There are a few issues Microsoft has to contend with in order to make the Surface Pro 3 a true success. One that stands out the most, though, is price.
Is the Surface Pro 3 too expensive? I do think Microsoft should include the Type keyboard cover bundled with the Surface Pro 3 by default, and just absorb that additional cost into the existing prices. Aside from that, though, it isn’t that the Surface Pro 3 costs too much–it’s that people insist on comparing its price against tablets like the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, when the Surface Pro 3 is much more than those tablets can offer.
Microsoft is doing a better job with the new marketing campaign pitting the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook, but it needs to keep working harder. Microsoft needs to shift perception so that businesses and consumers stop comparing the Surface Pro 3 against other pure tablets, and instead consider its price relative to comparable devices like the MacBook Air or Lenovo Yoga.
I wrote about the challenges Microsoft faces with the Surface Pro 3 in a blog post:
Microsoft stumbled out of the gate with catchy-but-irrelevant ads that show people dancing around with their flashy-colored keyboard covers on their Surface Pros, but the latest marketing campaign gets down to business and does a much better job of demonstrating what makes a Surface Pro 3 unique. It makes me wonder if Microsoft switched ad agencies.
The series of ads Microsoft created to pit the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook are brilliant. Microsoft followed on the heels of ads comparing the Surface Pro against an iPad, demonstrating tricks Cortana can do on Windows Phone that Siri can’t do on iOS, with this new campaign. The common theme compares Microsoft products against Apple, and Microsoft seems to have taken the proverbial gloves off.
The new ads still miss one important point, though: Price — or, more accurately, value.
The hard reality is that Microsoft’s message isn’t “The tablet that can replace your MacBook,” it’s “The tablet that can replace your laptop.” So, why focus solely on the MacBook in the marketing campaign?
There are two reasons for this. First, Apple is a competitor — an iconic rival to all things Microsoft. I’m sure there are many employees at Microsoft taking more than a little pride in the new marketing campaign as revenge for the wildly popular “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” campaign that Apple used a few years ago. They should. Recent campaigns from Microsoft have been both effective and clever — two things Microsoft marketing campaigns aren’t exactly known for — in drawing the contrasts between the two companies’ platforms and devices.
You can read the full article at TechRepublic: Microsoft needs to make one more ad for Surface Pro 3.
What do you think? Does the Surface Pro 3 really cost too much, or is it just a matter of perspective?
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4 thoughts on “Does the Surface Pro 3 cost too much?”
$799 base is high for a tablet sans keyboard. Without a keyboard one can’t honestly compare it with a notebook. Once one adds it and the rest of the bells/whistles she’s looking at around $1,400. Pretty high for a consumer. I don’t think on-screen annotation is enough of a benefit to overcome that sticker shock. Enterprises though…
Good points. I feel that the i5 Surface Pro 3 with 256GB storage is the “best” model in terms of bang for the buck, but it’s $1300. Add in the keyboard cover and you’re at $1430–like you pointed out. That is a bit steep. I do think it’s competitive enough compared to similar devices (MacBook Air, Lenovo Yoga, etc) at $1300 if Microsoft would just bundle the keyboard cover by default, though.
I’m looking at an i7 laptop with 8 GB of ram and 1 TB of storage for $600 on Tiger Direct: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=9598999&sku=DEI-102844894&SRCCODE=WEM4537BY&utm_source=EML&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=WEM4537&cm_lm=e7eb6d0ddc36c13427fc601208d6621a
The price points are simply way too far off…I’m willing to pay an extra $100-150 for about the same product (or even a slight downgrade) in a more compact form but not 2-3x times the price I could get with a much better laptop.
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