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Microsoft's Surface Tablets Price Could Start From $400 to $500

By - Source: Tech-Thoughts | B 32 comments

Pro version of tablet to retail between $799 to $899, suggests analyst.

An analyst report suggests that Microsoft could sell its upcoming Surface tablets from $400 to $500.

While Microsoft has yet to announce the pricing for Surface (despite there only being a few weeks left until its release), one analyst believes the RT version of the tablet will be priced between $400 - $500 and the Pro between $799 - $899.

Sameer Singh from Tech-Thoughts bases his estimate on previous bill of materials (BOM) calculations for devices such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, Google's Nexus 7 and Apple's iPad.

For the RT version of Surface, Singh's analysis priced each of the following components: the display ($66.95), touch screen ($43.71), processor ($21), camera ($4.10), as well as its battery ($25.74), which equals a total of $308.82 when adding a $10 manufacturing cost.

"Microsoft would be under considerable pressure to ensure that the Surface is priced in the same ballpark as tablets from OEM partners," Singh said. "Unfortunately, OEMs are also at a cost disadvantage," he said, referencing the fact that third parties are required to pay a $50-$65 licensing fee per Windows RT device.

"OEMs could cut some of the costs mentioned in the BOM above to boost margins (for example, they could use a cheaper casing), but Microsoft's hardware requirements could make steep cuts a challenge," he added. "Including the license fee, I expect the BOM of most Windows RT tablets to fall within the $300-$350 range."

Consequently, Surface's RT version is looking likely to launch at the $399 - $499 price, with around 25 to 35 percent gross margin for Microsoft, Singh said.

As for the Pro version, it'll likely retail between $799 - $899. Along with the RT costs, the analyst estimated another $321.35 in BOM components for the Surface Pro, with the considerable portion of that price ($204) attributed to the Intel Core i5 processor.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had previously said Surface may release with a price tag between $300 and $800. Surface itself will launch alongside Windows 8 on October 26.

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  • 12 Hide
    syrious1 , October 11, 2012 2:37 PM
    happyballz$800+ for a tablet? Not a chance. I would definitely buy a medium-end notebook that is more usable for $500 and spend $200+- on a cheapo tablet. Pricing seems crazy on high-end tablets.


    The Pro not a tablet. It's got laptop hardware i5/4GB/ram/SSD, please stop calling it a tablet and comparing it to an ipad or other android tablets.

Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 11, 2012 1:12 PM
    I understand the need to not totally alienate OEMs but I feel like $400 is pushing it a little.
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , October 11, 2012 1:23 PM
    'Tis all about marketing at these prices. Profit will follow once demand is created.
  • 2 Hide
    southernshark , October 11, 2012 1:25 PM
    Old_Fogie_Late_BloomerI understand the need to not totally alienate OEMs but I feel like $400 is pushing it a little.



    Yeah its going to be an uphill fight given the iPad 2 at $399. But we will see. I'd rather have this than an Ipad 2. I do wish Nvidia would get its act together though and produce a follow up to the Tegra 3, which is getting a little stale.
  • 0 Hide
    yobobjm , October 11, 2012 1:33 PM
    That kind of kills it for me, there are things that I would rather spend that money on.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 1:53 PM
    Oh how I wish they would have release Pro before RT.
  • 0 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 11, 2012 2:03 PM
    That's the thing, you know? I'd rather have the Surface than the iPad, too, but as a consumer, I don't feel the need for either at that price. As a potential developer, I can't help but feel that this level of pricing makes Windows 8 devices uncompetitive.

    I made the comment on another article that the difference between $300 and $800 is the difference between my investing in Windows 8 development and writing the whole thing off. If the bare minimum pricing on Windows 8 tablets is $400, I just don't think people aren't going to bite in large numbers. If they're buying comparably-priced laptops, they'll probably be sticking to the desktop primarily. In that case, why would I develop for Metro?
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , October 11, 2012 2:12 PM
    $400+ for the RT version with a crappy outdated Tegra 3 processor? Guess I wont be buying one then as I already have a Tegra powered tablet. Maybe I will wait until a device refresh happens with an updated processor comes out.

    $800+ for the Pro version primarily because of greedy SOB Intel? Intel you can kiss my @ss. I really wish they could find a way to fit a low powered Trinity APU into one which would cut the price by at least $100.
  • 4 Hide
    jerrspud , October 11, 2012 2:14 PM
    it comes out in a couple of weeks.. and we still don't know the real price?
  • -2 Hide
    happyballz , October 11, 2012 2:28 PM
    $800+ for a tablet? Not a chance. I would definitely buy a medium-end notebook that is more usable for $500 and spend $200+- on a cheapo tablet.

    Pricing seems crazy on high-end tablets.
  • 12 Hide
    syrious1 , October 11, 2012 2:37 PM
    happyballz$800+ for a tablet? Not a chance. I would definitely buy a medium-end notebook that is more usable for $500 and spend $200+- on a cheapo tablet. Pricing seems crazy on high-end tablets.


    The Pro not a tablet. It's got laptop hardware i5/4GB/ram/SSD, please stop calling it a tablet and comparing it to an ipad or other android tablets.

  • 2 Hide
    bllue , October 11, 2012 2:57 PM
    Sell for $299 and $599 and swim in cash MS
  • -5 Hide
    Villers , October 11, 2012 3:04 PM
    I'm not craving anything that Microsoft is bringing to the table. Nothing is innovative. They just seem to be trying to catch up to the rest of the market. They seem to be quickly falling behind.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 3:16 PM
    The pro version is on my wish-list. Not sure why anyone would want the RT version. But to me, the Pro is a game-changer. Whereas now I carry my Lenovo Thinkpad T520 AND my Kindle Fire HD with me everywhere I go, in a big rolling carry case, the Pro version would lighten my load drastically. It would run all the software I want and give me tablet features when I need them. I have no problems spending $900 on a device that will make my life easier...and lighter.
  • 2 Hide
    boiler1990 , October 11, 2012 3:25 PM
    The RT version is a much better tablet for students. In theory, they literally would not need a laptop because Windows 8 RT has the biggest ace up it's sleeve: a full MS Office Suite. Might not be great for engineering students who need to run code, but for like 90% of people it would exceed all of their needs for less than a standard laptop.
  • -3 Hide
    Achoo22 , October 11, 2012 3:36 PM
    cknobman$800+ for the Pro version primarily because of greedy SOB Intel? Intel you can kiss my @ss. I really wish they could find a way to fit a low powered Trinity APU into one which would cut the price by at least $100.


    There will be x86 versions with atom and other, cheaper, chips available. As is the case on the desktop, there will unlikely be any price-point where AMD is a superior choice.
  • 3 Hide
    Achoo22 , October 11, 2012 3:40 PM
    IslamFor the RT version of Surface, Singh's analysis priced each of the following components: the display ($66.95), touch screen ($43.71), processor ($21), camera ($4.10), as well as its battery ($25.74), which equals a total of $308.82 when adding a $10 manufacturing cost.


    66.95+43.71+21+4.1+25.74 != 308.82

    The only thing you added to Singh's original report was... an editing error. Maybe just provide a link to the original, much higher quality report next time?
  • 2 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 11, 2012 3:47 PM
    bllueSell for $299 and $599 and swim in cash MS

    Sell the devices at cost, entice people to buy them, and then rake in money hand over fist through the app store, making developers happy too.

    Or, you know, price them too high, don't sell many devices, and preside over a market flop while alienating app developers. 'Sup to you.
    Achoo22As is the case on the desktop, there will unlikely be any price-point where AMD is a superior choice.

    I imagine that AMD tablets will provide a reasonably compelling value proposition somewhere between Atom and i3 devices, and likely will give some i3/i5 products a run for their money, as well.
  • 1 Hide
    luciferano , October 11, 2012 4:53 PM
    happyballz$800+ for a tablet? Not a chance. I would definitely buy a medium-end notebook that is more usable for $500 and spend $200+- on a cheapo tablet. Pricing seems crazy on high-end tablets.


    The Pro kinda is a medium-end notebook with the keyboard removed IIRC.
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , October 11, 2012 5:23 PM
    It should start at $299 for an RT, because a Dummies.com contest spilled the beans.

    Face it, at 399+ nobody is going to buy it in mass quantity and that will hurt the Windows Store revenue causing nobody to develop for it...
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 6:10 PM
    Win RT can connect to a VPN and has remote desktop client from the specs I saw. Perfect to remote control a desktop and if you lose the tablet you don't lose all of your data. High end desktop + cheap portable = win
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