Microsoft Surface Tablet: $399 and Up, Expert Says

Dennis Faas's picture

With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, you can bet tablet computers will be under many Christmas trees this coming December.

One of the tech industry's most anticipated tablets is Microsoft's Surface, which has been unveiled but not yet officially released, or even priced.

However, one analyst is now predicting that the Surface will retail for $399 -- and up.

Microsoft Out At Least $300 Per Unit: Prediction

Sameer Singh is a tech industry analyst with consulting firm Finvista Advisors. In a recent blog post he made some bold predictions about the cost of each individual component expected to ship with the Surface. That gave him an overall picture of the product's likely cost to consumers.

Referring to the base model of the Surface, Singh predicted Microsoft will spend about $67 on its display, $44 on its touch screen interface, $4 on the camera, and $25 on the battery (in addition to its other components).

Adding manufacturing costs, Singh predicts each unit will cost Microsoft just over $300. (Source:

As a result, Singh expects the lowest-priced Surface tablets -- those running the slimmed-down version of Windows 8 known as Windows RT -- will be priced between $399 and $499, allowing Microsoft a profit margin of 25 to 35 per cent.

Windows 8 Pro Tablets: $800, $900

Singh expects versions of the Surface running Windows 8 Pro -- the more fully-featured edition of the operating system -- will retail for closer to $800 or even $900.

The major reason for the higher price will be the processor: an Intel Core i5 chip is required to run Windows 8 Pro, and should cost Microsoft at least $200 per unit.

If Singh is correct, it's unlikely Microsoft will lure many consumers away from the hot sub-$300 tablet niche currently dominated by Google's Nexus 7 device. Instead, the Surface will be a natural competitor of the Apple iPad. (Source:

As usual, Microsoft has refused to comment on any rumor involving an upcoming product. Alas, it looks like we'll have to wait until Windows 8's official launch on October 26, 2012, to learn more about the Surface.

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