Microsoft is selling refurbished Surface RT tablets for $299

In July, Microsoft cut the prices of its Surface RT tablets down by $150, which meant that folks could purchase the 32 GB version for $349 and the 64 GB model at $449. Now, Microsoft is selling refurbished versions of both Surface RT models on its Microsoft Store website for $50 less than what people would pay for all new units.

The site shows the 32 GB refurbished model selling for $299 while the 64 GB version is selling for $349. With this week's reductions on the Touch Cover keyboards now in effect, Microsoft is also selling a 32 GB refurbished Surface RT with the Touch Cover for $379, while the 64 GB version with the Touch Cover is now priced at $459.

So so should you be concerned about purchasing a refurbished Surface RT? Microsoft seems to indicate the answer is "No". It states:

When you buy a refurbished Surface tablet, you're getting a solid piece of Windows-based technology that's been carefully examined and meticulously refurbished by our expert staff. All returned Surface tablets are tuned up and re-flashed with the latest software versions and apps, so they're as fresh as the day they were originally built. It includes a one-year limited warranty.

These models still come with a free version of Office Home and Student 2013 RT pre-installed. Just a reminder: The Surface Pro tablets now have a permanent $100 price cut.

Source: Microsoft Store | Image via Microsoft

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Been reading a lot of these posts for weeks now and don't usually post myself but feel I have to. I bought a Surface RT after the price drop, mainly because I felt that the initial price was too high for such a new product/eco system. I have to admit that I'm glad I did now. Things just seem so much more easier to do on the RT compared to an iPad. When I tell friends that to get music onto it, all I have to do is connect my external drive through the usb port. I can see their faces drop. Which delights me, I may add. As for the app store, I have found everything I need, or alternatives. And that's the thing about the store, some of the alternatives are better than so called official apps anyway. Even on WP, as I use that too. All I hear, all the time from ios and Droid fans is that there are no apps. No there may not be as many apps as on the other systems, but how many fart apps do you actually need. Also I'm sure not that long ago there was a report that many of the ios apps hadn't even been downloaded at all. So what does that say about them. I just feel that the surface and windows get blasted for no apparent reason. The hardware imo is first rate, its a sturdy device and quality is excellent. The apps are there if you just look and more are coming. The OS is new but it has so many touches, like a full blown pc that it just made sense to me to pick one up. Just wanted to add my too bits, from an actual user of the device.

stephboyle127 said,
Been reading a lot of these posts for weeks now and don't usually post myself but feel I have to. I bought a Surface RT after the price drop, mainly because I felt that the initial price was too high for such a new product/eco system. I have to admit that I'm glad I did now. Things just seem so much more easier to do on the RT compared to an iPad. When I tell friends that to get music onto it, all I have to do is connect my external drive through the usb port. I can see their faces drop. Which delights me, I may add. As for the app store, I have found everything I need, or alternatives. And that's the thing about the store, some of the alternatives are better than so called official apps anyway. Even on WP, as I use that too. All I hear, all the time from ios and Droid fans is that there are no apps. No there may not be as many apps as on the other systems, but how many fart apps do you actually need. Also I'm sure not that long ago there was a report that many of the ios apps hadn't even been downloaded at all. So what does that say about them. I just feel that the surface and windows get blasted for no apparent reason. The hardware imo is first rate, its a sturdy device and quality is excellent. The apps are there if you just look and more are coming. The OS is new but it has so many touches, like a full blown pc that it just made sense to me to pick one up. Just wanted to add my too bits, from an actual user of the device.

I hope now you feel better since you got it out of your chest. RT should not have existed at first place, since MS already got pro version.

Auditor said,

I hope now you feel better since you got it out of your chest. RT should not have existed at first place, since MS already got pro version.

But some people don't need the pro version. I see a tablet as a device to surf the web, play media and the odd game. Which the RT does very well. But also does some pc specific tasks too. Each to their own I suppose.

Auditor said,

I hope now you feel better since you got it out of your chest. RT should not have existed at first place, since MS already got pro version.

Wrong. RT has a place for those just needing an iPad-like appstore only experience. Most people who buy a tablet, of any kind, don't expect to be able to run Windows desktop apps on it.

"I hope now you feel better since you got it out of your chest. RT should not have existed at first place, since MS already got pro version."

With that argument, Apple should have stuck with their Macbooks and OSX...?

TCLN Ryster said,

don't expect to be able to run Windows desktop apps on it.

You are absolutely right and that is why Tablet do not need desktop and desktop do not need Tablet UI. Hybrid is misguided direction of MS and rightfully they are paying the price.

Auditor said,

You are absolutely right and that is why Tablet do not need desktop and desktop do not need Tablet UI. Hybrid is misguided direction of MS and rightfully they are paying the price.

Actually I spend about half my time in the desktop on my Surface RT as I use the Office apps and RDP into my computers/servers. I also like the IE browser in desktop when I am using the keyboard and mouse.

Hybrids are fine, why not have a hybrid. I think MS's problem was giving too much to too many that are easily confused. Leave the desktop there but make it so you have to configure your tablet to enable getting to it, make all the Office apps touch like OneNote is, and move all configurations into the Metro UI.

Actually, I think they do have their places on both, its just the execution that needs to improve.

On a tablet, the desktop is not needed for most users, but there are power users that still want a way to access the system behind the scenes.

MS doesn't need to remove the desktop from tablets, just improve Metro to the point that it no longer needs to be a pinned tile or even referenced for the general consumer. That means growing the app library and improving the Metro UI. 8.1 helps improve both of those things and once there is a Metro version of Office, there will be no need to hook into the desktop.

On a desktop, they don't need to remove Metro, they just need to improve the relationship to the desktop in the other direction, i.e. they need to allow for users to customize the interface so that if they want to live in the desktop, they don't need to use the controls that are more suited to touch. 8.1 does a lot of this. Beyond this, they also need to build in a way for metro apps to be more accessible via the desktop, such as desktop icons or taskbar shortcuts and maybe even running the apps in a window.

All the boils down to the fact that Windows 8 is a 1.0 effort to bridge the gap between two designs. It has plenty of holes. Those holes will be filled over time and I think they can achieve one OS that can cater to both devices as long as they remember that each side (touch/tablet and desktop) need special attention and the relationship between the two needs to be as smooth as possible.

Wondering if I should buy this or a ASUS 11" touch screen for $350.

I have an accessory that I need to know if it'll work for RT.

So many lame comments by haters that have never laid hands on a Surface RT. Since buying mine, my iPad has been doing nothing but gathering dust.

Leopard Seal said,
So many lame comments by haters that have never laid hands on a Surface RT. Since buying mine, my iPad has been doing nothing but gathering dust.

totally agree. All I read are hate posts. it's pretty embarrassing. Ignorance is bliss.

Leopard Seal said,
So many lame comments by haters that have never laid hands on a Surface RT. Since buying mine, my iPad has been doing nothing but gathering dust.

Thats part of the problem. Microsoft should've launched it everywhere, not only via their store. And, they should have had commercials showing how to use it, so by the time you got to try one, you were playing with it it and having fun, not figuring it out.

Well its not like MS ever claimed Surface was meant to be a big push. They went out of their way to downplay how important it was to them, mostly to appease the other oems. That probably contributed to the reason hey didn't market it or ship it to as many markets as they could have.

Now that many oems have bowed out and pretty much given up, that might give MS the motivation they need to really push Surface 2 on a larger scale. They have enough proof that oems are unwilling to create the quality of devices needed to help push the platform. Many like to ridicule the RT platform, but the Surface hardware has been impressive.

Leopard Seal said,
So many lame comments by haters that have never laid hands on a Surface RT. Since buying mine, my iPad has been doing nothing but gathering dust.

The do MS a favor. Sell your iPad and buy 3 RTs with that same money. MS got so many RT in store collecting dust.

This is true, but it was still terribly mishandled, IMO. It could've done a lot better, which would've been a plus for W8/RT all around, I think. Especially since the alternatives for the Surface RT (like the VivoTab RT) were actually nice. The more people who knew about RT, understood it, and could use it? Demand would've gone up, I think, and that would've worked well for all their partners.

When will they be offered at Toys-R-Us, Walmart, FAO Schwartz, and other toy retailers? Christmas 2013 is rapidly approaching--just the thing for one's child/children.

TsarNikky said,
When will they be offered at Toys-R-Us, Walmart, FAO Schwartz, and other toy retailers? Christmas 2013 is rapidly approaching--just the thing for one's child/children.

yeah, just like the iPad. When are they offering the iPad at toy stores? Come on Apple. These tablets are truly toys. Candy crush is all you can play on them.

Alexander Nevrmind said,
Well, I just bought the factory refurbished 64G RT for $199.00 on eBay. Not a bad deal at all.
Thats a fair price.

recursive said,
You still paid $100 more for it. Should have just waited another month.

I heard MS is going to give free RT to everyone on this Christmas on the purchase of Xbone.

Auditor said,

I heard MS is going to give free RT to everyone on this Christmas on the purchase of Xbone.

LOL! Damn Auditor!

dead.cell said,
I was once (jokingly) told by customer service to stop selling Surface RTs as they just kept coming back.
A friend of mine, her daughter is working her way through college at Best Buy. She works customer service and she also says that customers return the Surface RT often. The only thing that thwarts the excessive returns is Best Buys new return policy.

dead.cell said,
Edit: Should probably not identify where I work lol...

What was the excuse for the return? I am sure it was the lack of applications and not the hardware.

Probably exactly that. Feels like a barren wasteland compared to the rich entertainment offerings of an iPad. Wouldn't be so bad if the apps that actually did exist didn't feel so... basic.

I think this will only improve over time. Its only been a year on the market. I've actually seen some apps in development that show off what a quality app can be, specifically media apps.

john.smith_2084 said,
How many Surface RT /Tegra 3 are out there?

I don't know. But, with the chatter about a Surface RT 2? Its possible they're trying to blow out the old ones ASAP.

JHBrown said,
A refurbished Surface RT for $300? No thanks Microsoft!

You are right, they should try to suck people in with $50 for refurbished and $150 for new. RT is good for nothing except browsing web which you can do with any less than $150 tablet. On another note, I am sure MS is selling new RT on the pretext of refurbished so they can reduce price by $50 and not give impression to market that they still could not sell it even after price cuts.

On MS website it says supplies are limited which means they have only limited 6 Millions left to sell.

-adrian- said,
what exactly is the disadvantage of RT to ios and android? except of the variance in the app store

Its new, Microsoft imposes hardware requirements and certification (which OEMs dislike), RT cannot run Win32 apps (which confuses people), relative lack of accessories, doesn't do true multitasking (it "tombstones"), stigma from Windows 8 in general.

I think its great, but its only beginning, and MS has done a horrible job marketing it, educating consumers, etc. The Surface RT also started off with an old SOC, plus limited where it was sold to the MS stores and website.

Its going to take time, really. Like it or not, its going to get compared to mature ecosystems. MS needs to push their advantages more, I think, especially for gaming on it. They've got a good library of XB and 360 titles that could be ported, for instance...

Chikairo - RT compares favorably to iOS in every way *except* the App Stores; however, practically ALL of RT's critics, let alone those of the SurfaceRT in particular, insist on comparing it to Android.

Let's be honest here; if RT shipped on the typical Android hardware loadout, it would have been laughed at more, not less, than is the case today. Google, and Android OEMs, went low so as to AVOID competing with iOS - Microsoft, on the other hand, came hard at Apple, and with basically higher-end Android hardware. In other words, it's not that iOS can't be taken on - for whatever reason, few OEMs want to do so, even where they are vulnerable.

The same actually applies to Windows Phone - once again, it's being compared to Android-based phones, not the iPhone (even the iPhone 4S). The iPhone, even the 4S, IS vulnerable - Samsung is proving that, as is Nokia with that wide-ranging line of various Lumias. However, nobody - other than Samsung or Nokia - wants to take it on - why?

The question must be asked - what is with this widespread (and needless) fear of Apple and iOS?

PGHammer said,
Chikairo - RT compares favorably to iOS in every way *except* the App Stores;

So, it's a good platform, except there's no software. Nice.

PGHammer said,
Chikairo - RT compares favorably to iOS in every way *except* the App Stores; however, practically ALL of RT's critics, let alone those of the SurfaceRT in particular, insist on comparing it to Android.
..
The question must be asked - what is with this widespread (and needless) fear of Apple and iOS?

WP and Windows RT are between the two extremes. You have a standardized OS experience and minimum specs, but choice of OEMs, their hardware and software bundles. Given that WP and RT devices run from "meh" to "WOW!", that's certainly more like Android. You've also go more pricing options, and the lack of truly standardized hardware configurations means accessories are either phone specific or generic, unlike the iPhone or iPads.

Honestly, you're also ignoring both iOS mindshare and the "race to the bottom" mentality consumers and OEMs have (which ruined the PC market, IMO). The Surface was a botched launch, and its peers simply could not ask for the same, premium price because of Samsung's Android offerings. Apple has its devotees, and everyone knows"Apple costs more," so to launch at the same price means you're "overpriced" to most people, regardless of specs.

Ironically, my sister in law (works at a major retailer) noted that Apple users "get" Metro very easily, whereas all the PC owners seem to complain and want W7 machines instead. That stigma probably carries over to RT devices.

RT has to content with unfamiliarity and immaturity in a mature market. Just like to brand new MMO invariably gets compared to WOW in its current state.

If it was up to mw, MS would start selling ARM devices at $400. Great quality, more reasonable price, and if they can be viewed as a competitor to Samsung, they can then be viewed as a competitor to Apple for the public.

Im a fan, but don't think logic has a lot to do woth the consumer's acceptance of products. The computing world would be much different if there was an actual connection

PGHammer said,

Let's be honest here; if RT shipped on the typical Android hardware loadout, it would have been laughed at more, not less, than is the case today.

There would be even more laugh if android was shipped in "typical RT hardware".
Oh, I think this already exists (if not better) with asus transformer pad infinity.

People often are unable to accept the fact that the RT/8 platform is new and therefore requires time to grow a proper app library. Right now it has enough apps for general usage (i.e. media playback, web access, productivity, etc), but it lacks the wide range of apps that iOS and Android have. That is something that gets fixed over time. iOS and Android both had to wait until several versions had passed before they could claim the huge app markets they now have.

The same will happen for Win 8/RT as long as MS continues to push it and improve it.


For some reason, there are people that insist on trolling these topics just because they happen to really not like a platform.

Yeah, $300 is too high when the new price is $350.

I would say $250 or $200 would be a much more reasonable price for a refurbished model.

trooper11 said,
Yeah, $300 is too high when the new price is $350.

I would say $250 or $200 would be a much more reasonable price for a refurbished model.

Over 5000 Surface RT 32GB with touch cover were sold on eBay for $200 yesterday (8/30/2013). The 64GB without cover was the same price and solve over 2000.

The fact is that Surface RT has the BEST web browser of any mobile OS. A huge chunk of those apps in the Android and Apple app stores are simply replicating web apps that those platforms cannot render correctly (iOS more so than Android).

These have been on sale for quite a while now... I was looking at the refurbished Surfaces for $299 last month...