Last week’s report of a $150 Surface RT price cut at Staples in the U.S. has quickly turned into a more widespread discount. Microsoft’s own online store now shows the hybrid tablet with the lowered price of $349 for the base model. With an expected hardware refresh later this year, it’s likely that the price is a permanent cut as Microsoft plans for the next model and hopes to boost otherwise weak sales.
When I first looked at Surface RT, I was taken with the hardware design and long battery life. The device doesn’t run full Windows 8, so I was reliant upon the new Metro style apps, save for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer; neither of which I use these days.
While the form factor is right up my alley — I’ve used tablets of all kinds since 2004 — the apps I needed weren’t readily available. Even worse, the debut of full Windows 8 tablets with the same battery life and priced roughly the same as Microsoft’s tablet negated any benefits I saw in the Surface RT.
At $349, however, I think the device is more compelling. I still won’t buy one for the reasons stated above, but I could see those on the fence give Surface RT more consideration. No, a lower price doesn’t change the experience, hardware or software. With a $150 discount, though, some may be willing to overlook the challenges or bet on the Windows 8.1 upgrade to address some issues.
How about it: Are you considering a Surface RT purchase at this point? If not, what price point would make you change your mind; or is this simply a device that won’t meet your needs at any price?