The Microsoft Store has begun selling a model of its Surface Pro 4 tablet without the Surface Pen that it previously included with every variant of the Windows 10 device.
Surface Pro 4 SKUs without the Surface Pen have been gradually appearing at other retailers in recent weeks. For example, Best Buy is offering this Surface Pro 4 bundle which includes a Type Cover keyboard, but excludes the Pen.
Until now, all models of the tablet sold via the Microsoft Store came with the Pen as part of the package. But the entry-level Surface Pro 4 - which has an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage - is now available in a "no pen" SKU on the Microsoft Store for the first time.
Without the Pen, the device is priced at $799 - that's $100 less than the same model that comes with the Pen included. Given that the Pen costs $59.99, you could purchase the Pen-free SKU for $799, and then add the Pen to your basket for a total cost of $858.99, which makes more sense than paying $899 for the same Pro 4 model that comes with the Pen in the box.
Microsoft's lower-end Surface 3 - which it discontinued last year - was also sold without the Pen, but that accessory has always been pitched by the company as an integral part of the Surface Pro 4's appeal.
Indeed, Microsoft's Panos Panay spoke at length about the "power of the Pen" at the tablet's launch in October 2015, and the fact that the Pen "comes with Surface Pro 4" was touted as a key selling point of the device.
Source: Microsoft Store