Microsoft has slashed the price of their hybrid Surface RT tablets by 30 per cent. A 32GB RT device now retails for £279, down from £399. This does not, however, include the touch cover (£80) that connects to the device to offer a flexible keyboard and touchpad.
The price cut is likely to be in preparation for an upcoming refresh to the RT range – a dumbed-down derivative of the Windows 8 operating system. The Surface RT was widely criticized for offering sub-par performance and a lack of backwards compatibility with legacy Windows software.
Consumers looking to get the full Windows 8 package – as well as a faster computer – will still have to go for the Surface Pro, still priced at £719 for the 65Gb model and £799 for the 128GB variant. Compared to the RT the Pro is also heavier (903g to the RT’s 676g) and thicker.
The refresh to the Surface line was revealed at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in June. A slide marked ‘FY2014 Biggest Innovation Year Yet!’ included tiles for ‘Update to Surface RT’ and ‘Update to Surface Pro’. It’s likely that these hardware updates will include a new Haswell processor to power the updated Windows 8.1 operating system.