Pricing for the Surface tablet running Windows RT was seen earlier today, the version running Windows 8 Pro is still yet to be announced.
Pricing for the Surface tablets start at $499.00 for the 32GB version without the Black Touch Cover included. The same version with the cover included comes in at $599.00. And a 64GB version with the cover comes in at pricy $699.00. Preorders are now being accepted at Microsoft’s online storefront.
Aside from the tablet itself, Microsoft is launching two versions of covers for the tablets.
The Touch Cover, included with some options of the tablet, are the thinner versions of the cover sporting an ultra-thin “touch” keyboard allowing a keyboard interface in addition to the touch interface.
The Type Cover, available for purchase separately for $129.99, is a cover for the Surface but also includes a more traditional keyboard with physical keys. Microsoft promotes the Type Cover as a solution to users who “need to do more faster.”
The Surface is seen as Microsoft’s entrance to tablet market and also its entrance into the hardware market. It is also the first computer device manufactured by Microsoft itself.
The Surface is expected to compete directly with the iPad, although lacking the thriving ecosystem of apps that iPads currently have. With its aggressive pricing Apple may have a fierce competitor at its heels.