Microsoft’s Surface Pro is a pretty incredible machine. When we reviewed the Surface Pro early last year, we said it was very fast, surprisingly smooth, and that it featured a gorgeous design. We also said it was priced very fairly at $899, which was perfectly in line with Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air once you added on the cost of a Type Cover. If the Surface Pro was a fair deal at $899, it’s an absolute steal at $499. A BGR reader alerted us to a Best Buy sale taking place right now, and it offers Microsoft’s 128GB Surface Pro convertible tablet for $400 off its original launch price. The specs are a bit old and a newer Surface Pro 2 is now available, but a beautiful and capable 2-pound machine with a full HD display, a stylus with Wacom tech, and a case that’s just 0.5 inches thick is a steal at $499. The sale price is only good through the end of the day on Saturday, so those interested in the sleek slate should act fast.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro is easily one of the most exciting and unique Windows computers that has ever been created, but unfortunately the device’s sleek design and novel keyboard accessories haven’t translated into big sales. Microsoft took a charge of nearly $1 billion last fiscal year related to unsold Surface RT and Surface Pro inventory, and it dropped each device’s price as well. Now, Microsoft has slashed the Surface Pro’s price again by another $100 as it looks to attract buyers and clear inventory following the Surface Pro 2’s recent debut. Microsoft’s Pro tablet now starts at $699 with 64GB of storage and the 128GB model is available for $799. Interestingly, those prices now align perfectly with Apple’s 64GB and 128GB iPad tablets. The two Surface Pro models were originally priced at $899 and $999 respectively when they first debuted.
In a not-so-surprising development, Microsoft has decided to permanently lower the price of its Surface Pro tablet. Engadget points out that Microsoft is locking in the $100 price cut that it made to the Surface Pro earlier this month and will now sell the tablet at $800 for its 64GB model and $900 for its 128GB model. Microsoft says that it’s slashing the Surface Pro price to get it into the hands of more people since “people who buy Surface love Surface.” Microsoft similarly lopped off $150 from the price of its Surface RT tablet last month just before the company announced that it had to take a $900 million write-down on the device, so it makes sense that the company is following suit with a Surface Pro price cut.
Since Microsoft has reportedly been having more luck selling the Surface RT after its deep price cut, the company probably figured it would try its luck by enacting a smaller price cut on the Surface Pro. The Verge reports that Microsoft has cut $100 off the price of both the 64GB and 128GB Surface Pro models, a move that Microsoft says is in response to the “great worldwide success with Surface RT pricing and keyboard-cover promotions over the past several months.” Microsoft originally lopped off $150 from the price of its Surface RT tablet last month just before the company announced that it had to take a $900 million write-down on the device, so it seems that Surface Pro sales might be a little more in line with the company’s expectations compared with the Surface RT.
Microsoft has been accused of being misleading regarding the way it has advertised the internal storage in its Surface tablets. The 64GB Surface Pro model ships with only 23GB of useable space, while the 128GB model has just 83GB of available storage. Microsoft’s bloated operating system contains a number of preloaded applications and programs that take up more than 40GB of space, and consumers are filling up their devices quicker than anticipated. It would appear the company is ready to address its critics, however. More →
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets will be heading to additional markets in the coming weeks. The Surface RT will arrive in Malaysia on April 25th, Mexico by the end of May, and in South Korea and Thailand in June. The Surface Pro will launch “before the end of May” in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It will also launch in South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand “before the end of June.” The expanded availability will bring Microsoft’s Windows RT tablet to a total of 29 markets in time for the summer months, and its Windows 8 slate to 27 markets. The company has also vowed to increase production of the 128GB Surface Pro model to ensure the high-capacity slate remains in stock.
Cumulative sales of Microsoft’s (MSFT) first two tablet models have failed to meet expectations, according to a new report. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Bloomberg on Thursday evening reported that sales of Microsoft’s Windows RT-powered Surface tablet have reached just above 1 million units to date. According to the same sources, Microsoft ordered about 3 million Surface slates from its manufacturing partners. Sales of the newer Surface Pro model have totalled about 400,000 thus far, the report claimed. The numbers seem fairly in line with earlier estimates that suggested Microsoft would sell fewer than 1 million tablets in the fourth quarter last year.
iFixit on Thursday published a list of the best and worst tablets based on their respective repairability scores. While no slate scored a perfect 10, the company found that the Dell (DELL) XPS 10 was the easiest tablet to repair thanks to its accessible case, color-coded screws and labeled cables. At the bottom of the list was Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface Pro and Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and iPad mini. The Surface Pro scored a 1 out of 10 and was said to be difficult to open without shearing the display cables, while the iPad scored a 2 out of 10 for its excessive amounts of adhesive. The Surface RT didn’t fare much better and scored a mere 4 out of 10, compared to Android tablets such as the Nexus 7, which scored a 7 out of 10, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which garnered at score of 8 out of 10.
Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday announced that it will be expanding the availability of its Surface RT tablet to six new markets in the coming weeks. The company’s Windows RT-powered slate will be shipping to Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan beginning in late March. Microsoft also promised to bring the Windows 8-powered Surface Pro to Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom “in the coming months.”
Questions surrounding the success or failure of Microsoft’s (MSFT) debut tablet lineup continue to swirl, but the company has made it very clear at this point that it has no plans to release any numbers. Microsoft executives have repeatedly avoided sharing any hard data surrounding the Surface tablet’s performance, and no indication was given on the company’s recent earnings call despite recurring rumors that the first Surface slate flopped. Now, MIT’s Technology Review blog interviewed CEO Steve Ballmer and still couldn’t manage to get anything out of the outspoken executive with regard to Surface sales. More →
After reviewing Microsoft’s Surface tablet last October, I came back a month later and revisited the slate after spending a more substantial amount of time with it. My conclusion was very much the same — I love the Surface hardware but some of the tablet’s software issues are hard to overlook — but I added an important note: the Surface was a good tablet, but it felt like an appetizer. What I really wanted was the main course. More →
iFixit tags Surface Pro as a total nightmare to repair: ‘You risk killing your tablet by trying to open it’
If you accidentally drop your Surface Pro while breakdancing with it, you probably shouldn’t try to open it up to repair it yourself. The repair gurus at iFixit have found that the Surface Pro is one of the least repairable devices they’ve ever encountered, with a whopping 90 screws to untangle and a case construction that makes it nearly impossible to open your tablet without irreparably harming it. In fact, iFixit says that “unless you perform the opening procedure 100% correctly, chances are you’ll shear one of the four cables surrounding the display perimeter,” which means that “you risk killing your tablet by trying to open it.” More →