Microsoft Reveals Surface's Best-Kept Secrethttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/10/16/microsoft-reveals-surfaces-best-kept-secret.aspx Evan Niu, CFA
October 16, 2012
One of the biggest and most important unknowns regarding Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) upcoming Surface tablet has been the device's pricing. Steve Ballmer didn't really help much when he said it could be anywhere from $300 to $800. He might as well have said it'll be somewhere between "a little" and "a lot." Thanks, Ballmer.
Secrets, secrets are no fun
Forking over an extra $100 will get a Touch Cover included, and another Benjamin on top of that boosts storage up to 64 GB. There's not too much credible competition to the iPad in the full-sized tablet market, but Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) upcoming 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is hoping to take a shot when it's released on Nov. 20. Let's see how these three tablet families stack up on pricing.
Presumably, buyers should then be able to get a 64 GB Surface for $599, although that wasn't explicitly shown as an option. This would mean that Microsoft is planning to slightly undercut Apple by offering more storage at similar price points.
Apple's iPad Smart Cover costs between $39 and $69, so Microsoft's Surface Touch Cover costs a bit more ($120 when purchased separately), although it offers more functionality since it doubles as a keyboard.
These price points are specifically for the Windows RT flavor of the tablet, which sports a quad-core NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA ) Tegra 3 inside, while the more full-featured Windows 8 models with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) chips will be priced higher. For example, Samsung has priced its ATIV Smart PC 500T, one of its first Windows 8 tablets, starting at $750. That device comes with an Intel Atom chip inside.
Not quite "resolutionary"
Since a tablet is all about the display, those specs are rather important, and in this department Surface is no show-stealer.