The tablet market is certainly heating up, with Apple readying their iPad mini announcement and Google muscling in with the Nexus 7. If you're more keen on Microsoft's Surface tablet, however, you'll only need to wait a little more than a week to grab the first version. Pre-orders are now open on the official site, and the tablets boast a hefty starting price of $500.
Okay, maybe not that hefty, considering how much the competition costs anyway. Thing is, that $500 price tag is without the type cover, that nifty ultra-thin keyboard that goes over the screen. Basically, $499 gets you the 32GB model without a cover, while another $100 does. The current high-end version is the 63GB model, which does come with the cover for a total of $699.
Note that this is only the first version Microsoft is putting out, featuring an ARM chip set. The first wave coincides with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, while a Surface Pro running on an Intel-based processor is expected to arrive 90 days after.