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Microsoft drops the price of the original Surface to $199 for Black Friday

If you’re in the market for one of Microsoft’s original Surface slabs — the tablets that only run the new Start screen apps, with no legacy desktop application support — there’s never been a more affordable time to pick one up. In its Black Friday sale, Microsoft has dropped the price of a 32GB Surface to $199, down $150 from its previous level.

You’ll have to be quick, though — the deal ends on Monday December 2nd. The 64GB version of the slab previously known as the Surface RT has had $50 knocked off its price, so you can now pick one up for $399. Thankfully, these deals are online-only, which saves you having to brave the local stores.

The stripped-down, lower-powered Surface hasn’t quite taken off in the way Microsoft would have hoped, and the price was previously cut by $150 back in July. That seems to have encouraged a pickup in sales, though the Surface Pro (with full desktop functionality) looks to be faring rather better. This is mostly speculation: Microsoft itself hasn’t released any official sales figures for either device.

Of course, both the Surface and the Surface Pro have now been replaced by the second-generation models. This latest price cut on the original tablet is likely to be designed to clear out any remaining stock that Microsoft has lying around.

Despite the aging hardware, you might consider the Surface to be a worthy investment at its new budget price, particularly if you’re a fan of the new Windows 8 ecosystem. The tablet is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 CPU and 2GB of RAM, offering a 10.6-inch screen running at 1366 x 768 pixels. The Surface 2, in comparison, uses a 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 4 chip and boasts a 1920 x 1080 resolution screen in the same 10.6-inch space. The 32GB Surface 2 is currently retailing for $449 on the Microsoft site.