Presales of Microsoft’s Surface tablet have started with the introductory RT model priced at $559.
Apple’s introductory 16GB iPad is priced at $539; however, the $559 Surface tablet has double the internal memory at 32GB. It also has a Quadcore Tegra 3 processor, compared to the iPad’s dual core arrangement, and double the iPad’s RAM at 2GBs
For videoconferencing over WiFi, it has 720p HD cameras on its front and rear. Also on board are expandable microSD memory and a full sized USB 2.0 port. The only downside is the Surface uses a proprietary ‘HD video out port’, which according to Australian Business Traveller, requires a near $60 adaptor if you’d like to connect your tablet to an external display.
The 3mm touch-sensitive cover will be available at launch and will jack the price of the introductory Surface tablet to $679. Alternatively the touch cover can be purchased separately for $140, or you can go for the 64GB Surface for $789, which comes bundled with it.
Generally Microsoft abstains from building computer hardware. In fact, apart from their game console and a few computer accessories, the Surface tablet marks the first time the company has created a computing device.
Another reason why the Surface is a big deal is because the introductory model uses an ARM friendly version of Windows, known as Windows RT. ARM processors are more efficient and cheaper, allowing Microsoft to compete on price in the densely populated tablet market.
Windows RT is compatible with all of Windows 8’s touch friendly applications, but will not support third party desktop applications. For the uncompromised Windows experience, Microsoft is releasing a Windows 8 Pro tablet that operates on Intel’s X86 architecture.
Not to be overshadowed by Microsoft’s big day, long-time rival Apple has sent out invitations for an October 23rd press event, where it will presumably launch an iPad Mini.
Read: Apple Confirms Oct 23 Launch Event, Teases “Little” iPad
Microsoft’s Surface can be pre-ordered now online.