Surface Pro: Why public perception is causing a pricing conflict

Earlier today pricing was revealed for Microsoft Surface Pro. Unlike it’s earlier sibling, this Surface runs a full build of Windows 8, and it is priced accordingly. There are two price points: $900 for 64GB and $1000 for 128GB. There has been much debate already about the pricing of this model, but how will Joe Consumer view the Surface Pro pricing?

The #1 justification for Surface Pro costing as much as it does is that it is essentially an ultrabook. If you look at it like that Surface Pro is actually reasonably priced. As Russell Holly points out on Google+ there are 52 ultrabooks at best Buy priced over $900. The difference is that those 52 ultrabooks, and any that cost under $900, come with a keyboard. Surface Pro does not. If it looks like a tablet and works like a tablet it will be viewed as a tablet by consumers.

This is why Surface Pro is overpriced. The average consumer is not going to compare the pricing of a Surface Pro with something like the Acer Aspire S7, they are going to compare it to the only other tablet they know: the iPad. Surface Pro is way more expensive than the cheapest iPad model, and even $70 more than the most tricked out iPad you can buy. How much is productivity worth?

The real battle Microsoft has on its hands is to prove to consumers that Surface Pro is more than just an iPad. They can’t just price it like an ultrabook and expect people to view it as one. The difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 has not been explained very well to consumers so far. If that can change it might click with consumers.

What do you think? Is the Surface Pro too pricey, or is it right where it should be?

  • The surface pro is awesome and I cannot wait to get one. Based on the fact that I can run all of my production and DJ SW on both a desk top and a tablet is amazing.

  • Avatar Roku

    That is a very competitive price for a Core i5 tablet at this point.

    I think the only thing they could have done more is bundle in the keyboard. My advice would be to lower the price of the keyboards so people buy more colors and keep making additional smart covers with unique functionality.

  • It’s simple for me. Make the keyboard part of the package and perceptions will shift toward seeing the Surface Pro as a hybrid not tablet. Nonetheless, I will be buying both of course.

  • CX1

    The tweet about battery life yesterday sorta let the wind out of my sails on Surface Pro. Hoping it is better than 4 hours, but for the price the touch cover should be included. Considering the materials to make it come in under $12.

  • I feel like the touch cover should be included in the base price since this “tablet” is actually a laptop replacement moreso than an Android tablet or the iPad could ever think about being.

  • The materials may be under $12 to make. But don’t forget the cost of labor, design, research, packaging, shipping.