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Surface Pro is advertised as a laptop but sold as a tablet

Published May 24th, 2017 6:50AM EDT
Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Laptop or Tablet
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a new laptop, just as we expected. The company calls it simply the Surface Pro, as there’s no need for numbers to identify this particular piece of hardware anymore. That’s not the only thing that changed when it comes to marketing. The Surface Pro is no longer a tablet. Instead, it’s “the most versatile laptop.” Microsoft calls it that in the first promo for the Surface Pro. It refers to it as a laptop in its official announcement and on the product’s store page.

The only problem is that Microsoft sells this laptop as a tablet on its website.

As late as of August 2016, Microsoft was still comparing the Surface Pro to the iPad Pro in TV commercials. But in the weeks that followed, Microsoft came out with anti-MacBook Surface Pro 4 ads that seemed to single a change in marketing for the laptop/tablet convertible.

Fast forward to 2017, and that change is complete. We now have “the most versatile laptop” in stores.

Pricing for the Surface Pro starts at $799.99, and that’s a great deal for a powerful Windows 10 laptop for creators. But that price is a bit misleading. For $799.99 you only get the tablet experience. The keyboard isn’t included in the offer. Neither is the Surface Pen. The stylus isn’t needed to turn the Surface Pro into a laptop, but the keyboard is.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Microsoft selling the new Type Cover separately — it costs $129, by the way. But the way Microsoft constructs its Surface Pro story seems to imply that the most versatile laptop will include the keyboard part as well in that $799.99 price tag, or the part that turns it into a laptop.

Why not advertise the Surface Pro’s starting price as $929 if you’re selling it as a laptop? It’s still an affordable option considering that it’s supposed to compete against Apple’s MacBooks.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.