Surface Tablets With Windows RT To Start At $499 (Leak)

Pricing has leaked, via the Microsoft site, for their new Surface RT tablets. The tablets will start at $499 for a 32 GB model or $599 for one with a touch keyboard cover.

Microsoft had said that it planned to price the Surface tablets in line with the competition – and, while WIndows new tablets start at $100 more than Apple’s iPad 2, the entry level Surface RT tablet offers 32 GB, vs the iPad 2’s 16 GB.

If you’re interested in a Windows-based tablet, you’ll probably want to wait for Microsoft to release pricing on the rest of its tablet lineup. Here’s why:

  • ARM-based Windows Surface RT tablets use a new version of Windows that won’t run any of your existing Windows apps.
  • The Intel-based Windows Surface tablets will offer a best-of-both-worlds approach, supporting both traditional Windows applications and new multi-touch apps.

Official details are TBA.

Will the Windows Surface RT tablets matter to musicians? Let us know what you think!

via TechCrunch

19 thoughts on “Surface Tablets With Windows RT To Start At $499 (Leak)

  1. This is dead in the water, unless there are enough Apple-haters to support a lousy tablet.

    The Intel version, though, might be interesting.

    1. Yeah the two separate incompatible OS versions are really going cause a lot of user confusion and hurt adoption. Especially when people find out there is no real upgrade path from the lower-cost ARM base products to the Intel based products.

      1. Look at it in these terms: with the RT version you get a iPad. With the Pro version you get iPad + OSX. There’s nothing that can run on the RT version that can’t run on the Pro. The RT version is a closed environment like an iPad. To me it’s way simpler than anything going on in the Android world. The Apple world is definitely a simpler story but there’s no option like the Pro at this point. Some people might not get it right away but if you’re going to drop $500 on something without doing 10 minutes of research you get what you deserve.

      1. What’s lousy is that it doesn’t have any apps, it doesn’t support MIDI, it is a ‘Windows’ machine that doesn’t run any of your existing Windows apps, it doesn’t have a peripheral ecosystem, it doesn’t have developer support, it doesn’t have the ‘open’ benefits of Android tablets and it’s priced $100 more than the cheapest iPad.

        There will certainly be users that love it – but it comes out of the chute handicapped.

        1. Well, it sounds like this isn’t something you’re interested in – fortunately you have 3 (and soon 4) versions of the iPad to choose from. But to your points:
          * Criticizing it for lack of apps or dev support before it has launched is a bit pedantic. Even if Win 8 is a relative flop it will still be on 100 million devices in the next year or so. Note that ALL versions of Win 8 will be able to run the RT apps through the tile (formerly Metro) interface, so that’s a huge ecosystem for developers to address. Will they all show up? Who knows, but it’s certainly a reasonable bet that they will.
          * From the devs I’ve talked to, the lack of core MIDI support isn’t a big deal. MIDI drivers have been around for long time, so anybody can create one for their app in about 15 seconds.
          * Lack of peripheral ecosystem? Can you say USB? Out of the gate that are literally thousands of peripherals available. That’s a nonsensical point.
          * Open benefits of Android? You mean anarchy? Developing for Android is a mess – you have to code for multiple devices OS versions and check compatibility on numerous devices.
          * The cheapest Surface has twice the memory of the cheapest iPad. It’s priced exactly the same as the 32GB iPad.

          1. You are right!

            If developers can get around the lack of MIDI support in 15 seconds, and people won’t mind paying more for a Surface tablet and it doesn’t matter that Andoid and iOS have hundreds of thousands of more apps – then RT will be a huge hit.

            It’s a no-brainer when you look at it that way!

  2. The Surface tablets that will run the full blown Windows 8, and thus all of your DAW and plugins, are going to be more expensive. Period.

    But I think they will be more desirable for portable music making. With them you will not be locked in to Microsofts’s limited App Store. You can run software that you probably already own. It will have a USB port, unlike the iPad, so you can use your audio interface (I’m guessing).

    Interesting article here…
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7-57454524-292/just-what-is-windows-rt-anyway-faq/#!

    1. My thoughts exactly.

      The full-on Intel Surface tablets are going to be more like an Ultrabook – but with a detachable screen that lets it double as a tablet. That actually could be pretty cool – if neither experience is compromised.

      1. yup I agree I don’t see the point of tablet that can only use “mini-apps”

        being able to use full software on the tablets. plus the fact that Microsoft are a tried and true OS developer unlike android. I think they’ll really open up the market of tablets and won’t make the mistakes with latency and lack of APIs that android made.

        whether it’ll be good for music though. who knows. it’s all about whether developers out there are interested in the platform. because the app market on iOS is pretty strong and very attractive right now to portable musicians.

  3. Honestly, I think apple will move in a similar direction next year. At least in the sense of a touch version of a laptop and/or iMac.

    1. one an only hope. it seems Steve Jobs was very into the idea of it being an extra device you buy to complement your Mac. but think how many more people would be switching to Mac if the device used the full OS.

      myself I’m still tied to using windows for my music. just a personal preference. so a windows tablet could be amazing for me.

  4. I can’t wait for the intel version. I will probably stick to the iPad as far as ARM devices are concerned. I’ve been wanting a tablet I could run my DAW for a long time now. I have always felt laptops were clunky things, for portability I’ve stuck with tablets and before that PDA’s (remember Palm?).

    But now the time is coming for tablets to get some balls. I hope Apple makes a tablet that runs OSX as well. Maybe they could even add iOS compatibility or emulation?

  5. I’m tired of mini apps. I have a iPad for that. I need the intel tablet with 8- 10 hour battery life. I don’t care about programs not being optimized for a touchscreen. When I had a VILIV S5 and a Sony UX I got along just fine using Soundforge and FL studio with those small ass screens. FL Studio Touch is on it’s way anyway so to all the MS haters you can suck it.

  6. Personally, I’m waiting for W8 Surface (NOT RT)…
    RT version is NOT designed for music apps, so don’t expect any music apps anytime soon.
    RT8 does NOT offer any support for MIDI and Audio USB or otherwise 🙁

    1. So, I have a Surface RT….and it has support Audio USB and USB Midi…What is missing is either 1) Ability to compile a desktop app that has access to the midi subsystems for ARM processors, or 2) Access to the midi subsystems from the WinRT (Metro) apps. I plugged in my USB to MIDI 2.0 device and the Surface found it, installed the drivers for it and it shows up correctly in device manager….only problem is, there is no software to talk to it yet. So there is promise.

  7. I wish it luck. We need viable competitors to the iPad to keep Apple sharp. Though I have to say my Windows friends are pretty confused about or at the very least misunderstand this tablet. I’ve had to explain 4 or 5 times that this tablet won’t run Windows desktop applications. And after that explanation, they all said they’ll wait for the Intel version. I hope they are unique, because if everyone is going to wait for the Intel version it could really effect sales of this tablet. I say use whatever you want. Whatever helps you make more music (or whatever your kink) is the right device for you.

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