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Microsoft Surface tablet to cost under £130?

It’s always intriguing watching the rumour pendulum swing back and forth ahead of a major product launch, and price estimates for the Microsoft Surface have now well and truly hit both ends of the scale.

First we had reports that the tablet would come in at a sky-high £650 (for the 32GB version) as a number of news outlets picked up on the prices listed by a Swedish retailer that apparently had Surface slates ready for pre-order. But just as the engines of indignation were revving up, it turned out the listing was nothing more than wild conjecture on behalf of the Swede suppliers.

With that scare safely behind us, we have news that the Surface could hit shelves at an extremely competitive price, but the purported $199 (just under £130) price tag now in circulation could well be too far down the other end of the scale to be realistic. That’s the rumour Engadget has reported this week though, and it would certainly cause a stir if Microsoft were to sell the tablet so low.

The site leans on an “inside source” for the news, which claims this price will be for the Windows RT version of the device. Many were shocked when Google announced both the 8GB and 16GB edition of its Nexus 7 tab would be under £200, but with its value for money bringing rampant sales, Microsoft could well be planning to go one better with the Surface.

As a more advanced and dynamic tablet, we’d be shocked if the Surface did indeed undercut the Nexus by so much, but it is certainly true that Google has forced its rivals to think carefully about its tablet pricing structure if they want strong sales.

What we know for certain about the Surface it is its 26 October release date, so that’s over two months of erratic speculation and hearsay to enjoy yet. Bring it on.