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When Microsoft announced its Surface last month, the tech world was largely impressed by its potential, and by essentially killing off the wholly awful netbook market as well as having a real stab at the iPad-manned tablet field, it appeared to kill two birds with the one proverbial stone.

Unfortunately, the announcement has been marred somewhat by Microsoft’s inability to offer details on price and availability, with many consumers unable to make up their mind regarding whether they’ll buy it or not until these key drops of information are made public. Although there’s still no word on how much the Surface will retail for, it has been confirmed by Microsoft that consumers will be able to get their hands on the slab from 26th October.

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The date is, of course, the same day Windows 8 will be released to the end-user, but before we get too carried away with excitement, the release date applies only to the ARM version of the tablet. Speaking at the company’s annual report, the software maker stated the more powerful, Intel version of the Surface would not be available until early 2013, and warned investors the late showing of the high-end iteration could adversely affect profits.

That just leaves the small matter of the pricing, and as the success of the Google-ASUS Nexus 7 has shown, price is a deal-breaker to a vast portion of the mobile market. The Redmond outfit has yet to specify how much its first modern tablets will cost, with the company simply claiming the devices will cost a "competitive" amount.

In the meantime, we’ve only some of the specs to mull over, and we already know the base model will weigh in at 9.3mm thick, with the Intel version weighing in at 13.5mm in depth. Both will pack a 10.6-inch HD display, which, to put things into perspective, is around an inch larger in diameter to the iPad, and each device will feature a kickstand for easy video viewing.

The ARM edition will be 676g in weight, with the all-singing version weighing a rather hefty 903g, and both will ship with the slick, keyboard-incorporating case. The October 26th RT edition will pack in 32GB or 64GB of flash storage, while the Intel version will offer up to 128GB.

If the price is correct, will you invest?

(source SEC)

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