When last week the first concrete rumors about the Surface 3 were floating around, I thought this could be the perfect device for me. A light weight, atom or core-m powered tablet which is running full Windows. Not that I didn’t like Windows RT. The surface devices attracted me since they first launched – especially the non-Pro versions. Why not the Pro-versions? First of all because of the bulkiness and also because I back then wouldn’t had any use scenario which would have justified the high price. And that’s actually the third reason: pricing. I don’t think the Surface Pro devices are too heavily priced. Still I never ended up buying one, even if I was close to do so. Especially when they discounted the first-gen Surface RT to around 199 CHF with the Touch Cover included. But at that time the Surface 2 was yet around and it just offered much more (Full-HD screen, nicer look, better cameras). And Surface 2 was just an incredibly well-built device. I always went to the Surface devices when I was in a store (and I still do that now). I watched tons of videos about the Surface 2 and I found the Surfacegeeks podcast and I heard them talking about those devices and so on… Still I didn’t buy one. Last year when Microsoft announced Surface Pro 3 I really got excited. They basically brought everything I liked about the Surface 2 to the Pro-line: light weigh, thinness, silver color. But not only that, they also brought some other cool features to the table, e.g. the new kickstand. Again I watched tons of videos and listened to many podcasts. One more time I was about to buy my first Surface device, but I ultimately changed my mind and went with an Asus Zenbook. Mainly because I needed the device right then and I wasn’t patient enough to wait until the Pro 3 made its way to Switzerland.
So know I thought the Surface 3 could change that. Then Microsoft announced it and I was immediately excited about the device. Once again Microsoft made a huge upgrade to the Surface line: Surface Pen, 3:2 aspect ratio, Intel Atom Cherrytrail, better kickstand. Especially the addition of Surface Pen is huge in my opinion. And that’s also the main reason why I would by this device. I really like using OneNote and I think with a pen, the experience could get even better! But then I saw the price for it here in Switzerland. For the base model you have to pay 579 CHF (around 600 $). And then I would have to pay an extra of 60 CHF (around 63 $) to even get the Surface Pen – the main reason I would buy the device for. Finally, there’s the Type Cover. Sure, it’s not a necessity but still for me the package would feel incomplete without it. A surface without a keyboard is just a tablet – but Microsoft promotes the Surface as a tablet that can replace your laptop. I have no idea how that could be possible without a keyboard. Well, if we add it (150 CHF à around 157 $) to the price then we get to 789 CHF (around 825 $). I don’t want to say that this price is too high (although I think so), but it’s definitely too high for me. I certainly get it that the Surface devices are outstandingly designed and extremely well-built and they also offer some outstanding and innovative features like the kickstand – all those things need to be paid and also honored. Also if you think about that there is no actual competitor the prices are slightly more justified…
I think you’ve noticed that I’m really undecided about the pricing. At the end of the day it all comes down to what you are willing/ able to pay for a device and also what you need it for. For me I just don’t find such an important reason that I could justify to save so much money for one device just to take notes from time to time.
While I hesitated from buying the original Surface because it hasn’t had a Full-HD display and also the Tegra 3 wasn’t the most current SoC back then, now the Surface 2 isn’t really available anymore and the fact that it won’t get Windows 10 is just a deal breaker.
As I said before Microsoft hasn’t really any real competitor (in my opinion) who offers everything: from the build quality to the pen and the kickstand. Still there are some manufactures that at least offer a pen. But then there’s the problem that they aren’t widely available. I couldn’t find the Toshiba Encore Write 2, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen is just listed as “coming soon” on Lenovo’s website and the Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi is only listed in one store (available in a month). According to my knowledge there isn’t really a pen windows tablet available here in Switzerland besides the Surface.
I thought I would be sure of what I should think of the Surface 3 pricing if I write some thoughts down. But it looks like I’m still we’re I started. The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t be one of the early Surface 3 customers. If they will offer bundles with the Type Cover and Pen included at a “good” price I will think about it again. For know I will still search for a great pen device.
Now I’m interested in your opinion? What do you think of the pricing? Are you going to buy a Surface 3? Please let me also know if I overlooked a tablet that comes with a pen similar to the one found with the Surface devices.