The new Surface tablet from Microsoft – which is expected to be available to buy online in the UK from 26th October – is reported to have already generated strong pre-orders.

Demand in the US for the tablet, which uses Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform, is in fact said to have already outstripped supply of the lowest-priced version of the tablet. All models, however, are said to be still available to pre-order in the UK.

According to reports, the 32GB model will retail in the UK at £399 – with a cover for the touch keyboard costing an additional £99 and a cover for a standard keyboard costing £109.

A version including a black – rather than white or Cyan – touch cover is understood to be priced at £479.

Meanwhile, a 64GB model will also be available at a price, including touch cover, of £559.

The price ranges are generally on a par with rival tablets currently on the market.

Other reports meanwhile speculate that between three and five million Surface devices are being manufactured for the tablet’s initial global distribution.

The tablet will also be made available at the same time as the UK launch in Australia, Germany, France, Canada, China, and Hong Kong – and financial group Morgan Stanley has predicted that up to three million of the tablets will have been purchased worldwide by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, in a move likely to further boost pre-Christmas tablet sales, speculation is rife that Apple – which currently dominates the global tablet market – will also be launching an iPad Mini tablet.