Following a major company restructuring last week, Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface RT tablets by $150.
The Surface RT is the light version of the company's flagship tablet, running a limited version of Windows 8 operating system.
The base model, a 32-gigabyte version of the tablet, has been reduced from $499 to $349; the 64 GB model has had its price cut from $599 to $449. The 32 GB model with a keyboard has been cut from $599 to $449 as well; the 64 GB model with a keyboard is now $549, down from $699.
The Surface Pro, which can run a full version of Windows 8, has not had its price cut.
It's unclear if Microsoft is reducing the price of its RT tablet as a way to boost sales, or if it is beginning to clear inventory for an upcoming, second generation of the Surface. Microsoft couldn't be reached for comment.
[Updated 1:28 p.m. July 15: Microsoft responded to a request for comment:
"We’ve been seeing great success with pricing and cover promotions over the past several months on Surface RT in the U.S. and other markets. People who buy Surface love Surface, and we’re excited about all those additional people out sharing their excitement for Surface with other people."]
Whatever the reason, the new price should make it more attractive to buyers, but the Surface RT still has many worthy competitors in its new price range. Here are a few.
Google Nexus 10 - 16 GB $399, 32 GB $499
Google's 10-inch screen tablet is a device built for gaming. It features one of the nicest full-HD displays, and its light weight and thin shape make it easy to hold.
IPad mini - Starts at 16 GB $329, goes up to 64 GB $659 with LTE
Though the iPad mini does not feature a screen as large as the Surface or the Nexus 10's, its design and light weight make it a great option. The iPad mini is very portable and great for reading e-books.
IPad 2 - Starts at 16 GB $399, goes up to 16 GB $529 with 3G
Users who want an iPad with a larger screen but don't want to spend more than $400 can turn to the iPad 2. This device is an older Apple model, but still makes for a great tablet with a sleek, thin design.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 - 16 GB $399
The latest Samsung tablet stands out thanks to the extra goodies Samsung has bundled with it. The Galaxy Tab 3 comes with $10 credit for the Google Play digital store, a three-month subscription to Hulu Plus and two years of access to 50 gigabytes of online storage from Dropbox. Other versions of the device, with smaller screens, are also available at lower prices.
8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD - Starts at 16 GB $269, goes up to 64 GB $499 with LTE
The Amazon tablet is ideal for watching videos as well as reading e-books and magazines. This device is cheaper than many of its competitors, and it also comes in a version that can connect to speedy 4G LTE cellular networks. That versions starts at $399 for a 32 GB model plus $50 for the annual data plan.
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