posted earlier today that there's currently a $100 rebate from Microsoft on the Surface Pro. That brings the price of the 64GB SSD model to $799 and the 128GB model to $899, though still without a Type Cover sadly (add another $129 for that). The rebate is set to run through August 29, or "until supplies last", but it seems more like a way to clear inventory in preparation for the launch of a Haswell based Surface Pro 2.

In our review of the Surface Pro six months ago, we concluded that it was one of the best executed tablet/laptop (taptablet, Ultra-tablet, etc.--feel free to make up your own name for this class of device) computers we had seen. The inclusion of an active stylus also opens the door for other use cases--Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik for instance loves his Surface Pro and it appears he has switched to using that for many of his comics. The two primary concerns with the original still remain, however: you don't get the Type Cover as part of the core package (and $129 is an awful lot for a cover that doesn't include any additional battery life), and more importantly the battery life is pretty poor for a tablet--five or six hours in our testing, compared to 10-13 on many higher quality tablets.

Now that the Haswell launch is behind us, we have a better idea of what to expect from the 4th Generation Intel processors, and most of what we expect is minor to moderate improvements in performance with dramatically improved battery life. So far, we've seen 6-13 hours out of the new MacBook Air 13, over eight hours on the updated Acer S7--nearly twice what the original S7 managed!--and even a mainstream laptop with a quad-core i7-4702MQ (and a larger battery) posted times of 4-9 hours with the MSI GE40. In fact, I've got an updated MSI GT70 with i7-4930XM and GTX 780M that's getting 4-6 hours in our battery life tests. When we look at power use of the Haswell ULT processors and consider what can be done with a 4.5W Haswell, the next Surface Pro could be a serious improvement over the original, at least as far as mobility goes.

I'd still like to see Microsoft include a Type Cover in the package, as otherwise you're getting an already expensive tablet and paying a hefty sum to add laptop functionality. Improving the battery life and getting the prices closer to the current "rebate pricing" would seal the deal I think. We'll have to wait to see what Microsoft actually releases, but in the meantime, if you're in a hurry to help clear out the Ivy Bridge inventory, feel free to take advantage of the current offer. Just don't be surprised to see a newer, better Surface Pro in the near future.

Source: Tech Report

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  • Death666Angel - Monday, August 5, 2013 - link

    They should really pay you to own one, don't you think?
  • Zeratul56 - Monday, August 5, 2013 - link

    lol Death Angel. I think people fail to realize the processor alone in the surface pro is several hundred dollars. This is not a tablet were almost all of the components are less than 30 dollars.
  • chizow - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    Sorry guys, that fallacy was debunked months ago when the Surface released. The i5-3317u was available in numerous Ultrabooks in the $500-600 range when Pro released, and those same Ultrabooks can be had even cheaper now with 2 in 1s replacing them in the $500-600 slot. Microsoft just seems to think they can charge a $300-400 premium for injected magnesium body and crappy battery life.

    I guess they have to pay for all those "dancing on tables" Surface ads somehow, because it's pretty clear the market has spoken: These tablets are nice, but they ain't worth the premium Microsoft is asking.
  • kyuu - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    I hope you're not referring to ultrabooks with 768p TN screens and crap build quality. I'm sure Microsoft could've gotten the Surface down to $600 if they were willing to release a shoddy product. That would've defeated the point, though.
  • chizow - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    Yep that's what MS was competing with (and losing). They did have a shoddy 768p version though, it was the useless Surface RT and they only wanted $500 for it, yet no one wanted it either.
  • kyuu - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    Surface RT actually has a very nice screen, resolution aside.
  • brianladmano - Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - link

    Microsoft should have released Surface (Atom) instead of Surface RT along with Surface Pro. Those that don't need the power but want long battery life could go for Surface Atom while those that need for muscle could go for the Surface Pro. Why did MS even bother with the Surface RT?
  • chizow - Thursday, August 8, 2013 - link

    I definitely agree with this, but I also see why MS released Surface RT. They wanted to hedge their bets on x86 and not get left out of the "ARM" race. Problem is Windows RT is just so limited in functionality, there's basically no developer support and even less incentive to do so now that the RT has flopped.
  • Impulses - Friday, August 9, 2013 - link

    That's an easy one, because they could and because as chizow said, it covers their bases. They left Atom to other OEMs... But MS wanted to simultaneously pressure Intel (who basically held Atom in place since it's inception years ago) and also have a fallback strategy in case Intel doesn't come thru with a desirable Atom replacement.
  • InsGadget - Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - link

    So these cheap ultrabooks you mention have SSDs, 1080p, and excellent stylus support?

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