Microsoft always intended for the $500 Surface RT — its first tablet which runs a modified version of Windows and debuted in October — to go toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad, but, despite some positive reviews, the jury's still out. Meanwhile, fans clamoring for a tablet that runs the full rendition of Windows 8 were forced to wait. This week, Microsoft officially unveiled the Surface Pro, a touch-based device crammed with the internal processing power of a notebook that runs Windows 8 in all its colorful glory. Just one catch: The starting price for the Surface Pro is roughly $900 for the 64GB version and $1,000 for the 128GB version — and that's not counting the $120 Type Cover, which users need if they want the convenience and familiarity of a more traditional keyboard. That means it'll cost you $1,020 at the bare minimum to capitalize on Microsoft's promise of a true tablet-laptop hybrid. Too expensive?
Definitely too expensive: It's "too little, too late" for the Surface Pro, says Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at ZDNet. I get that Microsoft's trying to target the bring-your-own-device-to-work crowd, but Apple's iPad has already become "the poster-child for tablets in business." Some might argue that $900 for the Surface Pro is not over-priced given that it's competing with lightweight laptops, but let's get real: People will compare it to the iPad. The Surface Pro is doomed to collect dust on store shelves.
"Surface Pro: Too much money for too little tablet"
It's actually not that bad compared to other Windows slabs: Consider other manufacturers' tablets that will be running Windows 8, says Loyd Case at PC World. Samsung's Series 7 Slate with an 11.6-inch display, for example, starts at $1,149 and has pretty similar specs to the Surface Pro (the same Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and more). All things considered, Microsoft's new Surface is a pretty impressive computer for its asking price. It's just being pitted against the wrong weight class.
"Surface Pro pricing: Positioned like a tablet, built like an Ultrabook"
Why ask consumers to take a leap of faith?: The road-tested MacBook Air, brand new, runs you about $1,000 for the 11-inch model, says Brian Bennet at Gizmodo. To release the full potential of the Surface Pro with a Type Cover, you'll need to shell out $1,020. It could be a great "technological marvel," sure, but the Surface Pro could also be a colossal disappointment. Why would laptop buyers take a chance when they buy a proven contender like the MacBook Air for less? Perhaps Microsoft should've sold the Surface Pro at a loss — like the original Xbox — to truly make a splash in the market.
"Microsoft Surface Pro will be out in January — and costs more than a MacBook Air"