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Watch out, iPad? Microsoft Surface tablet to cost $499

  • Microsoft surface_05.jpg

    The new Microsoft Surface, the company's answer to the iPad?Microsoft Corp.

  • Microsoft Surface Tablet Unveiled

    Reuters

  • Microsoft Surface Tablets Displayed

    Reuters

  • Microsoft surface_02.jpg

    An Intel-powered version of the Surface will measure 13.5mm in thickness; a version powered by chips from rival maker ARM will be just 9.3mm thin.Microsoft Corp.

It looks like Microsoft won’t be trying to drastically undercut the iPad with its own tablet.

Microsoft is pricing its self-made Windows 8 tablet, the Microsoft Surface, starting at $499 for the base model.

A Surface tablet with an attachable keyboard-cover combination, one of the hallmark features of the Surface, will cost about an extra $100 at $599, while a model with more storage and a cover-keyboard will cost $699.

That puts it more in line with the pricing of Apple’s iPad, where the base model costs $499 for a 16-gigabyte iPad. It’s still more expensive than the iPad 2, Apple’s last-generation tablet, which costs $399.

Running Windows 8, the Microsoft Surface is a big jump into a market that’s growing more crowded by the day. There are now a number of 7-inch tablets that cost around $200, and a smaller iPad is reportedly on the way that should also be around that price.

And the Surface is still more expensive than Amazon’s new, larger Kindle Fire tablets. The base-level model for Amazon’s 8.9-inch tablet costs $299.

But Microsoft is clearly confident in the tablet, given that it has placed orders to produce 3 million to 5 million of these tablets in the fourth quarter.

Read more on Microsoft's Surface tablet at the Wall Street Journal.