Microsoft has slashed $100 from the price of its entry-level tablet. The Microsoft Surface 2 sold for $449 and up when it launched a little less than a year ago. Now you can pick up the 10 inch Windows RT tablet for $349 and up.

surface 2

The Microsoft Surface 2 features a 10.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, and 2GB of RAM. The entry-level model has 32GB of storage. Microsoft also offers a 64GB model which is now priced at $449. A 64GB Surface 2 tablet with support for AT&T 4G LTE  sells for $579.

Both of those prices reflect a new $100 price drop.

At these new prices you can pick up a Surface 2 tablet for significantly less than the cost of an iPad Air with Retina display. On the other hand if you grab an Apple (or Android) tablet you’ll have access to more tablet-friendly apps. Both the App Store and Google Play Store have hundreds of thousands of third-party apps that aren’t yet available in the Windows Store.

On the other hand, the Surface 2 comes with Microsoft Office 2013 RT featuring Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. It also works with optional Microsoft Surface keyboard covers.

Do the new prices for Surface tablets running Windows RT make them any more attractive? Or would you rather spend your money on a tablet that runs Windows 8.1 which is capable of running desktop-style apps and software developed for older versions of Windows?

Either way, it’s likely that the price cuts (and passage of time) could indicate that Microsoft has a new model on the way.

via Ars Technica

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16 replies on “Microsoft Surface 2 price drops to $349”

  1. Has someone tried to install a Linux distribution on a Tegra4 chip ? And if it works, how does it behave ? This could give at least a chance to all this MS tablet to avoid a big amount landfill grow full of toxic stuff in some South country.

  2. Having owned both a Surface RT and Surface 2 for about 9 months, I can say from that experience that Windows RT-based tablets are the worst of both worlds. Windows RT has all of the enterprise-level administrative overhead under the covers, frequent updates, botched updates, and general instability that Windows x86 has on Intel platforms. They (Windows RT tablets) also have the lack of quality apps that niche mobile OS platforms have.

    IMO the bright spot of the Surface RT/2 was the desktop… being able to use a near-full function version of MS Office, even to the point of working in dual display mode with an external monitor.

    But according the rumors/leaks, Windows RT 9 will have the desktop removed. Even if Windows RT and WindowsPhone are merged, the app situation won’t significantly improve.

  3. I think ms needs to cut and run on this Rt thing. Sure make the next windows merge on all fronts to keep the current rt owners happy but do not make any more hardware. Maybe a 10 inch 3:2 surface full windows touchscreen no digitizer 14nm intel before jan!!!!

  4. The should go for 99usd and clean the shelves of this junk. Why on earth by rt device…del venue pro 8 sells around 200. And there others too

    1. Agree. But even the V8P is limitted by the weak selection in the Windows app store as compared to tablets that run IOS or Android. Maybe Console OS will save it in this regard.

      1. Well, one of the points of the planned merging RT with WP is it’ll give it a lot more apps… Won’t catch up to Android and iOS but should more than double what’s available now in the Windows store… So should be a bit less limiting at least then… but still more than a few months to wait for that update and thus no immediate reason to really consider a RT device now…

  5. If they drop below $100 I might consider buying one to just play with / web surf. Until Microsoft merges RT/ Windows Phone I can’t see spending any money on their mobile tech. All the current version stuff will be left orphaned like WP7 once they move on to their “new hotness”.

  6. Already bought a Surface 2 and it hangs quite a bit. Same with Windows 8 on the Lenovo FLEX. These things should not hang. Not sure if it’s Windows 8/RT or the devices themselves.

    1. The eMMC storage is probably the source of most of those issues… it’s not a SSD but a cheaper technology that has more in common with SD cards… Sequential read/writes can be slower than a fast HDD and you’ll get occasional lag/stutter as the read/writes catch up to what you’re doing…

      Problem is eMMC is also better optimized for power efficiency and is generally smaller than SSDs and thus better for mobile centric devices but running a full desktop OS on them can push their limits a bit…

      The technology is improving but devices out now are still generally using drives a gen or two behind what is out on the cutting edge of what’s available but they should start catching up sometime next year…

      While an alternative SSD based solution is also in the works and may offer a better solution if it proves viable enough to compete with eMMC in the mobile market…

      The limited 2GB of RAM could also impair performance if you push multi-tasking and try to use the desktop apps too much… You may be limited to mainly just Office for RT but the release of W8/RT on the Surface 2 still pre-dates the newest optimizations they implemented in the last major update for 8.1 and thus the reduced need for RAM and storage doesn’t automatically apply as it requires a fresh install with the update to implement most of the major changes…

      You could also be experiencing some bad updates, which is an occasional issue for the MS updates or you may not have installed a required update that improved performance but this summarizes what is the cause of most performance issues on these devices…

      1. The Win8 works fairly ok, just a some wifi issues and some hangs; but the problems have been mainly on the RT device… I’ve had some headaches forcing updates that didn’t work, done what Microsoft now calls refreshes a couple of times already… even getting Skype to work was once a hurdle, and maybe once a month the microphone or the camera stops working, having to force close the app and restart it again. A device such as the Surface 2 should really work out of the box if it wants to compete with the iPad.

        That eMMC/SSD catch up was nice, thanks. But won’t help much with my problem, only explain it. Also, there aren’t that many apps running, and RT should be smart enough to close applications by itself if it runs out of RAM.

        But your last part, that could be. Those updates…

        1. Yes, MS has messed up some updates… the trick is figuring out which ones and avoiding them and still figuring out which ones you really have to get…

          For apps running, the trick on that is it’s partly set to timing… A app has to be inactive for a set period of time before it’s suspended and then finally closed…

          Btw, for the closing of Apps grab and dragging move… make sure you hold a second for the app image to flip to show it’ll close instead of suspend/minimize… You can also change the registry to make that transition happen faster or use the quick switching app view to close open apps manually to free up space faster…

          While the desktop apps aren’t as well managed as the Metro apps… So definitely make sure they’re closed when not using them… W8 basically just suspends the desktop when it’s not being used but it still takes up memory and isn’t as readily freed up as the Metro environment apps…

          Though, it also depends what you’re comparing performance to… A ARM SoC of even Tegra 4 generation is still barely more powerful than the ATOM CPU’s that used to go into netbooks…

          It’s more than enough to run the OS but it’s still multiple times less powerful than a Core processor you’d find in a Ultrabook/laptop…

      2. The eMMC and 2GB of RAM is quite zippy on my Venue Pro. With encryption off, my crystal mark read score is 185mb/s, which is much better than a hdd and comparable to many SSDs from a few years ago. But with encryption on it slows down to to only about 55mb/s. I don’t know if there is a similar setting on the RT models.

        1. Then you’re lucky to get one of the newer eMMC drives… many devices are still being sold with the older gen models that get significantly slower sequential speeds…

          Things like memory buffering are pretty recent additions to eMMC, along with higher max memory bandwidth…

          Though, you make a good point about encryption and how it can significantly slow down performance of even the faster drives… Some devices like the Surface 2 may have that enabled by default because it’s a business class centric device…

          1. I thought encryption only slows you down if your CPU can’t handle it. So it is a problem with Bay Trail devices, but not as big an issue if you have a Core processor.

          2. Surface 2 that is being discussed is running on a Tegra 4 ARM SoC… So in the approximate same basic CPU performance range as a Bay Trail T device…

            Only the Pro series uses Core processors… and real SSDs…

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