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Microsoft Surface tablet – will it be an iPad beater?

Microsoft have enjoyed huge success over the years with their software, including Windows operating systems and Office. Earlier this month however we reported that they wanted to be ‘revinvented as a Devices & Services‘ company.

This is a challenging move for the Microsoft Corporation as they have yet to experience a ‘world breaking’ hardware design. Their mobile phone range has yet to dominate the market and they have experienced many other hardware failures, including the Zune media player which failed to dethrone the Apple iPad. Their biggest success so far has been the Xbox console computers and Kinect controller. They want to repeat this success with their Surface tablet.

Many analysts have claimed that the price point of this tablet is tantamount to the price point. Microsoft have announced the prices of the tablets and the 32GB version will be sold for $499. The 32GB model with a black touch cover will be sold for $599. The 64GB version with the black cover will cost $699.

Analysts say that the Surface should be compared against the iPad 2, not the latest model. The RT version ships with a 10.6 inch screen and a 1280×720 resolution. The cover will work as a screen protector, stand and keyboard – all in one.

Buying the touch cover separately will cost $119.99 or $129.99 for the Type cover. There will be Windows 8 Pro devices launching later, but the prices will be higher than the Windows RT models. People are already getting confused with the range of models, never a good sign for the buying public. Microsoft have not announced the Surface Pro prices or dates yet.

The Surface features a microSDXC card slot, a full sized USB 2.0 port, a kickstand and the official cover keyboard which has its own touchpad. Apple offer none of this with their iPad 3, but is it enough to sway people away from the Apple purchase?

If you want high levels of storage then the Surface tablet would be tempting – you could upgrade the built in storage with a card easily, and cheaply enough. 96GB would only cost around £40 for instance.

Kitguru says: It will be interesting to see how well the Surface RT sells.

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