Microsoft trims Surface Pro 2 prices ahead of Surface Pro 3 availability

Microsoft trims Surface Pro 2 prices ahead of Surface Pro 3 availability

Summary: Microsoft is trimming between $100 and $200 off the price of its second-generation, Intel-based Surface Pro 2 tablets just ahead of availability of its Surface Pro 3.

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Microsoft has trimmed the prices of its second-generation, Intel-based Surface Pro 2 tablets just ahead of the beginning of delivery of its Surface Pro 3.

surface2cuts

Microsoft cut prices on some of its Surface Pro 2 models sold in the U.S. by $100 each and others by $200. The 64 GB, Core i5-based Surface Pro 2 is now $799 instead of $899; the highest end 512 GB model is now $1,599 instead of $1,799. Microsoft cut Surface Pro 2 prices in the UK in late May, and also seems to be cutting ARM-based Surface 2 prices in France, among other countries. (Thanks to @andreabarbera for the tip on France.)

There are two models of the Core i5-based Surface Pro 3: A 128 GB one for $999 and a 256 GB one for $1,299. Those prices include a pen, but not a cover/keyboard. The Core i3 and i7 models of the Surface Pro 3 aren't due out until later in August.

Some customers who preordered the i5 version of the Surface Pro 3 tweeted on June 17 that they've been notified their devices have shipped. When Microsoft made the Surface Pro 3 devices available for preorder here in the U.S., the ship date was listed as June 20. June 20 is also the date when the i5-based Surface Pro 3 devices will be available at retail, Microsoft officials have said.

Microsoft has had problems keeping its previously released Surfaces and some of the associated peripherals in stock. It's not clear if that's due to high demand or insufficient supply; my bet (given Microsoft's Surface RT write-down) would be the latter. It looks like supply may be an issue for Surface Pro 3, as well, given Microsoft has moved back the ship date for the 128 GB model of the Surface Pro 3 to June 30 (from June 20). The 265 GB model of Surface Pro 3 still is marked as shipping on June 20 on the Microsoft online store site.

During the company's introduction of the Surface Pro 3 on May 20 in New York City, Surface chief Panos Panay acknowledged that Microsoft is planning to stop making and gradually phase out its Surface Pro 2 devices. The company has no current plans to phase out its ARM-based Surface 2 devices, Panay said. 

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Tablets, Microsoft Surface

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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22 comments
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  • Not Enough

    Appreciate Microsoft starting the fire sale of old inventory, but I just can't see even $200 making people skip the Surface Pro 3 given the thinness, weight, superior screen, and vastly superior kickstand it offers over the Surface Pro 2.
    dksmidtx
    • Not everyone wants bigger

      I'm actually surprised that they're discontinuing the Surface 2 in favor of the 3. I'd have thought they'd offer both, make them fairly feature comparable, and let people choose the smaller one if that's what fits their needs.
      dbnick
      • Agreed

        While I do like a few of the features of the Pro 3 (thinner, lighter, fully adjustable kickstand), overall, I think the screen size of my Pro 2 is pretty much perfect. I hope for a Surface Pro 4, Microsoft either reduces the bezels to fit the larger screen in relatively the same overall dimensions as the Pro 2, or releases it in 2 versions - ~10 inch and ~12 inch.

        I'm glad Microsoft is continuing to improve the Surface line, but I have no regrets for buying the Pro earlier this year. It's hands down the best portable system I've owned, and it'll serve my needs for a long time.
        PC987
      • Obviously not like Windows Phone

        not enough people bought a Pro 2. :|
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Lowered Surface Pro 2 Prices throws up a question....

    As in was the original price inflated ?
    5735guy
    • No, this is more likely

      an attempt to clear out inventory with a minimal loss. It's better to only have to write off $100 and sell the inventory than write off $500 and trash the inventory.
      baggins_z
    • Sounds a lot like what Apple.

      Ask yourself, were their original price inflated?
      ForeverCookie
      • Apple's products, I mean.

        ForeverCookie
  • Still expensive

    Still expensive. Microsoft need to match dell or Lenovo price.
    Surface also thick. Meanwhile apple and Samsung releasing thin tablet
    Utomo Prawiro
    • Pretty ignorant

      No, compared to other comparably equipped ultra-mobile systems, it's right in-line, if not slightly cheaper.

      No, Microsoft does not need to match Dell or Lenovo... that's what Dell and Lenovo are for. The Surface are high spec systems with extremely high build quality, and priced accordingly.

      And no, the Surface tablets aren't "thick". 13mm (and just 9mm for the Pro 3) isn't thick for a full i5 based PC with integrated touch and stylus screen.

      Microsoft is building a fully featured, powerful PC in tablet form, meanwhile, Apple and Samsung are building glorified smartphones. So what if they're marginally thinner, they're capable of so much less. A piece of paper is thinner than an iPad, does that automatically make it a better computing device? By your suggestion, it does.
      PC987
      • the problem is - terms like "better" and "Best" are completely subjective

        when taken alone. Sure, no one thinks a bag of dog sh*t is "best" but once you get to a point of "ok, these are all relatively good", it becomes - what is the best tool for the job, so to speak. There you have a measure of "best" - being the best tool for the job.
        The surface is not an ideal tool for the average consumer. Stop saying that android based tablets or iPads are "glorified smartphones" or useless toys that don't have the "power of windows." (disclaimer, I think tablets are quite unnecessary gadgets anyway).
        You are telling me that on the weekend I need to drive around my town in my 18 wheeler that I use for my job, because a car is "a toy" compared with the mack truck. The mack truck is windows pro, in this case, if you didn't get the analogy.
        drwong
        • False analogy, and your criticism is totally misplaced.

          Don't be absurd. Using an 18 wheeler for weekend tasks better suited to a Civic would entail enormous, if not absolutely prohibitive, trade offs in virtually every possible way. Using a Surface Pro for iPad tasks entails carrying an extra 8 ounces.

          As for your issue with subjective terms like better or best, your criticism is more appropriate for person I was responding to. He/She was the one suggesting that the thinness of iPad/Android tablets somehow makes them superior to the "thick" Surface. As you yourself said, it depends on the task at hand, which is precisely why I posed the question of is a piece of paper a better computing device because of it's thinness.

          If an iPad handles what you need to do, great, then it's the right device for you. But by itself, the thinness of it is meaningless. And they (iPad/Android tablets) *ARE* glorified smartphones. They run the same OS, the same processors, have the same, or nearly the same amount of memory. With very few exceptions, they're simply enlarged smartphones.
          PC987
          • I don't entirely disagree

            But we can say surface 3 is a glorified $300 laptop, if you want to keep the processing power, let's inflate the price to $600.
            The reality is that we are talking about computing devices and in the limit they all are capable of similar things when there is equivalent software. Sometimes the tablet or even smartphone is more convenient, sometimes a traditional laptop is more convenient.
            Is a bit annoying that many - including Microsoft - keep repeating the "do more" mantra and rarely mention the "do better" - there are plenty of things tablets do better - I've gave many examples before.
            While a traditional PC can eventually do more, that's just because there are (yet) no software for tablets - and again convenience changes between devices types.
            AleMartin
          • And I don't disagree either ;)

            You could make the argument that a Surface is a glorified $600 notebook, but you'd have to admit there's a greater difference than between an iPhone and an iPad. $600 notebooks rarely have full HD touch screens, Wacom pen input and are constructed from anything but plastic.

            But I think this misses the point I was responding to - that of the supposed superiority of the thinness of iPads and Android tablets - of course they can be thin, because they literally are just enlarged smartphones.

            Regarding "doing more" as opposed to "doing better", there's no reason you should find it annoying unless you refuse to accept that there *are* people who *do* desire more capabilities than a smartphone-based tablet. Do SUV commercials annoy you when they highlight the broad capabilities of the vehicle while ignoring that more focused vehicles exist that might handle specific tasks better? Focused tablet devices are plentiful, you essentially have your pick. On the contrary, full, near desktop-class PCs, wrapped in tablet form factor are quite rare, and the people who desire them are the ones Microsoft is targeting the Surface to. There's no reason a different device for a different market segment should be at all annoying to you.

            Finally, there's significantly more to the limited capabilities of smartphone-based tablets than software alone. While their processors might indeed possess 2, 4 or more cores, they are worlds apart from notebook/desktop processors in terms of actual computing power.

            I'm not arguing that tablets can't or won't eventually handle many of the basic tasks one performs on a traditional PC, but consider this: How much ground needs to be covered for each device (smartphone-based tablet vs. PC-based tablet/laptop) to provide the features that set the other apart?

            For a smartphone-based tablet, you'd need a significant amount of OS development to match the services and capabilities desktop OSs provide, you'd need to orders of magnitude more power from the processors, and you'd need an additional input method to handle tasks that require precision input.

            For a Surface Pro, for example, it would need a little more refinement to the Modern UI to match the ease of use of smartphone OSs and if the trajectory between the Pro 2 and Pro 3 continues, it would need one more generation of miniaturization to match the weight and thinness of the typical iPad or Android tablet.

            Of these two, which do you think is more likely to happen first?
            PC987
      • glorified smartphones - exactly what consumers want

        "Microsoft is building a fully featured, powerful PC in tablet form, meanwhile, Apple and Samsung are building glorified smartphones"

        And decades later, the PC centric companies (including now Microsoft with the Surface) are still failing to sell this flawed idea to the consumers. That what they really need is a fully featured Windows, powerful PC shrunken down in a tablet form factor. What consumers are showing they want is the opposite of that. They at looking for a 'device' build around consumption first which would make that "glorified smart phone" perfectly ideal for their use case.
        dave95.
        • Who is this consumer you're referring to?

          "...are still failing to sell this flawed idea to the consumers"

          Who this "the consumer" you're referring to. You seem to be suggesting there's only one type, and they universally want the exact same device. I think what you're really saying is this:

          "I have no technological needs beyond entertainment, and my arrogance prevents me from understanding that anyone could exist with greater technological needs than myself, so any device which purports to offer additional capabilities is superfluous and needs to be criticized"

          "That what they really need is a fully featured Windows, powerful PC shrunken down in a tablet form factor."

          This is funny, because it describes precisely what I, and apparently enough to support the Surface's continued development, desired.

          I'm not bashing glorified smartphones - they *are* perfect for the limited tasks they excel at accomplishing. But I *am* going to point out their limitations when people insist on suggesting that they are universally superior to PC-based devices. It all depends on the task at hand.

          There's a vibrant market for smartphone-based tablets - people who's needs they serve have ample choice in devices. Please allow those of us who need/want more capabilities to have a device that serves *our* needs.
          PC987
          • Who is this consumer you're referring to?

            Referring to a large enough customer base to make such an idea or "vision" successful (finally). Because these glorified smart phones are probably outselling Windows Tablet PCs 10-1.

            I don't know anyone who is claiming iPads (or any tablet) etc are universally superior to PCs. They are indeed best suited for certain tasks just as PCs are likewise best suited for certain tasks.

            You can make whatever choice in hardware you want, I use my trusted 16" screen Windows laptop for all my productivity (and technical) needs and my iPad for leisure/consumption.
            dave95.
          • Ok...

            "Referring to a large enough customer base to make such an idea or "vision" successful"

            But does successful necessarily mean selling 10x more devices than Microsoft currently is? Does the comparatively limited sales of Google's Nexus phones mean they haven't been successful? In both cases, no, because mass-market appeal isn't the only focus of the device. Both serve as reference devices that highlight the purest vision of the platform. There's no doubt the high specs, build quality and price of the Surface line is precisely intended to leave room for Microsoft's OEM partners to come in with more affordable systems.

            My issue with most of the criticism of the Surface line is that people want it to be what *they* want. People who want a notebook, want the Surface to be a notebook, despite already having literally hundreds of notebooks, covering every conceivable combination of features and prices, to choose from. On the other hand, people who want a simple tablet want the Surface to be a simple tablet, again despite already having dozens of tablets specifically designed for their needs to choose from.

            Because notebook and tablet users don't specifically want a hybrid device, they both claim there's no market for one. And yet, Microsoft has now produced 3 generations of a high-spec, hybrid system, and they quickly go out of stock as soon as they're available.

            All indications are that the Surface *does* have a large enough customer base to make the vision successful. Just because *you* don't share the vision, and just because they might not sell in the same quantity as some other device, doesn't mean no market exists or that it can't still be successful even with comparatively fewer sales.

            Additionally, the growing number of Windows 8 tablets/hybrids from their OEM partners suggests the Surface is doing precisely what it was intended to do - highlight the viability of Windows as both a tablet AND a desktop OS.
            PC987
  • Yoga Pro 2

    One can buy the same processor, memory, and ssd with a better touch screen than the Surface 3 for $1099. and since it includes a keyboard, it is $300 cheaper!

    Why would one buy an older, heavier, smaller device for more?
    TomMariner
    • Not quite

      Nearly twice as heavy, nearly twice as thick, made of plastic as opposed to magnesium, poorer battery life and a non detachable keyboard means no full tablet mode.

      I'd happily spend the extra $300 for the Surface.
      PC987