Failure of Microsoft to sell the Surface RT 1st-generation tablet with Windows 8 RT OS in meaningful quantities and release of the new version have led to massive price drops of these devices. The latest news regarding this is that Micro Center will offer during their Black Friday sales the 1st-gen 32GB Surface RT model (7XR-00001) with Touch Cover keyboard included for only $179.99. That’s the lowest price for a Surface slate ever and probably the best Windows tablet deal this holiday season. Microsoft’s own store and Best Buy will have the same device for $199.99 on Black Friday, but without the keyboard accessory.
The Surface RT is regularly priced at $340, while the Touch Cover costs additional $80 for a total of $420 for them combined. Therefore, Micro Center’s deal represents a very generous instant saving of $240.
Besides 32GB of internal storage, the 10.6-inch RT Surface 7XR-00001 is based on the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 computing platform, also used in the original sub-$200 Google Nexus 7 7-inch Android tablet. Microsoft’s device has 2GB of RAM memory and 1366-by-768 screen resolution. Windows 8 RT version is specially designed for the power-efficient and mobile-oriented ARM processor architecture and the Tegra 3 is based on ARM. This also means the RT doesn’t support the classic x86 applications we can use on the full Windows 8, 7, Vista etc, such as Adobe CS or standard Microsoft Office suites. Thankfully, Microsoft has included touch-optimized Office Home and Student 2013 RT with Windows RT for free.
The standard Windows 8(.1) version can be found on the Surface Pro and Pro 2, which run all the x86 apps and are more powerful, but also more expensive and heavier than the RT.
Other features worth mentioning are stereo speakers, two 720p cameras on the front and lid, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a full-size USB 2.0 port, microSDXC card reader, and a micro HDMI video output. The provided 31.5 Wh battery is good for “up to 8 hours” of mixed activity, and 7-15 days of idle operation.
Micro Center claims they’ll have 100 units per store on Black Friday. This deal will be offered in stores only and won’t be available online.
More about Microsoft Surface.