might push the price up.


The keyboard pictured above will come with the Surface. The "pro" keyboard is an option that might come with Surface Pro

"direct competitor for the iPad"?
The iPad uses iOS whitch is the mobile phone os used in iPhone.
Windows RT is not Windows Phone. Windows RT is a PC OS and the ARM version of Windows 8.

Kristiyan Bogdanov said,
The iPad uses iOS whitch is the mobile phone os used in iPhone.
Windows RT is not Windows Phone. Windows RT is a PC OS and the ARM version of Windows 8.

And none of that makes any difference to the point made, which is that Windows RT tablets are competing directly with the iPad.

Kristiyan Bogdanov said,
"direct competitor for the iPad"?
The iPad uses iOS whitch is the mobile phone os used in iPhone.
Windows RT is not Windows Phone. Windows RT is a PC OS and the ARM version of Windows 8.

And has a RTE that is largely the same as the WP8 RTE

Kristiyan Bogdanov said,
Windows RT is not Windows Phone. Windows RT is the NT Kernel with a custom runtime..

Windows Phone 8 will also be based on the NT Kernel for ARM, AKA Windows RT, so is it no longer a phone?

Kristiyan Bogdanov said,
"direct competitor for the iPad"?
The iPad uses iOS whitch is the mobile phone os used in iPhone.
Windows RT is not Windows Phone. Windows RT is a PC OS and the ARM version of Windows 8.

While Windows RT is technically very powerful, it's locked down so tight that it's only slightly more useful than a mobile OS. Windows 8 tablets on the other hand are far more powerful than the iPad or anything that runs a mobile OS and Windows RT.

theyarecomingforyou said,

And none of that makes any difference to the point made, which is that Windows RT tablets are competing directly with the iPad.

You can't plug a mouse into an iPad and get real work done. It's a step above iPad.

iPod Touch > eReader > 7in Tab > iPad > Surface > RT with hardware dockable keyboard > Laptop > Desktop

Metro-RC said,

iPod Touch > eReader > 7in Tab > iPad > Surface > RT with hardware dockable keyboard > Laptop > Desktop

Indirectly, you've just said the ipod touch is greater than a desktop computer.

ShareShiz said,

no more than $400 if it includes the keyboard too.

I forgot about the keyboard. Yeah probably not more than $449 with the keyboard.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yay, cutting edge stuff! /s

It would be a limitation of the hardware available. No ARM SoC supports USB 3.0 host controllers AFAIK.

The Surface Pro will have a USB 3.0 port

Sraf said,

It would be a limitation of the hardware available. No ARM SoC supports USB 3.0 host controllers AFAIK.

The Surface Pro will have a USB 3.0 port


This appears to be a logical and well informed answer, what are you doing here?

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yay, cutting edge stuff! /s

at least better than iJunk with no USB port and SD slot

Edited by trojan_market, Oct 11 2012, 5:43pm :

Sraf said,

It would be a limitation of the hardware available. No ARM SoC supports USB 3.0 host controllers AFAIK.

You're correct. Thank you for posting here. There are more and more ignorant posters here at NW. You win the internets today for being informative!
The Surface Pro will have a USB 3.0 port