Microsoft launched its second generation Surface tablets on Monday and the reception was lukewarm, because it failed to address a few shortcomings.
The Surface 2 is an RT rig and many in the industry simply don’t feel Windows RT has much of a future, even if the new tablet has a much faster processor and high def screen. However, the Surface Pro 2 has legs, as it should pave the way for other Windows 8.x tablets and hybrids. At least in theory.
The price still remains a major concern. The entry level Pro 2, with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, is priced at €879. As 64GB is a bit paltry for a Windows machine, we suspect the 128GB version will get a bit more attention and it costs €979, which is already starting to sound like too much.
The 256GB and 512GB models are priced at €1,279 and €1,779 respectively. They do include 8GB of RAM, which doesn’t add much to the production cost, but the added SSD capacity does, or does it? A Crucial M500 240GB mSATA 6GBps drive costs €149 in retail, while a 480GB unit goes for €309 – and bear in mind that these are retail prices. Redmond is practically doing a Cupertino when it comes to additional storage.
In addition, anyone buying a Surface Pro 2 really needs to get some sort of cover, either the Touch Cover, Type Cover or the new Power Cover with an integrated battery. They are all very costly, especially the Power Cover which should retail for €199. The Surface Pro docking station is also priced at €199.
To be fair, all Windows 8 tablets that don’t happen to be based on obsolete Atom 2000-series processors are very pricey and the Surface Pro 2 really doesn’t stand out in terms of pricing – but that also seems to be Microsoft’s problem, doesn’t it?