Windows RT-powered Surface 2 with 4G arrives in the UK for £539

Windows RT-powered Surface 2 with 4G arrives in the UK for £539

Summary: Microsoft's new 4G LTE Surface 2 goes on pre-order today in the UK ahead of its May 8 release, but it comes with a high asking price and doesn't include the Type Cover.

Image: Microsoft

A month after Microsoft's LTE-compatible Windows RT-based Surface 2 launched in the US, the tablet is is now available to UK customers for pre-order.

US consumers who were bowled over the the $679 price tag Microsoft slapped on for the Surface 2 4G there might be pleased they're not customers in the UK, where Microsoft is asking for £539 ($904) for the device.

The 10.6-inch 1920x1080 display ARM-based device runs Windows RT 8.1 and comes with RT-flavoured Office Home and Student and 64GB storage. It also offers 200GB OneDrive storage and Microsoft's kickstand but, as in the US, there's no keyboard/cover included, which in the UK is sold separately and costs around £109.

The device is available for pre-order at retailers such as Curry’s and PC World, where the 64GB wi-fi-only Surface 2 currently costs £439.

The price of the new Surface 2 with 4G comes in well on top of Nokia's 32GB Lumia 2520 LTE Windows RT tablet, which costs £399. But Nokia's tablet, soon to be Microsoft's anyway, was not Microsoft's prime target with the Surface 2, which it hopes will rival Apple's iPad Air and MacBook Air.

And on price, the Surface 2 does undercut the iPad Air, which costs £659 for the 64GB LTE and wi-fi model. The 64GB wi-fi-only iPad Air costs £559. And, of course, if businesses want Microsoft's new Office apps on the iPad it will cost an extra £100 a year per user.

Still, one of the selling points of the Surface 2 is bundled Office RT and to take advantage of that really requires the Type Cover.  

As ZDNet's review recently highlighted, using the soft keyboard to work with Office documents can become cumbersome after some time. In addition, most desktop apps are more usable with the Type Cover.  

Microsoft highlighted at its second quarter 2014 earnings update that it had doubled Surface revenues from the first quarter to $893m; however, it also reported $932 million in cost of revenues for the device.

Read  more on the Surface 2

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft, United Kingdom

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Not worth it.

    way too expensive -by about a factor of 3.5.
  • They're not going to make inroads at that price

    You'd be better off just getting an Intel device and dropping a rocket stick in it.
    • I'd rather go with a standard Surface and Verizon Jetpack

      makes much more sense to me given that the Jetpack can be used for multiple devices.
  • Bill Gates himself said it best in his reddit AMA

    "I am using a Surface 2 PRO which works well for me."
  • Microsoft Surface 2 Tablet - Windows RT version

    Price sux ! Product is too expensive.
  • Surface RT makes a lot of sense to me

    Unlike other I believe Microsoft should have a pure tablet interface OS for ARM processors.
    The price is the problem here, but maybe they don't want to compete with OEMs - if that's the case maybe it's a wrong strategy because not many seem to care about the "RT" windows version.
    What doesn't make sense is windows 8 for tablets and that's what is hurting sales of surface devices the most.
  • Poor little soul...

    Still tries to make a dent in somewhere...

    With the iPad Air and Office for iPad, the Surface 2 looks less and less attractive. It's cumbersome widescreen format, impossible to use in touch situations Office and tepid application support have made it a super niche market product for people who need an ultrabook but are too hip to be seen with a clamshell and too cheap to buy a Surface Pro 2.

    With that in mind, you realize that in a few months Office for iPad has more customers (at $100 bucks) than the total number of Surface's sold. It's a no brainer where should Microsoft move forward. This daydreaming of becoming a hardware manufacturer led by "monkey man Ballmer" should be stop by Nadella, until it becomes clear that the Surface time is consuming more money than creating.

    Last but not least, it's sad to see that Windows RT is basically engulfing Windows Phone with Windows Phone 8.1, that is the dog is killing the Eagle. Not sure if devs are gonna be happy having to customize their apps for mouse and keyboard for a minimal marketshare increase. With Windows 8.1 Update, less and less people will care about Metro apps and slowly but surely they will become as widgets to Vista and 7, slowly rendered into extinction, at least in practice.
    • I'm wondering who is the real "Poor little soul" is

      Reading your posts over time, you seem to take anything MS does quite personally, dancing at what you perceive as a "failure", angry as all get out on their successes.

      Poor little soul, indeed... :)
    • WTF

      The Surface Pro 2 LTE might not be a successful product but not because of any reason you noted. Take that exact same device and put a Baytrail processor in it and it would be the perfect device for many people. I have a Surface RT but I started using one of our test Surface Pros. Its a nice device but way too heavy, thick, hot, and power hungry. I am about ready to turn the Pro in and go back to my RT. If the RT had Baytrail... perfection (for me at least).

      iPads are nice devices and Office for iPad is a nice suite. But a full Windows tablet just blows iOS and Android away. If MS can keep the apps growing, the final limitation will be gone.
      Rann Xeroxx
      • If MS can keep the apps growing, the final limitation will be gone.

        But really that's the biggest hurdle...
        If the App store dries up... and apparently the numbers of new apps is dropping every month... then the Metro and RT environments have no reason to exist...
        I bought a full windows 8.1 tablet because I didn't want to limit myself to Metro apps... That seems too much of a dead end to me... Heck, I haven't looked at anything Metro in months...
        Chimera Obscura
    • I pity the fool...

      There is a few things wrong with your points... 1) The screen format is way more web friendly than the iPad screen, and running IE11 which is basically a full blown browser minus crappy plug-ins makes for a much better experience to boot. 2) I'm glad you weren't advising Microsoft on Xbox, Bing, etc as none of those products turned a profit in their first few years of existence, and all went onto become major money spinners for them. How easily overlooked that what has made MS a successful company is they plan for the long haul, so if a new product doesn't work they at least give it a couple years, see if it's growing at all and go from there. and finally 3) They aren't devouring WP with RT. As a developer I have no issue with that they are doing, I can still develop separate apps for both platforms if I wish, or I can build 1 app with 2 interfaces removing about 30% of the effort in the process - what makes more sense - built and maintain 2 completely separate apps, or be able to build 1 app with 1 code base and 2 UIs (or 3 or 4 depending if I want to customise it for different screen sizes, and also xBox).

      Short sighted vision and narrow minded thinking is what I see a lot of with the anti-MS comments. If the same rules were applied to iOS and Android during their first 2 years of life then both of them should have been scrapped as well, also Macs should be killed along with Linux on desktops - in the case of the latter 2 neither of them have gotten much over 1-3% marketshare after 2 decades - so Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 are absolute steller performers compared to those platforms having gained their respective marketshares after only a couple of years (and both still growing).
  • And at that price...

    ..its dead in the water
    • More marketing...

      Yeah as much as I like the Surface concept, and it was a great device that in the right corporate environment could do about 80-90% of what most users would need out of the box, the big issue I see (as with a lot of MS consumer stuff) is the plain lack of advertising.

      They really need to pick up the marketing companion and just flood the TV's, online, etc to get it out there so people learn what RT is, and how it is worth paying basically the same as an iPad for it. Otherwise the only other way to go is drop the price, but then cheaper is typically seen as less quality so it's not the way they should go. While they are at they need to flood the marketing for WP to, and really start highlighting the ecosystem more between the phones, the Windows (RT and 8.1) and xBox, and then highlight things like xBox movies and music and how the ecosystem is bettered by the use of them. Oh and do more Future Office Productivity videos so we can all dream about the future some more :)

      The other concern would be how much data is it going to chew up? Given the browser, OneDrive syncing, etc is all PC based experiences and not scaled down limited tablet based browsing, you have to figure it's going to chew through more data than a smartphone OS will.