Surface RT tablets begin at $500

[UPDATE] Pricing for new Windows RT tablet line to begin at $500 for 32GB model without Touch Cover; scaling to $700 with covers and additional memory; Microsoft confirms pricing, launch date.

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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Microsoft re-launched the Surface RT landing page, confirming the earlier report.

The original story follows below.

Microsoft has, perhaps prematurely, unveiled pricing for its upcoming Surface tablet line. Pricing for the RT models appeared on Microsoft's official website today, and was quickly removed, but not before TechCrunch snapped a screenshot of the page.

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According to the screenshot, a 32GB Surface tablet running on Windows RT will cost $500, and will not come bundled with a Touch Cover (a magnetic screen cover that doubles as a keyboard). The same 32GB model with a Touch Cover will run $600, and a 64GB model with a Touch Cover is pegged at $700.

The Surface RT tablet line is expected to launch alongside Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system on October 26. This pricing is in line with Apple's newest iPad iteration, which begins at $500 for a Wifi-only version and scales to $700.

Microsoft's Surface RT edition, which runs on a Nvidia ARM processor, is one of two models the company is planning. The other is an Intel Core processor-driven Windows 8 Pro unit. Information regarding that model is expected to arrive sometime later.

Both Surface tablets will feature a 10.6-inch "HD display" with Corning Gorilla Glass 2.0, as well as a full-size USB port, microSD card port, and multiple configurations of system RAM. Microsoft is also touting built-in kickstands for the Surface tablets, as well as screen covers with built-in keyboards. The cover combos will come in two varieties: the Touch Cover will provide a 3mm-thin gesture-sensing keyboard for typing, while the 5mm-thin Type Cover offers moving keys for those who prefer a standard keyboard feel.

For more on the best tablets, be sure to read GameSpot sister site CNET's extended coverage.

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