Earlier today Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Pro 3, a 12-inch device that starts at $799. The Surface Pro 2 was introduced in September 2013, making the new Surface Pro 3 a speedy addition to Microsoft’s line of tablet-laptop hybrids.
I asked Microsoft if it will continue to sell the Surface Pro 2. A spokesperson told me the following: “Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 remain great options and will stay in market at this time.” That the Surface 2 will remain on sale is hardly surprising, but the decision to keep selling the Surface Pro 2 is more interesting.
Put simply, the Surface Pro 3 retails in its cheapest form for $799. The Surface Pro 2, a smaller device that is now a generation behind, starts at $899. Here’s Microsoft’s website:
I doubt that Microsoft will sell many Surface Pro 2s at a price point that is higher than the new, larger and better Surface Pro 3.
So, what to expect? Microsoft hasn’t replied to my question asking about price drops for the Pro 2 device, but we can expect just that. If Microsoft chooses to stop making the Pro 2, and merely sells off remaining inventory, a price cut would help clear out that pipe. Additionally, if the company continues to build the Pro 2 line, a price cut is likely still necessary.
Caveat: The Surface Pro 2 starts with an i5 Intel chip. The Surface Pro 3 starts with a less-powerful i3 chip. Is that enough to allow for the price differential? I don’t think so.
(As an aside, the Surface Pro 2 felt like a much more minor upgrade from the first Surface generation than the Surface 2 did from its predecessor, the Surface RT. Now we know why.)