Microsoft’s Surface RT now available in Ireland

14 Feb 2013

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Microsoft’s first tablet offering, the Surface RT, is now available in an additional 13 countries, including Ireland. The device runs on Windows RT, while US consumers are now getting to grips with the Windows Pro version.

As well as Ireland, the Surface RT is now available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The Windows RT model is less expensive than the Surface Pro, released in the US last week, with prices starting at €479 for a stand-alone device or €579 with a Touch Cover included. This cover clicks into the Surface to connect it with a slim, spill-resistant keyboard.

The tablet can be bought directly from Microsoft via its online store, or from selected PC World and Currys stores and on PCWorld.ie. Some devices will be on display in the bricks-and-mortar stores for customers to have a go of the Windows RT experience before they make the investment.

There are two storage options for the Surface RT: 32GB or 64GB. However, because the pre-installed system software requires so much space, what users are really getting in terms of usable storage is 16GB or 45GB, respectively. This guide to Surface storage helps to explain the discrepancy. On the plus side of the storage issue, you are getting a device preloaded with apps and software for Xbox, Skype and SkyDrive, as well as Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview (with a full version to follow via a Windows Update when available).

Available in a variety of vibrant colours and cased in light and durable VaporMg, the Surface RT comes with an integrated kickstand, 10.6-inch ClearType HD widescreen display, full-sized USB port, micro-SDXC card slot, and two 720p HD cameras housed in the front and the rear. It’s powered by an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor and comes with 2GB RAM and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com