Microsoft Surface Pro Will Be Out in January—And Costs More Than a MacBook Air

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Surface Pro Will Be Out in January—And Costs More Than a MacBook Air

Microsoft Surface RT didn't quite live up to Microsoft's promise of a true next-generation device, but you know what might? Microsoft Surface Pro. The good news: the Intel-powered ultrabookish tablet mash-up will be out in just a couple of months. The bad news? It might cost more than you want to spend.

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Microsoft announced today that Surface Pro will start at $900 at launch for a 64GB version, while a 128GB version will run you $1000. Both models come with 4GB RAM, a USB 3.0 port, will have 4-5 hours of battery life (Intel drains much faster than Surface RT's SoC architecture), and run full Windows 8. That price also includes a fancy stylus, but not one of Microsoft's handy—and frankly, for this device, necessary—Touch or Type Covers. Those cost $120 and $130, respectively, meaning that to give yourself a true laptop replacement you're going to have to shell out at least $1020.

For some perspective, that means the base, 64GB, 10.6-inch Surface Pro with keyboard cover will cost more than a comparably spec'd MacBook Air.

That seems like a tough sell. Microsoft had always been clear that Surface Pro would be priced comparably with ultrabooks, but that implies a pretty broad range of prices. A range that Surface Pro, it turns, out, is near the top of. And while on the one hand you could argue that the innovative form is worth a premium over your standard 11-inch Dell, Microsoft's main concern right now should probably be getting Surface in the hands of the masses.

The company's biggest hardware challenge now, no matter how many dance-filled commercials it runs, is a knowledge deficit. Why take a flyer on a $1000 hybrid device when you know for a fact that comparable MBA or Zenbook performs well and costs less?

The Surface Pro might be the greatest technological marvel to come along since the rotisserie oven. Or it might be a disappointment. Either way, it's a leap of faith for buyers. In that sense, it's a whole lot like the original Xbox, another new entrant into a crowded field that was a longshot at best. Microsoft sold it at a loss for years, literal years, undercutting Sony and winning a massive install base in the process. And if Microsoft's already taking a massive hit on a $1,020 entry level price, well, maybe it was an ill-fated pursuit to start with. [Microsoft]

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DISCUSSION

jesusdiaz
Jesus Diaz

This is dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb. DUMB. Price shouldn't be a barrier at this point. They should price the RT $200 cheaper than iPad 4 and make the RT the same price as the iPad, WITH the touch keyboard in the box.

And grab the xmas season by the balls. Call it a special intro price. Three months only.

But the fact is that Microsoft is fucking up Surface with their pricing. Right now you should sell at a loss, like they did with Xbox. They understood that perfectly in the console wars. They need to grab market share because they need to create a market place for apps. Now. Right fucking now.

They have great hardware (awesome hardware indeed) and they have a really good operating system. More important, people are eager to try it!

Nokia has understood this with the Lumia 920 and it's working great so far. They are selling like hotcakes (two weeks wait to get one) because they have great hardware and the price is unbeatable. I'm starting to see Lumias everywhere. The other day three people have them in a café.

At this stage of the game, there's no other way for them. Make a 10% dent in everyone's marketshare in three months. Get the applications flowing in to all the new customers. And next year release a new model at this price if you have to. But now, now you need an offer than nobody can refuse, MS.