Surface 2 tablets price slash

Surface 2 tablets price slash

Summary: The entry-level Surface 2 is now $349, making it cheaper than Apple's iPad mini.

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Surface 2
(Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft has slashed $100 off the price of its Surface 2 tablet lineup, making the Windows RT-powered devices cheaper than ever.

According to Microsoft, the new pricing is good from August 24 to September 27, or "while supplies last," which may either suggest that Microsoft is clearing channels ahead of a new release – which some have rumored might be unveiled at the end of September – or is simply getting ready to discontinue the Windows RT tablet lineup altogether.

Microsoft has three Surface 2 tablets currently on offer, and the with the price cuts they are as follows:

  • Surface 2 32GB wi-fi only: $349
  • Surface 2 64GB wi-fi only: $449
  • Surface 2 64GB LTE only: $579

The price cut takes effect in selected Microsoft retail and online stores in US.

At this price, the entry-level Surface 2 is cheaper that Apple's 16GB iPad mini, which has a $399 price tag.

The Surface 2 runs Windows RT, which means that it can only run Windows Metro apps – no legacy Windows applications – and it features 10.6-inch display and comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office 2013 RT.

The Surface 2 was the follow-on to highly unsuccessful Surface RT, a device that sold so badly that it resulted in Microsoft having to take a $900 million write-off in 2013.

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Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Windows

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49 comments
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  • A good value at $349 U.S.

    As long as one is OK with the default Internet Explorer web browser as there really is not an alternative available (i.e., Firefox, Chrome, Opera), the inability to jailbreak the device (i.e., Windows RT 8.1) and the inability to install another operating system on the device. For most people, these will not be issues.

    I'll pass, though.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RT has 2 downsides

      There are 2 huge drawbacks to RT:

      - The Windows Update process is just as unstable as it is on full Windows, surprisingly. I say this as an owner of the ASUS VivoTab RT.
      - Machines with full Windows are the same price.

      The Windows tablets like the T100 are cheaper and much more powerful, and several Android tablets are cheaper and much closer to being foolproof.
      Sacr
      • Non-issues

        You're "issues" are not an issue.

        The updates are quite good, and work flawlessly.
        And the non-Intel world is a fantastic boon to people who don't need the work of keeping a computer clean and tidy, no matter how bad they are at internet surfing.

        I hope this price drop is a sign of a Surface 3 model soon. And I pray they keep the ARM architecture for it!
        Narg
        • yes, they are

          Most open minded people will see these as issues. Your claim that the updates work flawlessly means you either have been extremely lucky, or you don't have much experience with RT. Same as with normal Windows, on RT updates fail, and need to be resolved manually (twice so far, in 18 months), and even if they work the way they should, once every month they block me from using the device for up to 10 minutes when turning it on ("installing updates 13% of 100% complete"). Updates should be installed when turning the device off (no longer using it), not when turning it on (I usually turn on devices with the intent of using them).

          Rational buyers can get "clean and tidy" "non-Intel" tablets (btw, what about AMD?) which work cleaner and tidier than RT. The promise of RT is Windows without the hassle of Windows. Yet it's still a lot more hassle - i.e. maintenance - than Android or iOS.
          So there's 2 markets, people who want Windows machines, and people who want foolproof machines. RT can't be recommended to either of them.
          Sacr
          • I could live without installing things

            except for Chrome. People say that I am being spied on and other FUD but Chrome is integral to my computer experience for better or worse. It synces with both my Android, Windows 8.1 and iOS devices. I don't have a problem with the modern version of IE but it just isn't the same. I can say the same for Windows Phone which I love except for IE.

            You can get a number of i3 and Atom based tablets and hybrids for under $400.
            redhaven
          • Chrome

            Didn't they release a Chrome for Metro version? If so, does it work with all the extensions and apps?
            mytake4this
          • Chrome Metro

            They have one for the x86 version. It's essentially Chrome OS.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • I don't see any issues you say about update process

            on Surface RT. I also had VivoTab RT for a year and had trouble getting updates. Probably it is related to ASUS issues not Microsoft though.
            Ram U
          • My non-techy daughter

            who I purchased one for in December of 2012 has not had a single issue and continue to use today.
            thekman58
          • Oops sorry, just realised this is about the Surface 2

            I was referring to the original Surface.
            thekman58
          • Surface

            I have both the original Surface RT and the original Surface Pro. I have had zero issues on Updates.
            Anno Nimo
        • Arm Unlikely

          With Intel's next die shrink (14nm) expect to see more x86 in mobile.
          Alan Smithie
  • I've seen rumored elsewhere the next RT will be without a desktop mode

    Probably a good move on M$ part, a crippled desktop only serves to confuse consumers
    FrankInKy
    • NO!

      I hope they don't pull this. It would be bad.
      Narg
    • Who's confused?

      Also... Nobody I've met yet has been confused by this. There is absolutely nothing to be confused about. I tell folks they can't install "old Windows" software and they have no problem with that. The few that wonder why, I just explain that they also cannot be infected by viruses or malicious pop-up ad software and they then smile and ask where to get one.
      Narg
      • Who's confused

        People who are not confused usually are informed and capable enough to run full Windows. People who are not sufficiently computer-literate to run Windows without installing malware will see the advertising materials, which look the same for Windows RT and Windows 8. Same screenshots, same logo, same color of the logo, same name (pick the odd one out: Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise). Even the demo machines work the same, since you can't install software on those.
        Of course there's the usual old argument that people should have informed themselves. How? Maybe by asking in the store? Pick 5 employees of Best Buy and ask them about the Surface RT. I bet at least one, if not more, will forget to mention that it doesn't run Windows programs.

        Then look how Apple positions the iPad and the MacBook.
        Sacr
        • why RT

          Don't get me wrong tough. I think Microsoft needs RT, and the first generation RT devices had some big advantages. They offered a unique combination of low weight, long battery life, Office, and some other desktop tools (many of which required jailbreak). These advantages ended with Bay Trail a year ago.

          Microsoft needs RT because it needs a "Windows for dummies" (still a better name than RT), and because it needs to push Metro. Now RT needs to offer new selling points to become relevant again, such as ease of use and an update update process that works the same way it does with Windows Phone. It also needs a sensible name, so they may merge Phone and RT and revive Windows Mobile.
          Sacr
        • Good point

          When I pick up an iPad, I know I have a mobile device that is not going to operate like a Mac. Surface RT and even regular Windows 8.1 tablets are never true mobile devices. This drives me crazy. I had a Dell Venue Pro 8 inch tablet which was a great piece of hardware (except it had wifi issues) but it wasn't really a mobile device. It didn't work well with Bluetooth audio (no song information) and I couldn't connect it to my full Windows computer which a regular hard drive and sync it or move files. Most of the time, this tablet was more like a full computer than a tablet and that is not a good thing.
          redhaven
          • Microsoft wanted consumers to view these full blown tablet PCs as....

            No difference than an iPad or Kindle tablet. So the consumer walking into a BestBuy with cash in hand looking for an iPad 'device' will also look over at the full blown Windows tabletPC section. But I think consumers understand very much the difference between what is essentially a large screen smart phone (modern mobile tablet device like iPad, Kindle) and a full windows PC made into tablet form.
            dave95.
    • The average consumer is thart stupid?

      I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up. ;)
      William.Farrel