Here's how much buying into Microsoft's pro Surface vision actually costs
6 min read
fairly easy
Microsoft's new Surface Pro 8 nominally costs $1,099. The Surface Go costs $399, the Surface Studio costs $1,599, and the Surface Pro X costs $899. Except none of those prices include keyboard covers and stylii that make these products special.
Microsoft is listening. The Surface Duo 2 ditches its predecessor's last-gen specs, the Surface Laptop Studio does away with the Surface Book's gimmicky detachable screen, and the Surface Pro 8 might be the one we've been waiting for, with an enhanced keyboard, stylus, high-refresh rate screen and Thunderbolt ports (finally!). But there's one place where Microsoft is stubbornly carrying on: making you pay substantially more than the quoted sticker price to use these computers as advertised — because none of them include a stylus or keyboard.

While Microsoft touted the $1,099-and-up Surface Pro 8 as "a powerful laptop with the flexibility of a tablet," it's not a laptop at all when you take it out of the box. It's a touchscreen tablet, and nothing else, unless you add the keyboard or stylus Microsoft will happily sell you for $130 and up. Microsoft only spent 11 seconds of its 49 minute event demoing the Surface Pro 8 without a peripheral you'll need to pay extra for. (Two of those seconds were a repeat from an earlier part of the presentation, and six of them were part of a montage that included Surfaces with keyboards and stylii as well.)

The least expensive Surface Pro 8 I would consider starts at $1,680

In reality, you'll pay an extra $129.99 for the stylus, $179.99 for Microsoft's new keyboard with a stylus slot, $279.99 if you want both (there's a $30 discount), $199.99 if you want that keyboard to come with a fingerprint reader, or $329.98 for your keyboard, stylus and fingerprint in total. So for Microsoft's full Surface Pro 8 vision of keyboard and detachable magnetic stylus, you're looking at a minimum of $1,379.98 before tax — and that's with just 8GB of RAM and a tiny 128GB SSD. Double those capacities for the barest amount of futureproofing, and you're at a grand total of $1,679.98. That might not be a bad deal, but it's definitely not $1,099.

There are ways to save a little more money. Technically, the Surface Pro 8 is compatible with the old…
Sean Hollister
Read full article