Ahead of a Microsoft press event related to its Surface tablets, the basic spec and pricing of a rumored Surface 3 Pro tablet line has been leaked.
According to WPCentral, Microsoft will offer the Surface Pro 3, which is believed to be a larger device with a 12-inch screen, in the following configurations:
- Core i3, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage - $799
- Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage - $999
- Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,299
- Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,549
- Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage - $1,949
The new tablet will also purportedly come with a new Type cover, which makes sense if this is a new class of device with a larger form factor.
This leak fits in with supply chain rumors I've been privy to over recent weeks.
Some thoughts on these details:
- Those numbers are painful to look at; it's like being hit around the head with dollar signs. The cheapest Surface Pro 3 at these prices will be $300 dearer than the cheapest iPad Air, and $170 more expensive than the cheapest with cellular.
- The spec range is impressive, ranging from entry-level to high-end processors, RAM, and storage, but no other player in the tablet market breaks up the product line based on spec. This is how PCs were sold in the 90s. It doesn't work any more.
- Paying almost $2,000 for a tablet. Nope. Just nope. Even at the lower end of +$1,000 the market is going to be small. At the high-end it is going to be almost non-existent. Sure, a $2,000 Core i7 tablet with 8GB of RAM and 52GB of storage is going to be a beast, but it's also a massive gamble.
- Why is the high end a gamble?
- - Will a Windows-based tablet app ecosystem flourish to make this investment worthwhile?
- - What is its expected lifespan? Will it run the next version of Windows due out next year? How long will Microsoft support it with drivers?
- - Will Microsoft include future OS updates in that price? If Microsoft is indeed playing the long game with Surface, then longevity of the hardware would build trust among buyers.