Surface Pro tablet pricing starts at $899, Microsoft says
Will enterprises buy a tablet that costs $400 more than a consumer tablet?
Computerworld - Microsoft on Thursday set pricing for its Surface Pro 10.6-in. tablet with a starting price of $899 for a 64 GB version and $999 for a 128 GB version.
The tablet, formally called Surface with Windows 8 Pro, will ship sometime in January. No pre-orders were available in the blog announcing the pricing, which was posted by Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft Surface.
Neither version will come with the Touch Cover or Type Cover, which would add at least $120 to the total cost.
Two analysts said Microsoft must have set the pricing that high to allow its partners making Windows 8 tablets to charge less. Microsoft is concerned about maintaining a good relationship with its partners, who must buy Windows 8 licenses from Microsoft and then build the tablets. Microsoft has never made a tablet before releasing the Surface for Windows RT tablet a month ago.
Compared to consumer-focused tablets, the Surface Pro prices are at least $400 higher. The iPad starts at $499, while some are less than $200.
"The Surface Pro pricing leaves room for device makers to come down in price without compromising margins too much," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner. "This is an enterprise play, not a consumer play, at least for now."
Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said enterprise customers are "less prices sensitive" and also predicted that competitive products from other vendors will undercut the Surface Pro pricing "in the not-too-distant future."
Still, Gold added: "Is the price high? Yes."
Surface Pro runs an Intel Core i5 processor, while Surface for Windows RT and other RT tablets run ARM-based chips. Panay called attention to the Surface Pro's pen input, which he called "an amazing feature for all you note-taker or document editors out there." Surface Pro also has a full size USB 3.0 port.
Aside from the processor difference, the Surface Pro will run Windows 7 desktop applications. "It's a full PC AND a tablet," he said. Milanesi said that it might have been better for Microsoft to build a Surface Pro that was closer in design to a laptop than a design that tries to be both a tablet and notebook/laptop.
"Of course cheaper is better and also a design that might be closer to a notebook -- one where the base is heavier -- but around $700," Milanesi said.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
- Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
- Surface Pro 3 not a notebook replacement to DIYers who want inside
- Microsoft wants MacBook Air owners to trade up to a Surface Pro by trading in
- Surface Pro 3 'notebook' reaches retail today
- Whoops! Microsoft goof confirms Surface Mini
- Surface Pro 3 deep-dive review: Has Microsoft finally got it right?
- Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
- Surface Pro 3's 'tweener' screen is too small for a laptop, too big for a tablet
- Buy a Surface Pro 3, get it at summer's end
Read more about Tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- Infographic: Top Use Cases for Desktop Virtualization A wide range of business issues is driving IT toward desktop virtualization. One solution-Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology-helps IT teams empower their entire...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts