Microsoft Surface TabletMicrosoft's ready to take pre-orders for its Surface and, perhaps more importantly, announced pricing for the Windows 8 RT  versions. Coincidentally I'm sure, Apple sent invitations yesterday to an event that's speculated to include the iPad Mini's unveiling.

Surface Orders

Since in the short term only the RT Surface will be available, I'm betting that at least pricing for the Windows Pro version will be revealed at the Windows 8 release on October 26. In terms of pre-ordering, you've got three options:
  • The 32GB Surface without a Touch Cover for $499.
  • A 32GB version with the Touch Cover for $599.
  • A 64GB tablet with the Touch Cover for $699.
Although it's $100 less than the cheapest version of Apple's iPad, the basic Surface boasts twice the memory and a bigger display (but with lower pixel density). The 32 GB with Black Touch Cover adds the sleek, beautiful keyboard. The gamble for early customers is that they'll buy before Apple's new tablets are unveiled on October 23.


Meanwhile, in Cupertino...

Yesterday Apple sent out invitations for what appears to be the iPad Mini's debut, three days before Windows 8's release. The invitation's hint: "We've got a little more to show you." With a price rumored to be in the $300 range, the Mini's expected to feature a retina display, 4G LTE and an impressive  processor, probably the A5x or A6. But despite plenty of "leaked" mock-up pictures, only Apple knows what it looks like.

Apple iPad Mini Invitation