Microsoft has announced pricing for their new Surface tablet. Three configurations are available, a coverless 32 GB version for $499, the same tablet with a black Touch Cover for $599 and a 64 GB with Black Touch Cover for $699.
If you’d prefer a Touch Cover in a color other than black (white, blue, red or pink) then that will run you an extra $120. If you’d prefer the more robust Surface Type Cover (black only) then that will run you an extra $130.
There seems to be a model missing: if there’s a $100 price bump for adding a cover then you should be able to get a coverless 64 GB version for $599. If you decide, as I would, that you want the most space AND the Type cover you can expect to spend $830 and you’ll end up with a spare black touch cover that you effectively paid $100 for but will not use.
It’s also worth noting that these prices are for the hardware running Windows RT, written for the ARM based NVIDIA T30 CPU and 2 GB RAM. We still don’t have pricing for the more luxurious tier of Surface Pro, which is slated to come with the full version of Windows 8 Professional and sport an Intel Ivy Bridge i5 CPU and a full 1080p display (the Surface RT only supports 1366 x 768). Rumor has it that the Pro will come in 64 and 128 GB configurations with an unknown amount of RAM.
The devices are slated to go on sale in just ten days and it seems like there are quite a few unanswered questions at this point: “When is the Pro coming? How much will it be? Will there be an option to buy each model without a cover or will we end up having to Craigslist a bunch of stock black touch covers?”
Depending on the RAM configuration, a touch pad with 128 GB of space and an i5 Ivy Bridge processor would be pretty hot for PC gaming on the go, but we just don’t know enough yet to say definitively one way or the other.