Update: Microsoft has made the Surface RT price cuts official. The base 32GB model is now $350, the 64GB variant will be $450, and either of them with an included Touch Cover will be $450 and $550 respectively. The new prices are in effect at retail stores worldwide as well as the official Microsoft Store. -- Original story below.
Microsoft has been looking for ways to give its Surface RT tablet a little sales boost, partnering with resellers around the world and kicking off a limited-time offer for schools and colleges to get one at $199. Now, according to sources speaking with The Verge, the company is ready to cut $150 off the device at retail, effectively allowing anyone to purchase the ARM and Windows RT based slate for as low as $350.
That’s about $250/$80 less than the equivalent 32GB iPad/iPad mini. It also undercuts the comparably sized Nexus 10 by $150. But of course there are some differences to consider in terms of specs, and more importantly app library, where Microsoft’s platform still falls short despite moving to get all the big names. Adding to that, Microsoft will need to compete with smaller, more affordable options like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire range.
Although there’s still no official announcement, Engadget was able to obtain a Staples ad confirming the price cuts, which will come into effect starting July 14. Aside from the base 32GB model being priced at $350, the 64GB variant will be $450, and either of them with an included Touch Cover will be $450 and $550 respectively.
Microsoft hasn’t revealed much about its Surface RT sales, but they aren’t exactly flying off shelves. The move is largely seen as a way to clear up inventory ahead of a refreshed version. The company hinted at replacement Surface RT and Surface Pro models during its Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday, the former should be receiving a newer Haswell chip while the latter has been tested with a Snapdragon 800.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
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