Microsoft’s Surface device family comes in two flavors: first the Surface RT which is powered by ARM hardware and Windows 8 RT, and second the Surface Pro, powered by Intel hardware and Windows 8 Pro. The Surface RT launched with the Windows 8 operating system on October 26, and while it has received mixed early reviews, it seems to have been in high demand as it is currently out of stock on Microsoft’s official website.
It professionals and tech-savvy users seem to favor the Surface Pro over the RT version, as it supports traditional desktop software and Windows Store apps, while the RT version only supports the latter.
Microsoft has not revealed Surface Pro pricing information nor when the devices will be available for purchase in select countries. What we know is that the Surface Pro will be released months after the release of Windows 8, but not if that means at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next.
The German online retailer Notebook.de lists both Surface Pro devices on its website revealing pricing and general availability information. It is important to note that Microsoft has not yet confirmed – or rejected – the information on the site, and that it may very well be that the information on the site are preliminary and subject to change.
The 64 Gigabyte Surface Pro is listed for €809 on the site which includes 19% VAT. Using today’s currency exchange course, this would result in $1,033 in the US or £646 in the UK. The US price with the VAT deducted is $836.
That’s about $140 more than you pay for a 64 Gigabyte Surface with Windows RT and touch cover. It is however not clear if the Surface Pro ships with a cover included. The product photo on the site lists the Surface Pro with cover, but does not mention whether a cover is included or not.
The 128 Gigabyte Surface Pro is listed for €909 on the site which equals $1,161 or £726. The VAT deducted price is $940.
Both Surface Pro devices share the same hardware, with the exception of the hard disk which is either 64 Gigabyte or 128 Gigabyte in size.
- 10.6″ Full HD ClearType multi-touch display with a resolution of 1920×1080
- Intel Core i5 3rd generation processor
- 4 Gigabyte of RAM
- 64 Gigabyte or 128 Gigabyte Solid State Drive hard disk
- Intel HD 4000 graphics
- Wireless Lan 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Back and front TrueColor HD cameras and internal microphone
- Weight: 900 mg
The site is accepting preorders and lists both devices as deliverable in 3-4 weeks indicating an end of November or beginning of December release for the Surface Pro.
Microsoft seems to have picked the right price for the Surface RT if you use the out of stock signs as an indicator of the success of the device family. Is the pricing right for the Surface Pro as well? The device, shipping with more powerful hardware and Windows 8 Pro, is more expensive than many of the traditional laptops and notebooks that other hardware manufacturers are making available. The 14.1 inch Asus Vivobook for instance retails for $736, the 15.6 inch Acer Aspire V5-571P-6642 for $799, both featuring a touch screen laptop.
The Surface Pro 64 GB costs €110 to €200 more than the Surface RT with 64 GB and touch cover depending on whether the former ships with a cover included or not.
Assuming that the pricing information is correct, do you think that the Surface Pro is reasonably priced?