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Microsoft UK drops Pen from entry-level Surface Pro 4

Last month, Microsoft stopped selling its entry-level Surface Pro 4 with the Surface Pen accessory in the United States. A few weeks earlier, it had begun selling a 'no pen' SKU of the most affordable Pro 4, which has an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB of storage, but the option to buy the device with a Pen included in the box disappeared completely by early March.

It was an unexpected decision, given that Microsoft's Panos Panay had spoken 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 repeatedly highlighted as a key selling point of the device.

Now, the company has made the same move in the UK, and is now only offering the Core m3 model without the Surface Pen. Oddly, it had previously been selling the device for £749, with or without the Pen. The Core m3 model was the only one in the Surface Pro 4 range which wasn't subjected to Microsoft's UK price increases in February.

Those who purchase the entry-level Pro 4 from the Microsoft Store now will have to pay an additional £59.99 if they want a Pen, bringing the total cost to £808.99. However, there is a much more affordable option available: Amazon is currently selling the Core m3 model, including the Pen, for £654.80 - that's £154.19 (19%) less than what it would cost at the Microsoft Store.

And while Microsoft is charging £949 for the next model up in the range - with Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage - you can get the same device from Amazon for £773, including the Pen, and still save £36 compared with buying the cheapest Core m3 model and Pen from the Microsoft Store.

Meanwhile, rumors have been swirling around Microsoft's plans for its next-generation tablet. The Surface Pro 5 is expected to be a minor evolution of the existing version, with updated processors, but a similar design to the Pro 4.

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