Surface Pro 3 pricing: UK buyers will have to pay more

Surface Pro 3 pricing: UK buyers will have to pay more

Summary: Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 may or may not be 'the tablet that can replace your laptop', but if you're buying it in the UK, you'll have to pay a premium over the US price.

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Microsoft's third-generation Surface Pro was unveiled earlier this week, and much punditry on the 12-inch Windows 8.1 tablet/laptop hybrid has now been committed — some of it even based on hands-on experience. We'll reserve judgement here in the UK until we get hold of a review sample, but one thing we couldn't help noticing, now that the UK pricing has been revealed, is how much more you have to pay for the Surface Pro 3 on this side of the pond.

Here's how the US and UK Surface Pro 3 prices stack up:

Surface Pro 3 model US price UK price (inc VAT) UK price (ex. VAT) UK ex. VAT price in $* UK premium ($) UK premium (%)
i3 / 64 / 4 $799 £639 £532.50 $898.42 $99.42 12.44%
i5 / 128 / 4 $999 £849 £707.50 $1193.68 $194.68 19.49%
i5 / 256 / 8 $1299 £1109 £924.17 $1559.40 $260.40 20.05%
i7 / 256 / 8 $1549 £1339 £1115.83 $1882.94 $333.94 21.56%
i7 / 512 / 8 $1949 £1649 £1374.17 $2318.88 $369.88 18.98%

* via XE.com, at the time of writing (12pm BST, 22 May)

As the table shows, when you take the UK's 20 percent VAT out of the equation, the Surface Pro 3 costs between 12.4 percent and 21.6 percent more to buy in the UK than in the US. The biggest discrepancy is with the Core i7/256GB SSD/8GB RAM configuration, which costs $1,549 in the US and £1,339 (inc. VAT)/£1,115.83 (ex. VAT) in the UK: converting the ex. VAT UK price to US dollars gives $1,882.94 for a UK premium of $333.94, or 21.56 percent.

The price discrepancy extends to the Surface Pro 3 accessories too:

Surface Pro 3 accessory US price UK price (inc VAT) UK price (ex. VAT) UK ex. VAT price in $ UK premium ($) UK premium (%)
Type Cover $129.99 £109.99

£91.66

$154.60

$24.61 18.93%
Pen* $49.99 £44.99 £37.49 $63.23 $13.24 26.49%
Power supply* $79.99 £64.99 £54.16 $91.35 $11.16 14.2%
Ethernet adapter $39.99 £34.99 £29.16 $49.18 $9.19 22.98%

* These accessories are supplied as standard with the Surface Pro 3

There is currently no UK price or availability estimate for the Surface Pro 3's $199.99 docking station, which is likely to be a key component for business users. Taking an average from the UK markups shown above, we'd expect the Surface Pro 3 dock to come in at around £171 (inc. VAT).

We asked Microsoft for a comment on these figures, but after 24 hours have yet to receive a substantive response — we'll update this story as soon as we hear from the company. It's worth noting that Microsoft isn't alone in charging more in the UK than it does in the US. A similar pattern is seen with Apple's products, for example. In general terms, explanations have cited a 'higher cost of doing business' in the UK.

The Surface Pro 3 — which is available for preorder now, and will ship by the end of August — could well fit the bill for mobile professionals who are seeking to reduce the number of devices in their travel bag. But UK-based buyers should be aware that they'll have to pay more than their US counterparts.

Topics: Tablets, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows 8

About

Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.

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Talkback

32 comments
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  • Almost worth flying out for one

    Take a short break in, say, New York, buy one of the i5 or i7 ones (when available), then fly back with it - obviously declaring it to Customs. Shame Fredy Lakers Sky Train is not available any more.
    SJLyons50
  • 20% markup for a decent spec

    No thanks MS. Think I'll stick with my actual laptops and separate tablet.
    Boothy_p
    • OH, plus the keyboard

      Which will almost certainly be a similar mark-up.
      Boothy_p
  • It's a sad trend, really

    A lot of companies that are based in the US seem to think of "not US" as a lesser market.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • If PCs were actually manufactured, or even assembled, in the U.S.

      It might actually make a bit of sense.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Mac Pros are assembled in the US

        I think
        Michael Alan Goff
        • You are correct (in Austin, TX, U.S.A.)

          And Mac Pros, which start at approximately $3,000 U.S., are hideously expensive no matter where they are purchased.

          However, this one example doesn't justify the practice for other Apple kit and kit from its many competitors manufactured or assembled overseas.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Re: Mac Pros are assembled in the US....

          Many outside the US market are assembled in China to an equally high standard.

          What is of note is upon the release of the 2013 13" MacBook Air it was only the US assembled models that suffered the well documented Wi-Fi issue.
          5735guy
    • ...

      US is used as international advertising battleground. Look at the prices of non-US companies in the PC business and you will see the same price differences or even worse.
      Sacr
  • Tax Subsidies

    Microsoft doesn't get their R&D adventures subsidized overseas like they do here through massive tax write-downs on failures like Surface RT, Surface Mini, etc.
    dilettante
    • What does that have to do with anything?

      ForeverCookie
  • Another Good Reason to get a MacBook Air....

    Superior Machine for less money.
    5735guy
    • Huh?

      MBA 13", i5 and 128gb: £849.00
      Surface Pro 3, i5 and 128gb: £849.00

      SAME PRICE. Sure, they keyboard costs more, but you're making a compromise with the MBA. That compromise is that the screen is crap. Seriously, have you seen it?

      I have, my 2012 MBA is the thing I'm using to type this on.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Re: MacBook Air....

        I have a 2013 13" MacBook Air. Intel i5, Intel 5000 Graphics, 4GB RAM with 256GB SSD. (Keyboard included)

        All for the princely price of £619.00

        Its called shopping around. Thats all.

        Nothing wrong with the screen on the MacBook Air.
        5735guy
        • Plenty wrong with it

          It has a pathetic resolution and poor color reproduction.

          Also, you likely bought a refurbished. Congrats, I guess?
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: Cost of a Mac....

            So if there was plenty wrong with the MacBook Air why do you have one ?

            Furthermore you no longer have to pay such a premium price for a Mac. Prices have come down in the last two consecutive years on the iMac, Retina MacBook Pro. and MacBook Air.

            The entry level 13" MacBook Air is now £150 cheaper than the 2011 model.
            5735guy
          • Honestly?

            There were a couple of reasons why I went for my MBA. One of them was that I wanted to use OSX. I had heard a lot of good things about it, and wanted an experience that didn't involve hacking it onto something that it didn't belong on.

            Another reason is because I heard that it was sturdy, which is true.

            Mostly I'm happy with my purchase. The thing that I have problems with is the screen. You might be happy with it, and it's nice for a 2010 computer ... if only it was a 2010 computer.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Not pathetic but very inferior

            Pathetic is a display with 15'' with 768 lines. Air have the same with 11.6'', 900 lines with 13''.
            AleMartin
      • Michael Alan Goff: "SAME PRICE"

        U forgot to add the cost of a retail Windows 8 license for the MBA. That evens things out independently of trashing the screen.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Re: Windows 8 license for the MBA....

          Question. Why would anyone purchase a Mac solely to run Windows. It is simply beyond me.
          5735guy