Microsoft has remained silent about the price of its forthcoming Surface tablet, but the company’s CEO Steve Ballmer did recently discuss a price range for the new device.

“If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 [and] $700 or $800. … That’s the sweet spot,” Ballmer told the Seattle Times in an interview yesterday.

Previously, there were rumors speculating that the Surface Tablet would retail between $600 and $1,000 for the two different versions. But neither option comes with a built-in 3G/4G wireless connection feature, which Apple uses to justify a higher price for its line of iPads. Even at $800, the Surface will have to offer a pretty amazing experience for consumers to justify buying one.

Ballmer did however dispel the notion that Microsoft would offer a sub $200 tablet, while eating some of the hardware cost in exchange for generating revenue through apps and digital media sales. Ballmer compared the company’s logic for this by saying that he doesn’t think most people believe the iPad to be an expensive device and that any tablet that costs less than an iPad is “chintzier” or cheaper.

Comparing a yet-to-be-released device to the iPad is a pretty bold move for a company that’s never produced its own tablets before. Still, we know that Ballmer is serious about targeting Apple’s iPad rather than the less expensive Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 products.

Photo by James Pikover/VentureBeat

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