Microsoft Surface: Australian Prices And Release Date Announced

I know you've been hanging out for Surface news. Believe me, so have we. Today Microsoft Australia announced how much you can expect to pay for its new tablet, where you can buy it from, and more importantly, when you can preorder.

Microsoft will have three different Surface versions available. They all run Windows RT, however one will just be a 32GB version for $559, one will be a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover for $679 and a 64GB version with a black Touch Cover will set you back $789.

Touch Covers cost $139.99 separately, or you can pick up a nifty Type Cover for $149.99.

YOu won't be able to buy the Surface in stores, unfortunately. As we've suspected for a while, you'll be able to grab the Surface online at Head over there now for more pre-order information. Pre-orders are limited, and the device goes on sale on October 26.

So, now we know the price, are you getting one?

Stay tuned for updates.



    Would have been nice to see one in person before making that decision, also price, $499 like the USA for the equipment entry point is more competitive against the other tablets

      End of the day it's competetive with grey importing and shipping, so a reasonable amount higher than US.

        Why would you grey import it when for the extra $60 I think gets you 2 years vs others which only have 1 year warranty?

          Exactly. It's not like other devices which are hundreds more.

      Add $50 GST, and there's only $10 difference. I don't see a problem compared to the US price. But it's still too high.

      Compared to a Transformer Infinity, I don't see the value. Screen's worse, battery life is worse, keyboard/dock is worse (thin, but no extra battery etc). Can't even run x86 apps, so there's no advantage to it being Windows.

      The only reason anyone would buy this is to read/edit Office docs, if they couldn't afford a Surface Pro. But even then, something like an Iconia W500 would probably be better value.

        They just announced MS Office for Android. I have the TF700 and never looked back.
        Polaris office does a very good job already.

        X86 applications do you mean the xt 86 , 286 and 386/486 window and dos applications will not run on this computer ?

      Um. Everything seems about 10% more than the US. This is just GST so in fact this is one of the most reasonable prices MS has ever offered on a product. To be honest I was expecting the base to be AU$649 vs US$499. Still the base iPad has less markup, so if it wasn't for Apples low price I think we would have paid more.

      I have to agree, if all I'm going to get in-store is $800+ Windows 8 tablets, I'm going to find it hard to sell them, they'll be beaten by the older Android tablets and the lower spec iPads. I hope I'm wrong, but I've got another Ultrabook fiasco feeling.

    If I was getting one it would be the Pro, not the the RT version. It's a shame they couldn't get them both out at the same time.

      x2, I hope they don't take too long. I need a new laptop and am waiting for the Surface Pro to make a decision.

        Well all the rumors say that the pro versions won't be out for another 3 months. So if you can wait that long, then go for it, personally, I need an upgrade yesterday and the little hinge out the back probably won't work for when you want to use it and type on your lap.

          That's not a rumour, it is a figure given by MS at the press event where they unveiled the Surface.

          Works for me, my galaxy tab 10.1's contract is up early next year, so by then the pro version should be well and truly Beta tested and ready for actual use.

      At those prices I'm getting a Nexus 7 today and the Surface Pro when it comes out later to replace my Ultrabook at work to complement the desktop.

      I challenge you to name one reason you'd want the full OS on a tablet. And not the following:
      - Gaming (Because gaming sucks on a tablet, no matter what OS it is)
      - Typing, including programming (Well... Have fun if you do!)
      ... I'm assuming you'll still keep your PC

      Last edited 17/10/12 8:45 pm

        I'm interested in the Pro mainly as a more portable laptop replacement with a touchscreen - that keyboard is an essential addition, as far as I'm concerned. So, yea, all of the above, and still keeping my desktop PC. Still waiting on full specs and price before I decide, tho...

        Last edited 18/10/12 2:58 pm

        I'm mostly interested from a music point of view. I want my DAW on a nice touch surface.

        Also, i've heard that the surface keyboard is actually quite nice to use, so i don't think the usual typing on a tablet thing is an issue.

        I can name plenty of reasons. I am an engineer who spends about 70% of my time in the office and 30% of my time on construction sites, in site meetings and walking around site. The full Windows 8 Pro version will be perfect for me, because:
        - Most engineering software that we use will only work on Microsoft OS.
        - Most business management and project management software only works on Microsoft OS.
        - CAD and Bluebeam Revu PDF editing software that we use only works well on Microsoft OS.
        - I have a Samsung GS3 phone, for my situation I see an app-based tablet as being of no benefit to me, as it would be functionally almost the same as my phone with just a bigger screen.

        These are the reasons why I have not bought a tablet yet.

        The biggest benefit for me will be that I can walk around sites and mark up drawings and maintain a defects register on the tablet using Bluebeam Revu. Probably doesn't sound like that much of a feature to an outsider but believe me, it is a huge benefit and the time I would save would pay for the cost of the tablet in a few weeks. It would replace my laptop entirely, but I would keep my desktop PC, yes.

    I'll get one. It can't be any worse than an iPad or Android tablet. I mean, it already has all the 'apps' I care about and Office is included.

    At those prices, not a chance, I'll stick with my Nexus 7 thanks.

      Too bad I can't beam a High 5 your way. But yeah, I can't help show off the N7 as somewhat amazing. I do hope that the Surface does well too, another contender in the tablet market space will do wonders. Apple may not act so arrogant. Android might really start to fix the UI of all things, it's much better since 4.1 but needs a touch more to fluidity.

    Wow, great pricing all things considered.

    But can't buy in store? I assume that's a decision as to not step on the toes of the OEMs?

    Definately would go the Pro version with the i5 and 1080p screen, the RT is a bit too budget in specs

    So basically if u want the 64gbp option u have tobhave it with the touch cover and still buy the type cover if you'd prefer. So paying for both. Seems a tad ridiculous. Other then that. I like it. But waiting on Pro version/Samsung ativ

    the surface will have it's microsoft fan supporters like the iPad apple fans. The only problem I have with MS products is the fact that they have dropped support and upgrades of their own products in the past. Just take a look at all the versions of windows pocketPC, WinCE and other PDAs. When a new version of the OS comes out, you must buy a new device to get it.

      And that is different from Apple how exactly?

        Apple have provided updates for atleast 3 generations of iPhone as well as iPad. Most apple computers can sustain 2-3 OS updates.

          That is even more true of Windows. I have run 4 different versions of Windows on the same machine. Bought with Win2000, upgraded to XP, then Vista, then Win7. If I still had it I could easily get WIn8 running on it, too. Support continues for my discontinued ZuneHD as well, via at least two updates to the Zune software since the Zune hardware was discontinued. Oh, and for the record, ZuneHD runs on Windows CE, so clearly CE is still supported by MS.

          To be fair. Apple didn't update the first iPad.

          3GS got an update though!

            How can it be an update if they lock off certain features? iphone4 could run siri but they locked it out and made people buy a 4S.

              +1 that was clearly to sell more phones. I have the iphone 4 and its just as good as 4s minus siri

        I can run the latest iOS on an iPhone 3Gs. Sure, it doesn't run well, and I don't get all the features, but nearly all the apps will work.

        Zune? You can't even download apps from the marketplace anymore. WP6.5? Dead. WP7? You'll get a WP8 skin, and will not ever be able to run apps made for WP8.

        inprvt_com has a very valid point.

          My ZuneHD still works perfectly well and I never downloaded any apps for it, so discontinuing the store is of no consequence. AFAIK there were never more than about 50 apps for it anyway, and no-one would have had any reason to download anything for more than a year (after it was discontinued). But I can still buy parts and get it fixed, Zune software updates continue to support it and we recently had the full service restored - band bios, photos and all the great stuff that made ZuneHD the best music player out there. i.e. ZuneHD today is better than it was three months ago or at any time since WinPhone 7 launched in 2010 and the Zune software is better than it has ever been.

          I expect that it will remain the best player for the foreseeable future and I expect to get many more years of service from mine. There is certainly nothing better out there today to replace it. So I fail to see the point you were trying to make. I also know someone who is still using their HTC HD7 and loving WinMobile 6.5, so again, "dead" is not an accurate term. It is no deader than iOS 5 or OS X Lion or Adobe CS4 (which I use every day at home) or any other superceded software. The existence of a newer version of the software does not magically render the previous version unusable.

          Oh, and if you follow this link you will see that WindowsCE is alive, well and in continuing development - All they have done is change the name (again). But let's not allow the truth to get in the way of a spirited discussion, shall we?

          Last edited 17/10/12 10:18 am

        Until now, apple still support the old gadgets with the iOS upgrades.

        Difference is up until now MS hasn't made the hardware, or more accurately - made it properly when they have, so they couldn't really control the platforms that their OS's were going on to.

        I also think the term "support" is off. Sure, you can update your old device, not going to tell you it will work properly though. Oh it doesn't work properly? Here, buy a new one.

        I think my view is a little skewed by my holistic view to Apple, desktops included. In fact, definitely skewed - that's my bread and butter day in day out. I will concede their backwards compatibility on mobile gadgets has been better than their desktop/laptop/OS history.

          Really? So I could go and buy a used iPhone 3G and Siri would work on it? That is not what I've been reading for the past year.

            From what I read winmo 6.5 could not be installed on products that launched with winmo 6.0 and same with 7, 7.5 etc etc. just because your windows 95 computer still works doesn't meant it is getting the support. In modern world support includes bug fixes plus providing new features. New features doesn't mean providing all the available new features of next generation. From a simple overview each new hardware comes with improved specs. The software is made to optimize the performance of the new hardware as well as to provide the possible new features to the old hardware. I am sure this doesn't make sense to MM coz he lives in a different world. Other than reading about iProducts and Android I don't think MM has even seen one coz these devices just rnt his generation

              The same would have been true of every phone on the market at the time. My WinPhone is the first phone I've ever owned that has had a firmware update during it's lifetime. But in the old days, support never ended when the new model with the updated OS came out.

          What do you mean made it properly? The only thing I can think of that has had large quality issues would be the original Xbox 360.

            What I mean is not just the quality, but the dedication to seeing it through. I think XBox showed them they can create a hardware platform and keep it going. Zune, while a great piece of kit, didn't feel like MS had it's "heart" into it if you know what I mean. I see MS very dedicated to Surface and I don't think it will pass the way other platforms have like WinCE, WinMo < 7, those other crappy phones that were release for less than a Kardashian marriage.

              WinCE is still alive and well, the link that Motormouth provide will show that. I'll be honest and say the following - WinMobile 6.x and WinPhone7 had to die and it's better that they have because the new WinPho 8 can use up to 64cpus if it ever needed to. M$ has made the next WinPho8 OS kind of future proof where Apple isn't there yet. M$ is only now or at least this year started to make the right choices, make things last longer like WinPho8 OS, make things play together on a level not seen before (Win8 Family - Phone, Tablet through to Desktops). Apple isn't even close to where M$ is moving to right now

              Last edited 17/10/12 4:23 pm

    Can pre-order tablet via the microsoft online store now...I'm doing it now

      Order sucessful, should arrive November 6

        Me too can't waaaaaaiiiiit

          Done as well

            I have ordered mine too - don't care what the apple fans say, think its going to be good

    I'd like to get one but I'm going to wait to it comes out and i see reviews from other people and hopefully get some hands on time with one. I would much rather get the Pro version though and i don't want to wait 3 months for it...

    an extra $120 for the touch cover seems a bit much.

      comes with touch cover keyboard when you order

        "however one will just be a 32GB version for $559, one will be a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover for $679 " I am missing something, it would appear without touch cover it's $120 cheaper??

          You're not missing anything. But buying a 32GB model bundled with a touch cover will end up cheaper than buying a 32GB model and buying a touch cover separately as the touch covers will go for $139.99, as the article states.

            Yeah but my only point was that I thought $120 was a bit much, $140 is even more a bit much (poor English intended), personally I would be getting one without a "touch keyboard" and waiting for the after markets.

    To be honest, it's about a $100 more than I was expecting. Got a week to make up my mind before free shipping is gone.

      Still $100 cheaper than an iPad (without the cover) which is really good :)

    I just ordered the 32 GB and a Type Cover. If I don't like it I am sure I can sell it to someone who does. I love my iPad but....

    Was going to buy one in the US when travelling there in Nov. - it would be cheaper.
    Then realised it works out just a wee bit more expensive if I buy here in Oz then claim the GST back at the airport.
    Means local warranty and I'll be able to set it up before I travel:)

    Last edited 17/10/12 9:30 am

      Not only that but the AUS one has Aussie Warranty for 2 years (US only has 12 months)

      It would be more expensive in the US anyway, because if you buy it there you will have to pay state and federal taxes on it, which they are not obliged to advertise.

    Damn that's more expensive than I thought the RT models will be. I was going to wait for the Pro models but if this is any indication those will end up being pretty expensive.

      That's because they will actually be useful.

        As an end-user consumer though, they will look at the price first and foremost. It's looking at though the Surface Pros will be somewhere up around the $900-$1000 range, and if you compare that to other tablets on the market, like the iPad or the Nexus 7, it's got to have more than a touch keyboard and kick stand to justify the price difference.

        I have a N7 and I'm happy with it, but I did have my eye on a Surface Pro. Not any more though, the likely cost of it has priced me out of the market. I could upgrade my computer for that much money and get a lot more use out of it. I think I might just get a keyboard case for my N7 instead.

          Surface Pro isn't in the same class as the iPad or Android though, it's full Windows. That's what the Surface RT is for.

          Surface Pro can replace the general consumers laptop and iPad in one hit.

            I know that, you know that, all the geeks know that. I'm arguing the average Joe end-user doesn't know that.

              The average Joe user will buy an iPad because they don't know any other devices exist...

    I need to know that the keyboard is usable for a genuine typist before I plonk down any cash.

    Ordered RT version with 64GB this morning.

    No Remote Desktop on the RT version so no buy. Waiting for PRO.

      Where did you see that? That possibly is a deal breaker for me.

        RT only runs apps from the store, think like apple ecosystem. However, I can't see why there won't be a remote desktop app. Sounds like zwonker jumping to conclusions.

          it's on the website.. says under what RT does not do... and it is pretty much all over the internet. Just search it.

            " Surface with Windows RT works exclusively with apps from the Windows Store."

            You're *assuming* there isn't a remote desktop app.

              There is even a remote desktop client app for the ipad, so I highly doubt that there wont be a windows app for it (if its not supported natively)

      I should point out, I don't want to RDP TO the Surface, rather RDP FROM the Surface to other systems.

      RT doesn't support Remote Desktop HOSTING, you can still use RDP to connect to other PCs though.

      Unless of course you are really bummed out that you can't remote into a tablet that by all accounts will have with you for a large percentage of the day, then sure its a downside (until we get 3rd party control apps).

      There are already Remote Desktop apps on the app store, so don't spread bad rumors! :)

    No GPS, why?
    No Outlook - buy?
    Junk camera?
    Cost like 3 Nexus 7???
    low specs, poor applications, ridiculously overpriced device.
    Mmmm.... No thank you. ROFL&LOL.

    I was waiting for this news to make my final decision.
    I'd rather go with new iPad.

    Expect Surface PRO to be AUD 1.5K.
    You got your chance, MS. Hasta la vista, baby.

      Your troll is bad and you should feel bad.......

      Poor applications? What exactly do you mean there ilya?
      I'm expecting Surface Pro to start around $999 - $1100, considering what has been mentioned about RT being priced to similar tablets (iPad) and Pro to similar notebooks.
      Microsoft isn't the only maker of RT tablets, if you want GPS I dare say Samsung or ASUS or HP or Lenovo may have an offering that will suit your needs.

      Cost like 3 Nexus 7? Lets do some basic math - 16GB Nexus roughly $300 in AUS give or take
      3 X 300 = 900, base model Surface RT - 32GB for $559 which is actually less than the cost of 2 Nexus 7, which has smaller screen, smaller capacity and other concessions to get it to that price point.
      Learn to math.

      I don't actually think people have had enough hands on time to test out the camera to determine is it is indeed junk, but most tablet cameras are junk, so safe to assume this.

      I don't get your argument, not sorry to see you go, enjoy your overpriced iPad.


      Well spotted. I hadn't noticed the lack of GPS. That seems like a HUGE oversight to me, not that I was interested in it anyway. Location based services are one of the big reasons to get a tablet, surely? Maybe it will use the phone network to do location but that won't be much use to me hundreds of miles out to sea.

        Your nearest McDonalds is 989 nautical miles south. Please perform a starboard u-turn when safe.
        Totally see the need for location based services out at sea!

          ^ classic! I'm glad you're having a slow day because that made me laugh.

          Location based services are not the only use for GPS, simply the one I thought would be most compelling for MS. Try finding Lord Howe Island without it. "Sail up the coast to Taree and turn right" won't quite provide the level of accuracy required to hit a 2km target that is 600km away.

        I can see it being a oversight if the device had a 3G/4G chip in it.
        Its a device to be used in conjunction with a smartphone or at home, so i dont think it will be missed at all by most users.

        Besides i have my smartphone to handle all my GPS needs.

        If you are hundreds of miles out at sea and are relying on a portable GPS to get to back home you have other problems than your tablet not having GPS. Boats that go that far out to sea have inbuilt navigation systems for a reason.

          Microsoft is not the only makers of Windows 8 RT tablets, as mentioned above ASUS, HP, Acer, maybe Dell and many others are making their own and ASUS I think has 3G and GPS so you don't just have to purchase M$ version of the Win8 tablet. I only need Wi-Fi so I don't really care about 3G or GPS at the moment...I have a phone that can do that

        Not an issue if WP8 is able to share GPS via tethering with Windows 8.

        If not then it's dissapointing to see GPS not included.

    Surface pro looks boss, but I'll probably wait for the gen 2 iteration before I buy in.

    Interesting that it's only 5-point multi touch - most vendors were demoing 10-point multi touch devices at the launch event I went to last week. Battery life of 8 hours (10 hours seems to be the norm from other vendors). Worth waiting for the reviews to decide IMO.

    Last edited 17/10/12 11:34 am

      only 5 points? Who needs 10 points of multi touch. If you are using all 10 points at once, basically your whole screen is going to be covered.

    So tempting!! Been waiting for ages for a tablet.

    That looks gre- oh, WiFi-only? No, sorry.

    I don't get WiFi-only tablets. If I'm in WiFi range, I'm typically within 10m of a PC. The main selling point of tablets is portability, which in my mind comes hand in hand with "data everywhere". Which is also why I can't understand why (last time I checked) there are NO ultrabooks with built-in 3G/4G modems.

      You can tether it to your phone which you probably already have in your pocket anyway. Or buy a prepaid wifi modem.

      Having a built-in 3G/4G receiver bumps the price up pretty significantly. 3G models of Kindles for example go for $50 more than wifi only. 3G/4G models of iPads go for $120+ more than wifi only.

      At the end of the day having it built in is more of a convenience factor than anything else...but is that a convenience factor you are willing to pay significantly extra for?

      1) Wireless dongle or
      2) Tether to your phone.

      Those are the reasons for no inbuilt 3g/4g.
      Why would I want one plan for my phone, one plan for my tablet, one plan for my laptop? That's three separate plans which would cost a fair bit.
      Or I can either tether to my phone (one plan in total) or use a wireless dongle that connects to all my devices. Admittedly this would then be two plans (1 for the phone and 1 for the dongle) but it still makes more sense economically. Especially when you also include my wi-fi only kindle.

      I shall be using it on my couch, so in that respect, entirely useful at home while my desktop PC hums away and plays movies through the TV. Also, as stated by others - tethering to the iPhone will get me by in between destinations.

      Until I can get a shared dataplan, I'd rather pay for one mobile data plan and share it among my devices. If I could have three sims all using the same data plan on a usable network like Telstra's then it would be a different story.

      Yeah, I don't see the point in having yet another data plan just for a tablet (or PC for that matter). And I cannot believe you are so naive as to think that the only wi-fi you can use is your home network.

        Not naive - just saying the majority of places where WiFi is available have PCs handy as well. Not all places obviously (Maccas/Starbucks hotspots, public transport etc), but home, work, motels and major shopping centres usually have PCs complementing the WiFi. When I was over in the States for a recent trip I had no data roaming on my phone so was desperately hunting for WiFi most of the time. Occasionally I found it in useful places like 3rd Street Promenade but most places I found it (motels, mostly) had free PCs to go with it.

        The reason I don't like tethering is a. it kills battery life on the phone and b. I was under the impression that Mobile Broadband plans were much cheaper than adding a data pack to a mobile plan (although looking at that now, it doesn't appear to be the case anymore).

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