Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet isn’t $199

Windows 8 enthusiasts have been hoping for months that Microsoft would be offering its Surface RT tablet at a low price point, which would allow the device to more effectively compete against the plethora of Android tablets on the market.

Back in August, various reports and rumors  indicated that Microsoft was going to be targeting a $199 price point. If you’re like me and scoffed at the thought of Redmond offering anything at a budget price, well, today your so-called cynicism has been vindicated.

Yes, Microsoft has announced the official pre-order pricing for its Surface RT tablets – with an entry price tag for a 32 GB tablet without a touch cover set at $499. The pricing scheme puts it on par with pricing for the entry-level version of the new iPad, but $100 more expensive than the entry-level version of the iPad 2. Definitely an overpriced device, at least in my opinion.

And if you want the 32 GB tablet with the black Touch Cover, well, you’d better be ready to shell out a cool $599. Likewise for the 64 GB version + black Touch Cover, which is priced at$699.

I’m having a very hard time stomaching the pricing showed in the image above, which was actually pulled earlier this morning. I just can’t see an unknown in the tablet market like the Surface RT pulling a premium price when for the same money you can buy a new iPad. Considering most people add a tablet in addition to a notebook for work on the go, I just don’t think the allure of being able to run Windows programs on these tablets is going to be enough to win in the tablet wars.

I think Microsoft knows this too, and I believe one of the only benefits of Surface is going to be its ability to run Office apps, which is probably one of the reasons Redmond chose to back away from a previous statement that iOS and Android versions of Office were on the horizon.