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

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.