Microsoft Surface – $325 at Buy.com

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Microsoft Surface 32GB Tablet PC w/ Windows RT and ClearType technology
Surface to Windows RT is supported by the ARM processor and NVIDIA Tegra is confirmed by three quad-core processors. Has a size of 10.6 inch HD touchscreen ClearType, micro HDMI video output. For storage media have been equipped with a 32GB of internal storage and comes with a USB 2.0 interface and microSD card slot, and supports WiFi connectivity with 2 2 MIMO antenna. It measures just 9.3mm thick and weighs 676g. Running Windows RT, this model comes pre-loaded with Office 15 applications.

$324.99 at Buy.com

Surface 3 Announced – Big Sales Expected

The first two models of the Surface tablet were compared to the Apple iPad – and typically didn’t compare well.

Now that the new Surface 3 is bigger and more powerful, Microsoft are promoting it as a Macbook killer. Here’s the comparison of specs:


Surface Pro 3
Surface Pro 2 Macbook Air 11
Weight (lbs) 1.76 2 2.38
Resolution 2160×1440 1980×1080 1366×768
Display size 12″ 10.6″ 13.3″
Price $799+ $899+ $899+
CPU Core i3/i5/i7 Core i5/i7 Core i5
Thickness 0.35″ 0.53″ 0.68″
Storage 64-512B 128-512GB 128-256GB
RAM 4-8GB 4-8GB 4GB

In terms of portability, the Surface 3 wins easily. And it comes with a stylus and a touch screen – two features that perhaps are coming to the Macbook in a year or two.

Combine that with a special version of Photoshop, and the ever-improving Office apps, this could be the sales breakthrough that Microsoft have been hoping for. If they pull it off, then they should be congratulated for sticking to their guns.

Surface Blog announcement

Preview at UberGizmo

Surface 2: SOLD OUT!

In the USA most outlets that sell the new Surface 2 tablets (including the Surface 2 Pro) are out of stock. That includes Best Buy, Walmart Amazon and Microsoft themselves. See the full story at Mashable.

So the big question is, how many did Microsoft manufacture? Everyone knows that they severely over-estimated demand when the first generation tablets were released, so this time did they under-estimate? Is the Surface 2 now actually a hit product, despite the predictions of most experts?

Personally I would have expected the Pro to be a strong seller, but the basic model to still be a flop, given that other brands have full Windows 8 tablets for a similar price.

 

Surface 2 Launch – Cheaper and More Business Focused

As expected there weren’t any surprises. The hardware has been upgraded, but certainly not enough to concern their competitors. Prices are lower than some predicted, but not low enough to make it a hit product.

The RT moniker has been dropped, but Microsoft still think they should be selling a consumer product (with a gutless Windows) that is confusingly similar to a business product (with proper Windows).

So here’s the news:

  • longer battery life
  • better camera
  • docking station for the Pro
  • improved stand
  • better graphics

The new Surface 2 will sell for a minimum of $449, compared to $499 when the RT launched. That’s cheaper, but not really enough to make any difference. I only hope that Microsoft built fewer of them this time, because the RT is still for sale at $349.

The Surface Pro 2 should do OK, because it has a unique selling point. Businesses should lap it up.

Launch Date: Sept 23 – Surface 2 Tablet

According to The Verge, Microsoft are launching the new Surface 2 tablet computer on September 23. According to most reports the hardware improvements aren’t particularly thrilling, with some saying that a “launch” is overkill.

The new products are expected to be called Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro – with the RT moniker being sensibly dropped. The rumored Surface Mini is not expected to be making an appearance.

Personally there is something that will trump form factor, processors, screen pixels and so on – price. This is Microsoft’s opportunity to flood the market with a product that is as good as the iPad, but cheaper. I suggest 20-25% cheaper will do the trick

Microsoft: $900 Million Surface Loss Reported

In Microsoft’s fourth quarter reporting you can see a massive write-down of $900M for unsold Surface RT tablets. No further breakdown is provided, however Peter Bright at Ars Techinca has done the maths:

But that Surface adjustment is huge. The company said that it’s for Surface RT and related parts and accessories. We don’t know the exact breakdown of the $900 million figure. Worst case, it implies that the company has six million Surface RTs ($900 million divided by $150 price cut per unit) sitting unsold. The true number may be a little lower, due to some of the hit coming from parts and accessories. But Microsoft is still sitting on several million—perhaps as many as five—Surface RTs.

That Microsoft could underestimate initial demand is extraordinary. If you build too few, you can always make more later. If you build too many, then embarrassing price-cuts occur, and then they will either give them away or dump them.

If I were in charge, I would sell them to a government somewhere (Australia?) at $100 each – for schoolkids to use. But 5 million is lot of product to shift, even at bargain prices.

LTE for Surface 2?

LTE connectivity might only be available on more expensive versions of the next Surface Pro, but you never know. It’s only a guess anyway, but news that Microsoft are using a new processor makes it look reasonably certain:

Some new versions of Surface will be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, which can deliver fast wireless data connections, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Microsoft has yet to announce new models. Nvidia Corp. whose Tegra chip is used in the current Surface RT, will continue as a supplier for some versions, one person said.

I hope Microsoft doesn’t bamboozle their customer base with too many versions. This is how I would have the RT line:

  • Basic – minimal storage 16 or 32 GB – no LTE. Sold at break even price or loss.
  • Premium – storage of 128GB, with LTE. Sold at a profit.

7/8 inch model for each, and a 10/11 inch model as well. That’s a total of only 4 devices.

TechEd Europe: £69.99 Surface Tablets

You merely need to be an attendee to get this amazing price:

Devices and Prices

  • Surface RT 64GB standalone (with FREE touch cover) for €79.99 for EU customers and £69.99 GBP for UK customers
  • Surface Pro 128GB standalone for €349.99 for EU customers and £299.99 for UK customers

Eligible attendees

  • Full Conference Pass Attendees
  • Partner Attendee and Booth Staff Passes
  • Faculty and Students
  • Press
  • 3rd Party Speakers
  • 3rd Party Staff

Read the official announcement here: Special Surface Offer for TechEd Europe 2013 Attendees

Keep in mind that the new Surface tablet can’t be far off!