Though Microsoft was happy to show off the Surface's nifty keyboard cover and boast about its Core i-series support, the company was a little less enthusiastic when it came to talking about the price of its new tablets. Set for availability in the fall, the most Redmond would say was that the ARM-based Surface would be priced "like comparable tablets based on ARM," and the Surface Pro would pack something similar to the price of an ultrabook.
Today brings us rumors of something more specific than that. Just yesterday word on the street was that the ARM-based Surface would cost $600 and the Wintel model $799 at the very least. The Next Web is now reporting that while the Windows RT Surface will cost $599, the Intel version of the tablet is going to cost closer to $1000. TNW cites a source close to Microsoft in reporting that the Tegra 3 powered RT model will retail for $599 and the Ivy Bridge Windows 8 Pro model will sell for $999.
Even with the innovative keyboard cover, these prices are definitely pause for thought. At a time when tablets are largely seen as companion devices designed to complement your laptop or PC as opposed to replace it, customers might find the idea of spending $1000 on a 10.6-inch tablet ludicrous. To that end, the cheaper ARM-based model might be more appropriately priced, but it's still at least a hundred dollars more than similar devices available today.
Of course the upside of unveiling a product months before you plan to release it is that you can watch the market's reaction to the device and determine details like pricing, final specs, 3G connectivity, and bundled accessories based on real-life feedback. Either way, it will be interesting to see the final prices when Microsoft does release them.
How much would you pay for Microsoft's Surface? Let us know in the comments below!