Product pricing was among the few details about Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 that I wasn't privy to prior to Monday's launch event. But now that Microsoft has announced pricing for these devices and various accessories, it's time to take a look and see whether they've learned perhaps the single most important lesson from the original devices, which were too expensive.
And the answer, fairly obviously, is no, not really.
Here's how the pricing breaks down. (Unless otherwise noted, each of these products will be available for preorder on September 24, 2013 and will ship publicly on October 22, 2013.)
Surface 2 32 GB (2 GB of RAM) - $449
Surface 2 64 GB (2 GB of RAM) - $549
These prices are $50 less, respectively, than the Surface RT models that launched one year ago. But they're also $100 more than the current price of the Surface RT, which inexplicably remains in the market. I feel that $399 and $499 would have been much better price points, but perhaps we'll get there. And the good news is that if Microsoft's performance claims hold up, this tablet could be a much better buy regardless.
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 2 64 GB (4 GB of RAM) - $899
Surface Pro 2 128 GB (4 GB of RAM) - $999
Surface Pro 2 256 GB (8 GB of RAM) - $1299
Surface Pro 2 512 GB (8 GB of RAM) - $1799
The Surface 2 lineup is considerably more diverse than that for its predecessor, but the first two models—which map to the two original Surface Pro models—are exactly the same price as their predecessors. And they're $100 more, each, than the equivalent Surface Pro models today. These prices are too high. I'd like to see the entry level Surface Pro much closer to $699, with the 128 GB version hitting at $799 and the 256 GB version at $999.
Touch Cover 2
Touch Cover 2 in black - $119.99
Again, too expensive in my opinion. How could the most basic cover cost that much? $50 makes more sense, and anyone getting a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 should get a Touch Cover (if not a Touch Cover 2) for free.
Type Cover 2
Type Cover 2 in magenta, cyan, purple or black - $129.99
At just $10 more than a Type Cover 2, this product is a relative bargain. But I'd again argue that the price is far too high: $69.99 would be a more acceptable price.
Power Cover (black only) - $199.99
One of the most eagerly-awaited Surface accessories isn't even shipping until early 2014, and it comes with a crazy-expensive price tag. Again, I feel like this is double the reasonable cost: $99.99 would have made a ton of sense.
Docking Station for Surface Pro
Docking Station for Surface Pro - $199.99
Here, Microsoft is hitting a more reasonable price point, though it doesn't appear to come with a mini DisplayPort adapter, which will raise the real-world cost another $39.99.
Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers
Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers - $59.99
This, too, is a reasonable price.
Car Charger with USB
Car Charger with USB - $49.99
Given the heady $79.99 cost of the Surface 48W power supply (which also includes USB charging), this price is reasonable. But it's not shipping until early 2014.