To say that we were very impressed with Microsoft’s unveiling of its Surface tablets would be an understatement; considering they’re the company’s first stab at this form factor, the sophisticated yet utilitarian design really caught us by surprise. We’ve spent the past few months thinking about getting our first chance to actually try out one of these babies, and have killed some of that time looking into some of the rumors for what Microsoft might end up charging for the line. So far, they’ve been all over the place, from the very high-end to the incredibly affordable. We’re still waiting for official word, but in lieu of that, Microsoft’s own Steve Ballmer has provided some new ballpark estimates.
In an interview with the Seattle Times, Ballmer makes it clear that this isn’t any formal announcement, but based on early statements about Surface tablets being in-line with certain tablet and laptop price points, Ballmer paints a picture of the $300 on up to $700 or $800 range.
Presumably, we’re talking about the RT-based Surface down at $300, with the Windows 8 Pro models taking those higher prices. That’s actually not that bad, and is close to those low-ball prices we heard last month. Sure, it won’t compete with the $200 Android seven-inchers, but it seems like Microsoft might be intentionally distancing itself from those; it wants Surface to be affordable, while not being “cheap”.