Microsoft: Surface Pro pricing to start at $899

Microsoft has just announced that the Surface Pro tablet, which will run on Windows 8 Pro, will be priced starting at $899 when it comes out in January 2013. That will be for the 64 GB version, while the 128 GB Surface Pro unit will be priced at $999. The prices do not include the Touch or Type covers.

In his post on the official Microsoft blog, the general manager of the Surface division, Panos Panay, said that both versions of the Surface Pro would come with a "Surface pen with Palm Block technology". He added:

This is an amazing feature for all you note-takers or document editors out there, especially since it has expanded capacitive and digitizing technology we’re calling Palm Block that will prevent your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidentally place your palm on the screen as you write. This feature is pretty cool, and allows for a great inking experience alongside a great touch experience when needed.

Both versions of the Surface Pro will have "Intel’s next generation Core i5 processor" which will boost the display resolution of the tablet up to 1920x1080. The specific clock speed of the processor was not mentioned. The Surface Pro will also have a full USB 3.0 port and a mini-Display Port which will be able to show what's on the Surface on an external monitor up to a resolution of 2560X1440.

Panay added that the Surface Pro will still weigh less than two pounds and will be 14 millimeters thick. The blog post did not go into details on which date in January pre-orders will begin.

Source: Microsoft blog | Image via Microsoft

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"The prices do not include the Touch or Type covers."

I'm not sure that's right. This is what Microsoft says:

"Both versions will both include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover (sold separately)."

The "(sold separately)" appears after "Type Cover", but it's not clear whether this applies to the "Touch Cover" part of the sentence too. I doubt it does, because lower end Surface models do come with Touch Covers.

Since it says include the ABILITY, I doubt it comes with it.

Josh the Nerd said,
"The prices do not include the Touch or Type covers."

I'm not sure that's right. This is what Microsoft says:

"Both versions will both include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover (sold separately)."

The "(sold separately)" appears after "Type Cover", but it's not clear whether this applies to the "Touch Cover" part of the sentence too. I doubt it does, because lower end Surface models do come with Touch Covers.

Wow! I couldn't happier. I really thought the price would be in the neighborhood of $1200 USD. I will be grabbing one with a Type Cover.

My kids each have an RT with a Touch Cover and they are able to do all their High School work with it. I thought the Touch Cover might not be enough but they couldn't be happier. While registering their MAC addresses at school the IT resource had no idea what they were. Thought they were new iPads. My kids laughed and showed her MS Office. They get questions about the Surface every day.

Albert said,
wow. an expensive toy. by microsoft. well. i guess doomsday is really this year. lol.

Witty. Or at least it would of been if it was launching, y'know, this year "lol"

Rather add a couple more hundred dollars and buy a powerful Sager laptop running Windows 7. This thing is targeted at a very small audience. I could see a sales associate at Best Buy giving his best sales pitch while the customer laughs and turns to a $600 Asus laptop.

What about NFC and GPS?
If not, I would pay 150 USD for a surface USB device that:
1) Provides GPS (for use in the car),
2) Provides NFC (for use around town)
3) Has micro USB to power the GPS, NFC, and surface tablet (so it can be a car charger).
If I build it, will it sell?

I really don't understand what people are complaining about. This tablet is equivalent to a laptop but the most compact in the world. In the laptop world you pay more for smaller products. Smaller products cost more to manufacturer.

Even though it is small it still has full HD, CaporMG case, touch screen, great pen screen, latest OS, ports, SSD. This will have the latest hardware out.

I challenge you to find a laptop with similar specs and closest to this size as possible. How much is that laptop? Now that you have found the closest product make a list for what that laptop does not have that the Surface Pro has. Add the difference of the weight to the list. Now lets talk about why you feel the Surface cost too much and compare the two.

Samdung can keep the ativ pro... not buying anymore... They should have had my money by now... but they are only serious with the S3.

dangel said,

You could throw that comment at any laptop too.

It'd be just as meaningless.

so you could pretty much say the same thing for most apple products.

This "tablet" is $1200 bucks no matter how they want to spin it. DOA is my guess - since a "real" decent laptop is half this cost. And let's not forget software etc etc like Office 2013...

Vocalpoint said,
This "tablet" is $1200 bucks no matter how they want to spin it. DOA is my guess - since a "real" decent laptop is half this cost. And let's not forget software etc etc like Office 2013...

Descent huh? well this thing is that laptop tablet and desktop... 3 in one... good price for 1200 dollars...

benalvino said,

Descent huh? well this thing is that laptop tablet and desktop... 3 in one... good price for 1200 dollars...

It won't have the performance of a laptop or a desktop you can buy for anything close to this price, so clearly there are compromises.

Defcon said,

It won't have the performance of a laptop or a desktop you can buy for anything close to this price, so clearly there are compromises.

Really? Why? This carries the spec of a decent laptop imho - so why is the performance so much worse? Curious.

benalvino said,

Descent huh? well this thing is that laptop tablet and desktop... 3 in one... good price for 1200 dollars...

A laptop that you can't hold in your lap (only flat surface; pun intended), a tablet that's too bulky really (and awkward to use in portrait mode) and a desktop with a 10" screen, 1 USB port and barely any other expansion ports... so it's more like 0-in-one than 3-in-one - doesn't really perform well as anything. Like most reviewers have concluded, its best place is on the kitchen counter... But at $1200 practically, it will be a very expensive decorative piece...

Obry said,

A laptop that you can't hold in your lap (only flat surface; pun intended), a tablet that's too bulky really (and awkward to use in portrait mode) and a desktop with a 10" screen, 1 USB port and barely any other expansion ports... so it's more like 0-in-one than 3-in-one - doesn't really perform well as anything. Like most reviewers have concluded, its best place is on the kitchen counter... But at $1200 practically, it will be a very expensive decorative piece...

actually the surface rt is not uncomfortable to hold in portrait although I don't use it like that, the keyboard and stand work pretty good wherever you are

Not interested at $1100+ (with keyboard; useless otherwise). There are already other options that are more exciting and other things coming along that are more exciting as well. I was really interested in the Surface but the RT is a complete junk and over-priced - useless for the most part and so is the Pro. The MacBooc air is also way over-priced so I don't care about the comparison of those.

I think in this economy they need to re-adjust their pricing a little bit. I'll be holding off to my Laptop for a few more years it seems like. I don't see a single reason to purchase on of those super expensive devices. I guess they're not geared towards mainstream market...

$1000 is too much for a tablet, and 10.6" is too small for an Ultrabook screen. I know who they are trying to target, but its an extremely niche market.

lol @ the noobs who are saying its expensive for a tablet

well let me tell you, this isn't your grandfathers tablet.

this is a real ****in machine.

SOLD!!!! :-D

Was hoping for a price like that, but was a bit let down by the tablet prices of the OEM's...
For a full blown tablet/pc with an active digitizer and best of both worlds regarding software, I can't wait for it to show up in a store nearby.

Those complaining about the price. You do realize that this is the"pro" model, the full tablet/netbook/ultra book replacement right? If you want cheaper go for the standard one. This is also a premium product, if Microsoft wants to compete they have to go premium for the brand so it won't come off as cheaper than the OEMs

NeoPogo said,
Too Expensive for a tablet! MS should follow Android pricing...

How much did that 128 GB Android tablet that runs Office and Photoshop your holding run you?

NeoPogo said,
Too Expensive for a tablet! MS should follow Android pricing...

why would they follow android pricing when this is a full blown windows 8 pro machine????
can your android tablet run office pro 2013, photoshop, outlook 2013 and or even programs like quickbooks pro????

If it comes with the touch cover it's a fair price. If not then it's kinda expensive for the space avalaible.

I was looking at getting a Dell XPS 12 which has similar specs as the Surface Pro.
Its price at a much higher price than Microsoft's.
So I think for the config this is a decent price except for the fact that at $900 I would expect a lot more disk.

Sonne said,
A $900 Windows tablet...and thats the base model?

I hope MS isn't expecting it to sell


I'm sorry, is Apple's idea of what a tablet is clouding your judgment of the Surface? Last I checked, Windows 8 is capable of being pushed in a hundred directions the iPad can never explore.

But don't worry, for all the hybrid hate Apple encourages, it's pretty clear from the baby steps they're taking in each new software update that they themselves plan to integrate touch into their 'desktop' OS at some point, and iOS will be Mac OS 11.

Joshie said,

I'm sorry, is Apple's idea of what a tablet is clouding your judgment of the Surface? Last I checked, Windows 8 is capable of being pushed in a hundred directions the iPad can never explore.

But don't worry, for all the hybrid hate Apple encourages, it's pretty clear from the baby steps they're taking in each new software update that they themselves plan to integrate touch into their 'desktop' OS at some point, and iOS will be Mac OS 11.

Nice rant however your assumption that somehow because I do not like the Surface or Windows 8 I must be an Apple fanboy is wrong... thats not a bite out of that apple in my avatar its Beastie

Apple MBA is quite a bit costlier than this one and comes with lower specs... plus its not even a tablet... So your point dosen't make any sense. The pricing IMO is spot on.

Sonne said,
A $900 Windows tablet...and thats the base model?

I hope MS isn't expecting it to sell

drazgoosh said,
So £899 right?

Probably including VAT... of course these US prices won't include US taxes, they never do, not until you get to checkout.

I think the price is quite OK given the portability, the digitiser, pen, the CaporMG case and possibly the touch cover (?)
[…]will have "Intel's next generation Core i5 processor". I wonder if that means Haswell... New architecture, new iGPU, much better TDP. Of this should be the case the Surface is mine on day one (well… it will be mine anyway I guess)

Drakknar said,
I think the price is quite OK given the portability, the digitiser, pen, the CaporMG case and possibly the touch cover (?)
[…]will have "Intel's next generation Core i5 processor". I wonder if that means Haswell... New architecture, new iGPU, much better TDP.

It will be 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000

The 64gb version is pretty much like the Xbox360 Arcade, a product that is crippled without a upgrade/add ons.

Brony said,
The 64gb version is pretty much like the Xbox360 Arcade, a product that is crippled without a upgrade/add ons.

Not really, I have an older Win7 tablet, 2 years old has a 64GB SSD in it I used alot and even upgraded it to win8 I still have 40GB free on it.

Brony said,
The 64gb version is pretty much like the Xbox360 Arcade, a product that is crippled without a upgrade/add ons.

It depends on how hard you want to use it. I have no issues with an XBOX 360 Arcade and no add-ons. I also don't play a huge number of games with it either, and the USB flash drive works fine for the random stuff I download.

Same deal here. Power users will want the bigger SSD, some may be very happy with 64 GB and an SD card, or an external HDD.

What I don't understand is how they are going to market this to the non-geek market. I mean how can you sell a "tablet" for 900 when you can get an iPad tablet for cheaper. Yes, this is supposed to be in the PC/Laptop/Ultrabook category and not just a regular tablet, but how do you get that message across? I would think that the average consumer would look at this and think that it is way over priced.

Aergan said,
It might run Crysis though.

At 1920x1080 with HD4000 graphics?
That doesn't sound like a great experience to me.

RandPC said,

At 1920x1080 with HD4000 graphics?
That doesn't sound like a great experience to me.

He said it might run it, not that it will run it well.

RandPC said,

At 1920x1080 with HD4000 graphics?
That doesn't sound like a great experience to me.

Lower the res to 1280x720 and you might just be able to get 30 fps or more in Crysis. 720p seems to be the sweetspot for a lot of games on the HD4000.

I feel the pricing is fairly appropriate. I am very enthusiastic about getting one of these, I hope there are no setbacks or major problems come launch time.

Cheaper than I thought it would be, but I'm already tired of people whining that it is priced to high and not understanding this product is a Full PC\Ultra book with a digitizer in a tablet form factor.

For what it is this is not a bad price at all.

swanlee said,
Cheaper than I thought it would be, but I'm already tired of people whining that it is priced to high and not understanding this product is a Full PC\Ultra book with a digitizer in a tablet form factor.

For what it is this is not a bad price at all.

The good thing about people complaining is that they probably will not go out and buy one. That will ensure the rest of us that want one on right away can get one.

128GB model will be mine! I predicted $999. Nailed it, plus $119 for the keyboard. I'll live, this is happening. Storage on the device isn't a huge concern for me; the USB 3.0 port and the SD card slot will allow me to expand as much as I need. Now can we skip Christmas and just be January?

Im confused as why people think 899$ is a good starting price. After you get the bread and butter, your looking at almost 1100$ after tax. I was thinking 799$ base price. I mean is the i5 really worth the extra 400$ vs other brand full windows 8 tablets?

Just last week the acer iconia w510 was 399$, yeah the surface pro is faster but I just don't see the value being 400$ for that little extra umph.

Heck you can get a acer iconia w500 for sub 500$, buy windows 8 and you have a very functional tablet that can play portal 2 and comes with a dock! All for sub 600$.

Klownicle said,
Im confused as why people think 899$ is a good starting price. After you get the bread and butter, your looking at almost 1100$ after tax. I was thinking 799$ base price. I mean is the i5 really worth the extra 400$ vs other brand full windows 8 tablets?

Just last week the acer iconia w510 was 399$, yeah the surface pro is faster but I just don't see the value being 400$ for that little extra umph.

Heck you can get a acer iconia w500 for sub 500$, buy windows 8 and you have a very functional tablet that can play portal 2 and comes with a dock! All for sub 600$.

Netbooks were cheap compared to full fledged laptops. Same deal, this is a full fledged Laptop\Ultrabook replacement at a very good price. This is a real PC and the pricing competes well with other normal Ultra Books and Laptops of similar spec's.

swanlee said,

Netbooks were cheap compared to full fledged laptops. Same deal, this is a full fledged Laptop\Ultrabook replacement at a very good price. This is a real PC and the pricing competes well with other normal Ultra Books and Laptops of similar spec's.


Yup. The Surface's price is roughly on par with the Macbook Air, and the intent of the form factors are roughly the same. It's also been clear all along that the Surface Pro was competing in the ultrabook arena, not the tablet one.

Klownicle said,
Im confused as why people think 899$ is a good starting price. After you get the bread and butter, your looking at almost 1100$ after tax. I was thinking 799$ base price. I mean is the i5 really worth the extra 400$ vs other brand full windows 8 tablets?

Just last week the acer iconia w510 was 399$, yeah the surface pro is faster but I just don't see the value being 400$ for that little extra umph.

Heck you can get a acer iconia w500 for sub 500$, buy windows 8 and you have a very functional tablet that can play portal 2 and comes with a dock! All for sub 600$.


you look like a troll with such statement. It's literally like comparing netbook to a ultrabook (skipping regular notebook price point all together). And while W500 costs more than netbook because of tablet functionality, Surface Pro in some instances cheaper than regular ultrabook, while adding not just tablet functionality, but also superior built quality (I'm talking about VaporMG case and Gorilla Glass 2 screen), digitizer, and overall smart product design (kickstand, touch/type cover support, smart vent solution, magnetic power attachment, etc).

Klownicle said,
Im confused as why people think 899$ is a good starting price. After you get the bread and butter, your looking at almost 1100$ after tax. I was thinking 799$ base price. I mean is the i5 really worth the extra 400$ vs other brand full windows 8 tablets?

Just last week the acer iconia w510 was 399$, yeah the surface pro is faster but I just don't see the value being 400$ for that little extra umph.

Heck you can get a acer iconia w500 for sub 500$, buy windows 8 and you have a very functional tablet that can play portal 2 and comes with a dock! All for sub 600$.

It's not just the processor. The HD 4000 which this thing has will allow you to play games like Star Craft 2 and Diablo 3 at decent detail levels. I'm not saying that this is going to be a hardcore gaming machine, but you'll be able to do a lot with it more comfortably.

very well priced. I was expecting to have to pay $1200 for one of these. Now i just need to save up for it. By the time I can afford it they probably wont make them anymore.

dead on arrival.... for a normal pc 64GB and 128GB its pretty low, even a netbook have more space. we are talking about normal windows machine 128gb should be the minimal not the "premium" experience...

have "Intel's next generation Core i5 processor" which will boost the display resolution of the tablet up to 1920x1080.

i lolled at such a claim again when they are competing against "retina displays" and even android its catching up... they are far behind.

lets see what features it have when they release it but so far its disappointing

You're kind of coming across as a bit of a noob, you know. Right off the bat, too, by apparently not knowing the difference between a SSD and a HDD. At least, that's the only explanation I can think of for comparing it to netbooks, where storage only ever exceeded 128GB when using a mechanical HDD.

Fun fact: entry level Macbook Air comes in at $999 for 11" and just 64GB of storage. 128GB adds $100. 256GB adds another $200 on top of that. 512GB brings you to a bare minimum (smallest display) of $1899.

The Surface's price is pretty much right on the mark. That you don't realize this makes me doubt the specs at release will mean anything to you at all.

Joshie said,
You're kind of coming across as a bit of a noob, you know. Right off the bat, too, by apparently not knowing the difference between a SSD and a HDD. At least, that's the only explanation I can think of for comparing it to netbooks, where storage only ever exceeded 128GB when using a mechanical HDD.

Fun fact: entry level Macbook Air comes in at $999 for 11" and just 64GB of storage. 128GB adds $100. 256GB adds another $200 on top of that. 512GB brings you to a bare minimum (smallest display) of $1899.

The Surface's price is pretty much right on the mark. That you don't realize this makes me doubt the specs at release will mean anything to you at all.

but then you have to realize what its MS competing against?
Ipads?
Macbook Air?

I dont know... i think that microsoft neither

In the end surface pro its a PC and a very overpriced one, its not a game changer, like the surface RT suppose to be an ipad killer and we saw an underperforming, expensive tablet.

Surface pro on other hand cant beat in specs and price of any ultrabook , come with no keyboard and i serious doubt that the keyboard cover would do any good, so what its the point?

MS will need a lot better divergence device if they want to compete in 2 fronts where cant exceed and underperform in so many aspects

Edited by John S., Nov 30 2012, 7:00am :

eilegz said,
i lolled at such a claim again when they are competing against "retina displays" and even android its catching up... they are far behind.
Joshie is exactly right. You sound like an idiot, sorry.

Also, 1080p is, by no means, "behind." You realize that desktop monitors double the size have only 1080p, right? Also, movies come in that resolution maximum.

Umm... but this isn't a normal PC if you noticed... It is a different segment and has a different utility...

eilegz said,
dead on arrival.... for a normal pc 64GB and 128GB its pretty low, even a netbook have more space. we are talking about normal windows machine 128gb should be the minimal not the "premium" experience...

i lolled at such a claim again when they are competing against "retina displays" and even android its catching up... they are far behind.

lets see what features it have when they release it but so far its disappointing

eilegz said,

but then you have to realize what its MS competing against?
Ipads?
Macbook Air?

I dont know... i think that microsoft neither

In the end surface pro its a PC and a very overpriced one, its not a game changer, like the surface RT suppose to be an ipad killer and we saw an underperforming, expensive tablet.

Surface pro on other hand cant beat in specs and price of any ultrabook , come with no keyboard and i serious doubt that the keyboard cover would do any good, so what its the point?

MS will need a lot better divergence device if they want to compete in 2 fronts where cant exceed and underperform in so many aspects

You are so inconsistent. Let me point out a few things for you...

First off, there has never been a device that has competed so closely with high end ultrabooks AND high end tablets at the same time. What is in a high end ultrabook? Well, something extremely thin and portable, with long battery life while staying pretty fast. And can run any productive/desktop app you throw at it. What's generally in a high end tablet? Dual cameras, high density screen resolution, will run very touch-oriented mobile apps. And yeah a touch screen lol.

Granted the Surface Pro doesn't beat every single spec of any tablet or ultrabook. But what it does do is introduce totally new features that haven't existed in these realms before. And it's $900, or $1000 with the keyboard/cover. So now I'll point out where the Surface Pro really shines...

Try finding a tablet that can run any desktop app you want, especially with high quality business oriented apps built in.
Try finding a tablet that has the latest generation Intel i5 technology with it, and has the ability to perfectly accept not just multitouch, but sub-pixel input (I believe it was 6x smaller than each visible pixel) and 10-point touch input.
Try finding a tablet that actually has browser choice on it.

Try finding an ultrabook that has any touchscreen input, and an every increasing catalog to go with that.
Try finding an ultrabook with two cameras front and rear, both 720p.
Try finding an ultrabook with a 1080p screen resolution.

Do you see my point? It's not what these high end competitors have, it's what they don't have but the other mobile computing solution does have. The Surface Pro has it all, and while it doesn't have the best of everything, it's an example of a new era where the differences between ultrabooks and tablets now converge. PS: Try dropping your tablet or ultrabook like people have been doing to their Surface without it failing!

eilegz said,
dead on arrival.... for a normal pc 64GB and 128GB its pretty low, even a netbook have more space. we are talking about normal windows machine 128gb should be the minimal not the "premium" experience...

retina displays are over hyped, the surface pro screen will look so much better than the ipads.

i lolled at such a claim again when they are competing against "retina displays" and even android its catching up... they are far behind.

lets see what features it have when they release it but so far its disappointing

This is the device I've been looking for .. right price, right specs. The one thing I might like to upgrade is the 4GB RAM to 8GB. This will probably be soldered but fingers crossed there will be a way.

Cheaper than the Samsung Ativ PC Pro, and likely way better. If it follows the Ativ you're looking at roughly 7 hours of battery life.

The few people that have the ATIV Smart PC Pro are also complaining about not being able to tilt the screen back far enough in notebook mode(making it practically useless), constant keyboard disconnects, pen problems(start writing on part of the screen and it show up randomly elsewhere), etc. Might be why they are so hard to find. I hope that Surface does a better job. If it would only friggin come with built in LTE, we'd buy them in a heartbeat.

NXTwoThou said,
The few people that have the ATIV Smart PC Pro are also complaining about not being able to tilt the screen back far enough in notebook mode(making it practically useless), constant keyboard disconnects, pen problems(start writing on part of the screen and it show up randomly elsewhere), etc. Might be why they are so hard to find. I hope that Surface does a better job. If it would only friggin come with built in LTE, we'd buy them in a heartbeat.

Oh hey, I was the first to report all of this on Youtube. Go me. I hated the Ativ and I'm praying that the Surface provides way better quality.

Shiranui said,
Well, the Surface won't be usable on your lap. Unless you are at a table, the stand will be useless.

Unless you flip the keyboard around and put the stand on that. That works quite well from what i've seen.

Jimmy422 said,

Unless you flip the keyboard around and put the stand on that. That works quite well from what i've seen.

Which makes little sense, really. If it's in your lap, you're likely typing or it's not angled enough to watch comfortably.

Jimmy422 said,

Unless you flip the keyboard around and put the stand on that. That works quite well from what i've seen.

yes that actually works very well coming from a surface rt owner.

I use my Surface RT in my lap all of the time. I have used it both with the keyboard out so that I can use it (Touch Type Cover is not all that useful here, as it bends when you tap on it, being only 3 mm thick), and with the keyboard flipped using the kickstand on it. This makes it perfectly easy to rest on my legs. Had I gotten the thicker keyboard, then I suspect the typing on my lap would even easier (if I am using it on my lap, then I tend to be doing more trivial stuff like playing games where fortunately I don't mind missing half of my screen to the keyboard).

The kickstand and cover make it usable everywhere. I even use it on my chest/stomach when I lay in bed sometimes.

The Asus and Acer are nicer and quite a bit more. In light of build quality and weight, I think it fits the spectrum well.

superconductive said,

Yep. MS better rethink their strategy here. People aren't stupid. I can buy powerful ultrabooks (true pcs might I add) for under $900.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sa...!g!!18463087999

That has a terrible screen, the Surface Pro has a 1080p screen. It's very rare to find a sub-$1000 *laptop* with a screen that high of a resolution, so I'd say the price-point for the Surface Pro is right in-line with my expectations (perhaps a few hundred less!).

That Ultrabook is also weighs twice as much, has a plastic versus metal chassis, and doesn't have a removable keyboard.

Majesticmerc said,
Good value for money, but out of my price range.

Same here. I don't see them selling very many units. I'm not going to sit here and say "Psh, it's not going to sell", because certainly people will buy them, but when you can get 7 inch Android tablets that runs Gingerbread 4.0 for under $200 I just don't see these tablets becoming mainstream.