Steve Ballmer says Surface Tablets off to a "modest" start

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Earlier this year, many of us were hoping that Microsoft would launch its Surface Tablet, specifically the version running Windows RT, at a low price to compete with other devices on the hyperactive market.

Early rumors pointed to a price of $199, but that turned out to be quitey far from the actual retail price of the tablet which was revealed closer to launch date.

As we've previously reported on TG, Microsoft is asking $499 for the entry-level version of its Surface Tablet, with one of the better-equipped versions of the Surface Tablet sells for $599. Interestingly, IHS iSuppli issued a report earlier this month that listed the bill of materials for the 32 GB tablet with the optional Touch Cover at only $271 - with another $13 as manufacturing expense.

This means that Redmond is making quite a tidy profit margin on each tablet sold. In any event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently stated that sales of the Surface Tablet "are starting modestly," although he remained tight-lipped about actual numbers.

Ballmer also noted that the more expensive and higher performance Intel-based version of the Surface tablet was on the way. This particular tablet will be a bit more than half an inch thick and weighs about 2 pounds. It is also equipped with a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor, along with Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, 4 GB of memory, up to 128 GB of storage and a 10.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Exact pricing is unknown, but Microsoft has said the device would be in line with similarly configured ultrabooks, say somewhere in the $800 to $1,000 price range, if not a little higher.