Microsoft Surface tablet release date is here: Specs, cost, and how it measures up

With all the new technology being released lately, your head is probably spinning. Unless you haven’t turned on a television in the last few months, then you already know that Microsoft is entering into the tablet market, and the media is abuzz over the Microsoft Surface tablet release date. Starting on October 17, consumers could pre-order the tablet. And, obviously, those interested snatched up the opportunity, seeing as how the lowest priced Surface is already on backorder. But don’t worry, you can still place orders or head to stores starting today to try and get your hands on them. The question is, do you want to?

The cost

Let’s face it. You’re in college, you’re on a strict budget, and cost is an important factor. So let’s start there. Here is what you get for your hard-earned cash:

  • 32GB tablet for $499
  • 32GB tablet with a black touch cover for $599
  • 64GB with a black touch cover for $699

If you opt for the $499 model, you can purchase a cover (different colors are available) for $119.99, or you could upgrade to a type cover (black) for $129.99. If you plan to go the 64GB route, you don’t have an option to purchase it without the black cover.

The abilities

Now that we know how much it costs, let’s find out what it can do. The Surface offers:

  • a preview of Microsoft Home Office and Student 2013 RT
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 32GB or 64GB (expandable memory slot)
  • a 1,366 x 768 resolution screen with 148ppi
  • a 10.6 inch screen
  • 2 cameras

To view a table that breaks down all of the features of the Microsoft Surface and its two biggest competitors (the Apple iPad and the Kindle Fire), check out “Tablet Fight: Surface vs. iPad vs. Kindle Fire HD [CHART]” posted by Samantha Murphy on October 16, 2012, on Mashable‘s Tech page.

The competition

Microsoft’s Surface pre-order announcement was revealed on the same day that Apple declared an event is being set up. Coincidence? Not in the least. According to an article on, titled “Apple schedules ‘iPad Mini’ event for October 23,” by Brandon Griggs on October 17, 2012, “Apple sent e-mails to members of the press Tuesday that read simply, ‘We’ve got a little more to show you. Please join us for an invitation-only event at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23 at 10:00 a.m.'” Now there is even more speculation that an “iPad mini” is on the way.

Since both the Apple iPad and the Microsoft Surface start at the $449 mark, many wonder which is the better option. Well, that really depends on the user. According to an article posted on iDigital Times by Michael Nunez on October 17, 2012, “Microsoft Surface vs. iPad 3: What $499 Tablet Should You Purchase,” the writer explains that, in his opinion, “If you’re looking to purchase a tablet device before the end of the year, we believe that you have to choose the incumbent [iPad 3].”

However, not everyone agrees. Mark Taormino posted “Why the Microsoft Surface tablet matters to college students” on on October 08, 2012. In his post, Taormino explains that “Students need to consume information and create content. The current tablet offerings from Apple and Android vendors offer great consumption functionality, but cumbersome applications for content creation. Microsoft threatens to fill this gap with a tablet that can run Microsoft Office applications.”

The choice

So, which will you choose? Will you stick with your Kindle Fire? Will you go out and pre-order the Surface (if you haven’t already)? Will you wait to find out what Apple unveils? Or, will you simply save your money instead of spending it on the latest technology? The choice is yours…

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