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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  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    I think you're overlooking some very common usage cases, although I agree the Surface Pro form factor is never gonna have mass market appeal... But the Surface Pro seems perfect for a lot of students and mobile professionals who DO need a laptop and could use a tablet and who may very well prefer only ever carrying one device. They don't need gobs of power, but they certainly need more than what an ARM/Atom can provide. You can dock the Pro to a desktop display/USB hub and have a perfectly serviceable workstation for a lot of lighter usage cases.
  • InsGadget - Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - link

    You really are wrong, people just may not realize what is possible here. Honestly, if I could just have on tablet-sized device that can also be a full computer, that would be a panacea. Now, I'm a PC gamer, so I'm not holding my breath on this any time soon, but one day when I can just take my tablet out into the world for work/play, then bring it home that night and dock it to full keyboard/mouse/monitor, with perhaps a discrete graphics card included in the dock, that would be very awesome. Just because you lack the imagination, doesn't make this dream any less cool. I promise once that becomes reality, more people will want it.
  • Capt Mikey - Saturday, August 24, 2013 - link

    I have Windows PCs, and I use an iPad regularly at home for consumption of news, e-mail, books and surfing. I am often frustrated by getting to a point where the stupid Apple constraints prevent me from completing a task (like opening an encrypted Excel spreadsheet). I have to stop and go upstairs to use a "real computer" to finish. If I had a Surface Pro, I could do it all wherever I am, and plug it in to my large monitor and full-size keyboard in my office. I am just waiting for Surface Pro 2.0 and I will jump. For that functionality $1000 is about right.
  • vision33r - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    I always laugh at these comments justifying the Surface Pro's high price. There are ultrabooks with the same specs for just $499.

    There's nothing special about the Surface Pro except it has more memory and Intel's higher price CPU.

    The Surface Pro needs to come down to $699 for the 128GB, the only reason it can't because it will wipe the competition and suddenly every ultrabook looks overpriced.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    No, there are not...not anywhere near it. Refurbished ASUS UX31A with 128GB SSD are going for $799 -- so a used Ultrabook with similar specs but no stylus or tablet mode. The Ultrabooks that sell for $499 are first generation devices that are being clearanced, or they're models with HDD and a small SSD cache, and none of them have 1080p IPS displays.
  • InsGadget - Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - link

    As Jarred says, you are wrong. He covers the reasons.
  • Da W - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    Lol. Googlers got addicted to cheap stuff. Intel sells its chips 300$.
    A Kabini surface is in the plans. There will be RT (probably tegra 4), Kabini, Haswell. The Haswell one will still be around 1000$. You can expect the kabini one to be around 500$ and have a decent display.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    $400? Haha, what are you even talking about?
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    > i still think regulators should now allow M$ to sell x86 PCs

    Surprise, surprise: MS is actually allowed to sell these things! Who would've thought that..
  • Daniel Egger - Monday, August 5, 2013 - link

    $799 or $899 are still a ridiculous amount of money for something as stupid as the Surface Pro. $599 for the 128MB version including the keyboard cover would be in the "just-so-okay" range. You really need to be crazy about the touchscreen and the x86 CPU in order to spring for that amount of money; I'm certainly not. OTOH the Surface RT is slowly reaching an acceptable price tag...

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