Now you can buy a Surface RT tablet for $350 and up

Microsoft has slashed $150 off the base price of its Surface RT tablet. Starting July 14th, you’ll be able to pick one up for $349.99 and up. Staples is already advertising the new prices in its weekly ad.

When Microsoft launched the Surface RT in late 2012, the company offered it for an iPad-matching $499.99 and up. That price didn’t include the optional Touch or Type covers which added a physical keyboard. With the new pricing, you’ll be able to buy a Surface RT with a Touch Cover for a starting price of $449.99.

Microsoft Surface RT

The Surface RT tablets come with 32GB to 64GB of storage, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processors, and Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system.

Basically, Windows RT looks and feels like Windows 8 — and in many ways it’s the same operating system. But it’s designed to run on devices with ARM-based processors, and unfortunately that means you can’t run the millions of apps designed for earlier versions of Windows unless they’ve been updated to be compatible with ARM chips.

For the most part, it’s best to think of Windows RT as more of a platform for mobile devices, and Microsoft emphasizes the tablet’s ability to run full-screen “Modern” or “Metro” style apps downloaded from the Windows Store. While there is a desktop mode, just about all you’ll probably use it for on a Surface RT is the file explorer and Microsoft Office — one of the key benefits to buying a Surface RT over an Android or iOS tablet, is that the Surface RT comes with Office preloaded.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that Windows RT started out as a good idea for getting Windows onto devices with low-power chips at a time when Intel and AMD didn’t really have anything that could compete with ARM in terms of long battery life and instant-on capabilities. But these days you can buy a tablet with an Intel Atom chip and the full Windows 8 operating system (which means you can run Modern and legacy apps) for well under the $500 asking price of a Surface RT.

So if Microsoft wanted to make a case for the continued existence of Windows RT, this price cut was pretty much a necessity… and pretty much overdue.

via The Verge

  • John Morris

    None of that matters, what matters is the chains. Take the chains off, let anybody port any Windows app and distribute it through the normal channels and within a year most Windows applications would ship with ARM binaries. Then people would want to have the power/weight advantage.

    It is the XBox business model, where only Microsoft can write non-metro apps, Microsoft must get their vig through the App Store, etc. that is killing their Arm port. Because without the locks that is all Windows RT is, a port to Arm exactly like they have had ports to Sparc, Alpha, Power and Itanium.

    And if they ditch the XBox model for Windows RT they could drop the locks on the hardware too. If I could dual boot one I’d be a lot more interested in the hardware.

    • George

      Agreed. It’s also Apple’s business model for the iDevice line, which is
      why MS adopted it. I don’t think this is the end of the price drops, though. Can you say FIRE SALE?

  • clkeagle

    The Asus Vivotab is still a better design. What’s the point of docking a tablet to a stand and keyboard if it can’t be used on your lap?

  • Am5x86-133

    And I still don’t see, why I would need or even want anything Windows on my tablet.
    I got along quite well for the last 19 years without ANY Microsoft product in my daily computing needs and I don’t expect that to change at all in the foreseeable future.
    Bottom line: I couldn’t care less about what MS is doing with its current crop of Windows and associated products, be it RT or whatever!