The Microsoft Surface finally has a price

$499 USD for the 32GB without the Touch Cover. $100 USD more for an accessory that is almost fundamental to the product.

I don’t see this thing succeeding, and it’s a shame because it really shows the lack of hardware game that Microsoft has these days. I don’t doubt that given time, the software could be brilliant. However, quality hardware at an aggressive price (especially if you’re late to the game) is what attracts both developers and consumers.

A few interesting things i’ve noted about the product.

  1. There is no 3G/4G/LTE networking option. For me, what makes the iPad consistently better to take around than a notebook is not only its size, it’s the constant connectivity.
  2. Standby battery life is at most 15 days, half of the iPad
  3. Resolution, nowhere near Retina size at 1366×768
  4. The 720p back camera doesn’t look very promising. But then again, it’s a tablet.

I can’t remember the last Microsoft hardware+software product I thought was great. We may have to go back almost 7 years for the Xbox 360, which continues to be a success today. The 360 was simply amazing hardware (at the time) with groundbreaking networked software (Live). I don’t know what the equivalent is for the tablet market, but it sure isn’t something that struggles to differentiate itself by how you “click in” a keyboard cover.

PS: That ad just makes the Surface look loud (obnoxious clicks) and makes the device look crippled without the keyboard. Tablets shouldn’t need a physical keyboard, that’s trapping yourself to thinking in the old PC paradigm.