Microsoft Surface for Windows RT pricing now official: tablet starts at $499, keyboard not included

With Surface for Windows RT going on sale in just 10 days, Microsoft is finally ready to talk about pricing and availability -- not to mention, some technical details it left out when the tablet debuted back in June. After the Surface product page prematurely went live on Microsoft's site a few hours ago, the company just officially announced that the 10.6-inch, ARM-powered slate will go up for pre-order at 9AM PT today, starting at $499 for the 32GB version. For $599 you get the 32GB model with a black Touch Cover.

To be clear, that entry-level price does not include that snazzy Touch Cover with the flat, pressure-sensitive keys. Rather, it'll be sold separately for $120. Ditto for the more traditional Type Cover keyboard, which is priced at $130. If you already know you want the packaged deal, however, you can buy the 64GB tablet and Touch Cover as a bundle for $699. Lastly, when Surface starts shipping on October 26th, you'll be able to buy it on Microsoft.com or at a Microsoft Store (if you happen to have one in your neck of the woods). If you're hankering for hands-on photos, we'll redirect you to the first look we published the day Surface was announced. Hopefully, though, we'll soon get a review unit so that we can supplement our preview with meaty, real-world impressions.

Microsoft Surface for Windows RT press shots

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Specs
Dimensions 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Screen size 10.6 inches
Screen resolution 1,366 x 768
Screen type ClearType
Battery "24W power supply"
Internal storage 32GB or 64GB
External storage microSDXC
Rear camera 720p
Front-facing cam 720p
Ports USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, cover port, "HD video out"
Sensors Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Audio Two microphones, stereo speakers
Wireless WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Processor NVIDIA T30
RAM 2GB
Operating system Windows RT
Included apps Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games
Warranty One year

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Microsoft Announces New Surface Details

Ahead of Oct. 26 launch, Microsoft outlines pricing, market availability and special limited quantity pre-order.

REDMOND, Wash. - Oct. 16, 2012 - Microsoft Corp. today released new details about its highly anticipated Microsoft Surface, a tablet PC designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows. In addition to pricing and market availability, the company announced a special limited-quantity pre-order for Surface with Windows RT available 9 a.m. PDT. Those who want to learn more or pre-order can visit http://www.Surface.com.

Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.

A variety of accessories will also be available, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors - black, white, magenta, cyan and red - priced at US$119.99 so customers can express their personal style. Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. See Surface.com for more details.

Additional Product Information - Surface With Windows RT

Software
• Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)

Exterior
• 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons

Storage
• 32 GB; 64 GB

CPU
• NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM

Wireless
• Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology

Cameras
• Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing

Audio
• Two microphones, stereo speakers

Ports
• Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port

Sensors
• Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass

Power Supply
• 24W power supply

Warranty
• One-year limited hardware warranty

Apps (included)
• Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview2 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Those interested in learning more or pre-ordering can visit http://www.Surface.com or follow Surface on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Surface and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/surface.

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Microsoft Surface for Windows RT pricing now official: tablet starts at $499, keyboard not included