Competitive Intelligence: iPad Mini to be revealed October 23rd, Microsoft Surface priced [POLL]

It’s hard for us not to notice what’s going on in the grand scheme of things when it comes to mobile — after all, we do share space with Windows and iOS sites under the same umbrella Phandroid enjoys.

Imagine our surprise, then, when two major announcements were made in the mobile landscape on the same day — Apple will unveil the iPad Mini October 23rd and Microsoft has announced pricing for the Microsoft Surface RT tablet.

The former story is nothing new — the bitten fruit company has been rumored to announce the sub-8 inch iPad Mini on October 23rd for a couple of weeks now. We even took a look at some possible pricing options Apple will debut the tablet with. While nothing’s certain until it’s official it’s believed Apple will challenge the top-end of that $250-$300 spectrum.

But wait, there’s more! A new challenger has appeared (insert coin here) as Microsoft has finally officially priced its Microsoft Surface RT tablet. Remember that an “RT” tablet is pretty much like Windows 8 Light — you won’t get the ability to run full X86_64 apps since it’s designed to be an ARM-based operating system. Since that covers the same sort of ground that Android and iOS does then the Pro variant of the Surface tablets can’t be compared.

Onto the pricing, though — the cheapest configuration will cost you $500. Compared to the $200-$250 price range the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 devices start at that seems a bit expensive. I wouldn’t blame you if you said it just flat out wasn’t worth that much, especially with the looks of Microsoft’s ecosystem for tablet-specific apps at this moment in time.

Still, there are some out there who are still pondering the tablet space. Some even have purchase decisions to make. This holiday season will see a much more balanced slate of… well, slates being introduced and we have to cope with the fact that even some of you, our loyal readers, are interested in seeing what the competition will have in store.

So let’s weigh it all on the imaginary scale sitting in front of you. ¬†iPad Mini doesn’t seem to be a popular option around these parts — we gathered that from the responses you see on this article from yesterday. But considering most of us compute on Windows machines we’re aware it’s possible that there’s not really any animosity toward Microsoft or disdain for its products. Maybe a little, but nowhere near the reaction anything with a half-bitten apple will garner.

Then there’s good old Android, and as such it’s imperative to remember that there are fine options to be had on either side of the pricing pole. Will the 7 inch wonders known as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire make you gravitate toward them or does something like a Galaxy Note 10.1 or an ASUS Pad Infinity fit your bill more effectively?

Think about the technological orgy for the holiday season we’ve just discussed above, and transfer those thoughts into a quick poll selection below. Be sure to let us know what you think about this triple threat of tablet devices and who you’ve decided to send your dollars to (and for whatever reason) in the comments section below! [via WinSource, iSource]

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  • harold

    I say $349 for the icrap mini

    • Victois Segunchoux

      the ipad is not crap, you may not like apple. but if they announce an ipad mini at a price range of 275 to 350. its gonna sell. and its going to sell well. there are large groups of people out there who don’t care who makes what. tech junkies who like gadgets period. and at that price range their gonna opt apple over android. I guarantee it. I love android. my first smart phone was the g1. since that time I’ve owned lots of different android smart phones. I’ve also owned an iphone. 4s to be exact. and a cheap ipad is the worst thing that can happen to android. mark my words. 7 out of 10 shoppers in the market for a tablet this holiday season why choose it over android tabs. unless google does in fact compete by selling the nexus 7 for less. or offers more storage for the same price

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    I hear developing for Windows 8 RT is as painful as with iOS. That will make for a limited app market for the first few years. I’d rather stick with Android, such as the upcoming Nexus 10.

    • DavidVarghese

      Microsoft Office is a big plus with the Surface… If Microsoft sells a comparable Office app on Google Play, there’s no doubt that Android tablets will be in the lead

  • RedColoredGlasses

    i have the 16 GB Nexus 7 and am waiting for the 32GB version at which time I will give my wife my Nexus and take the 32GB for myself.

    The Nexus 7 is the most amazing tablet. I went to it after being somewhat frustrated with the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since tablets are still just consumption devices, the size and price are perfect for what I use the tablet for. Reading, surfing the internet, light gaming, reading twitter and facebook, are what I use my tablet for.

  • Marsg

    If im going to buy a windows 8 tab, i might get the windows 8 pro, the RT doesn’t have nearly as many apps in the market as Android or iOS, and if the only reason to buy one is because its compatible with pc’s then its not a good reason at all since Android is cross platform and compatible with everything lol, not to mention windows RT is less customizable then iOS. considering all that + the 500 dollar price tag minus the keyboard mat. not very appealing.

  • Montisaquadeis

    Mircosoft basically priced themselves right our of the market and people like asus will come swooping in with cheaper tablets and hopefully they make a transformer line of windows tablets since having a keyboard with windows 8 is a good thing.

  • ColtonKaiser

    As much as I love my Nexus 7, I will be buying the iPad mini if it sells for under $300

    • molomolo

      What an isheep … (
      don’t have any idea what ipad mini will be, what specs and features, if you will need it at all – but ‘I want it’.

      Well done, Apple

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

        So, he’s the sheep because he wants to try a product that isn’t Android? Oh, the irony. Honestly, the amount of fanboyism on this site is ridiculous. Let people buy the products that interest them. There’s nothing wrong with the iPad, and if it’s priced competitively there’s no reason not to give it a try.

        • ari_free

          Without knowing what it will be like? Yes. That’s a sheep.

          • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

            Is there really any question to what it will be? It’s an iPad, but smaller. The flipside is all these people saying they want a Nexus 10, and you guys coming along saying, “Ah, but you don’t really know what it’ll be, you’re such a phandroid!”

            The details might not be all there, but we all know ‘essentially’ what a Nexus 10 or iPad mini will be.

      • setspeed

        The features of iOS6 are known. The mammouth amount of very good, tablet-specific apps is a huge draw to the iPad in my opinion. In fact, if I were in the market for a tablet, then the iPad (10″) would definitely be in the running for me.
        As for specs – well we all know that Apple can and does a lot to optimise their OS performance on lower spec hardware. For a pure media consumption device, it’s hard to beat an iPad. If you want to start messing around customising, tweaking or using it as a real computer then no, it’s not so great. But I’ve already got a laptop and an Android phone for that. I don’t need a third device, but if I bought one then I don’t think I’d mind having a few restrictions, given the benefits it offers. It would never leave my house though. I’d NEVER consider an Apple phone – when I’m out and about, I need the power and flexibility that Android gives me.

        • ari_free

          Those tablet apps may not be optimized for a smaller screen. ios doesn’t handle variable screen sizes very well.

          • setspeed

            And I’ll counter your “May not be optimised” with “iOS devs are encouraged and rewarded for optimising their apps quickly”.
            Any way you slice it, the mini iPad WILL have loads more screen-size optimised apps than Android – probably on launch, but definitely within a few weeks.

        • johnnyboy5520

          Right now, there are very few apps the iPad has that Android can’t match or doesn’t have an alternative for. Email ? Android wins IMO. Mail on all iDevices have been painfully featureless. Browser? Another win for Android. Safari is a poor excuse for a browser. Games? Don’t care, I have my PC for that and the ones available on Android are good enough time killers on the go. Office? There’s an Android app for that. Nope, I don’t buy into the iPad hype.

          As for the Surface? I’m liking it and will definitely check it out. The hybrid aspect of it is what really attracts me. Also that fact that it will have counterpart apps to what’s on Windows is very interesting.

  • G. Andrew M. Blackburn

    The R/T is still just a media consumption device or a toy. The Surface Pro is what I am mostly interested in. I have my Nexus 7 for fooling around with and use as an E-Reader, don’t see a need for the windows version of that. But throw in an X86 workhorse and then you would have a true laptop replacement that can still be used as an e-reader/media consumption device

    • molomolo

      The same here. But Win8 pro version of table is too expensive now – e.g. samsung $1,200.
      http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/tablet-pcs/XE700T1C-A01US

      Hope third part vendors reduce the prices.

      • G. Andrew M. Blackburn

        yeah, I was hoping the Pro tablet would start around $799

    • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

      You do realize they’ll be building RT apps

      • G. Andrew M. Blackburn

        True, but I would rather have my legacy X86 apps work rather than having to repurchase them for an ARM device.

      • ari_free

        Yeah but Windows without Windows apps is sort of missing the point. Worse, it creates confusion

  • Tojen1981

    Call me crazy, but I think if I go any direction other than android, it could be bb10. Just wish they would put out some definitives regarding hardware offerings. Plus playbooks are dirt cheap right now. Also, the whole “og atrix stuck on gb” fiasco has left me somewhat bitter toward Google/motorola.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregjlamb Greg Lamb

    Ummm, isnt the surface RT a 10inch tablet? Why compare the price with 7inch devices with half the memory?

    • molomolo

      Good point – because here – android fans and they would rather put the competitors down with unfair competitions.

      • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

        untrue. Most of the time comparisons happen that way. In such a small playing field as tablets are, it doesn’t take a derp to understand you have to compare what’s available.

  • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

    The Windows 8 Pro tablet will be the right device for me, when it is released. Until then I’ll be happy with my Galaxy Tab 10.1.

  • Brettm2277

    For me, there is no android tablet worth buying right now. I’d prefer to go with a 10 inch tablet, so that eliminates the nexus 7. I’ve owned both the transformer prime and the infinity, and I couldn’t stand the wifi issues of the prime and the lag of the infinity, even on jelly bean. And there’s no other android OEM that supports their tablet as well as Asus. I’m using my brother’s ipad 2 in the mean time until I find myself a new tablet, and I absolutely hate iOS. Windows 8 looks to be my best bet, though I’m wary of the lack of apps for the RT and the price. I think right now it’s best to hold off until the prices of windows 8 pro tablets come down.

  • Raveesh Bhalla

    honestly, extremely disappointed with Surface. People were talking about MS pricing the Surface really low to compete with the Nexus 7/Kindle Fire. My tablet usage has decreased substantially and I was hoping for a quality Win8 Pro tablet/laptop device which could handle real software like Photoshop/Illustrator and can be used to develop on. Starting at $500 with the RT ones, I’m guessing what I described is going to be pretty expensive, meaning I’d probably go with a Nexus 7 and a separate laptop. Not that I’d regret it in the slightest, but I was really hoping MS would do a good job with Win8.

  • DavidVarghese

    There’s no doubt that the Microsoft Surface will be successful, because it can run full WIndows 8 and the programs off the bat… Businesses will fly right to it because it’s portable, and it does what ever a Windows 8 laptop does (business-wise)..

    The iPad mini: it’s a flop… to be in the $300 range is a mistake by Apple.. only isheeps would be drawn to this thing… Apple just wants to join the “band-wagon” in the successfull 7-inch tablet market, and they will have some stiff competition, especially from Android manufacturers

    Android tablets will continue to be successful because of the availability of cheap tablets running excellent specs.

    • setspeed

      Right. The company that has dominated the tablet sector since entering, and has so far ignored the smaller, cheaper market it is going to flop when releasing a smaller, cheaper version. I don’t know what it is you’re smoking but I’d like some!

      • ari_free

        Apple doesn’t have Steve Jobs anymore.

  • YellowSnow

    Yes, I’m an Android fan but I think the competition from MS is good. I may actually end up going in that direction especially the pro version. I’ve been saying for a long time now that there just isn’t anything on the market worth giving up my Motorola Xoom for. Well, maybe that will change next week.

  • Unorthodox

    I’ll be getting a new tablet this holiday season, and it’s going to be Android. Either pure Asus or Nexus.

  • Micha Ols

    PadFone2 for me. The other gadgets are not nearly as interesting for me.

  • DanWazz

    The only non-android tablet I’d consider is the Surface Pro, but that would be an option to address my need for a new laptop, not tablet.

  • montgoss

    I dropped Microsoft before I dropped Apple. Not seeing anything here that would compel me to pick either back up…