Staples slashes Microsoft Surface RT price to $349

Staples is apparently trying to get rid of Surface RT inventory, as the retailer will start selling the 32GB Microsoft tablet for $349 beginning July 14.

Microsoft took everyone by surprise when it entered the hardware business with its own-brand Surface RT and Surface Pro. The tablets are well-designed with their Vapor Mg case and come complete with a back kickstand to prop up the devices for great viewing angles. The slates also work with covers that serve double duty, offering both protection and keyboard input.

The devices appear almost identical in design, but on the inside they are two completely different tablets. The Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Professional and works with all Windows desktop applications that millions of people are already familiar with. The Surface RT, on the other hand, runs a version of Windows that looks like Windows 8 but doesn't act like it. It can only run applications that are downloaded from the Windows Store and not the desktop applications consumers expect.

Rumor has it that Microsoft faced many returns of the Surface RT model because consumers were confused by the device's limitations. The company has tried to do a better job in educating consumers on the differences between the models, but it appears it didn't have much success. Microsoft still hasn't released a figure for the amount of Surface tablets it managed to sell.

Staples is cutting the price of the 32GB Surface RT from $499 to $349 beginning on July 14, according to the retailer's website, in an effort to make the tablet more attractive to potential buyers.

The Surface RT features a 10.6-inch 1366 X 768 ClearType HD Display, runs Windows RT and includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT. The tablet is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, includes 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, 720p HD LifeCam rear- and front-facing cameras, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, full size USB 2.0 port, a microSDXC expansion slot, HD video out port, and a 31.5Wh battery.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Staples' new offer will attract more buyers for the ill-fated Surface RT tablet.

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