Thursday: $200 off Surface PRO (latest models)

The Microsoft Store 12 Days of Deals continue with the Thursday promotion that is a $200 off discount on the latest Surface PRO Tablet. The sale applies to all five models between i5/4/128 and i7/16/1TB. The m3 model has sold out and cannot be ordered.

13.5″ Surface Book 2 (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) for $1388

We already mentioned Macs and Pixelbooks and the Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro sale, so according to the Fairness Doctrine, we must also mention a Surface product. And what a coincidence, there’s a sale, the all new 13.5″ Surface Book 2 in the Intel i5 with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage configuration is on sale for $1388 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon itself (limit up to three per customer).

PS: in Microsoft-speak, “Books” are detachables, “Surface” are tablets with optional keyboard cases/covers, and “Laptops” are non-detachable laptops.

Pre-order new Surface Book 2 in 13.5″ and 15″ screen sizes

Microsoft has unveiled their brand new “Surface Book 2″ 2-in-1 laptops with screens of 13.5″ and 15”. Prices start at $1500 for the 13.5″ and $2500 for the 15″ and top at $3000 and $3300 respectively. Pre-orders are accepted as follows with a November 16 release estimate (next Thursday):

+ 13.5″ Surface 2 Book at Microsoft Store and Amazon itself and Adorama and B&H Photo

+ 15″ Surface 2 Book at Microsoft Store and Amazon itself and B&H Photo and Adorama

There are three product lines now. The Surface tablets, the Surface Books (2-in-1s) and the Surface Laptops. Surface Phone where are you? 🙂

Now shipping: the new Surface Laptop

Yesterday we mentioned a Chromebook, so the Fairness Doctrine requires that we must mention a Windows device within 24 hours. Which is convenient because today the brand new Microsoft Surface Laptop (actual laptop with screen glued to the keyboard) has began shipping at various authorized dealers including the official Microsoft Online Store and B&H Photo and various at Amazon.

Some options may not be available in-stock at every retailer. Prices start at $999 (i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB, HD 620), then go to $1299 (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB, HD 620), then $1599 (i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB, HD 640), and $2199 (i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB, HD 640). The Platinum color has all four configurations. The other three colors are only the i5/256. A cellular model is coming later in the year.

NOTE: this comes with “Windows 10 S” out of the box, but you have until December 31 in 2017 for a FREE upgrade to “Windows 10 PRO”. This is officially mentioned in the Surface Laptop specs [under the “Software” box]. Once you go Windows 10 PRO however, you cannot switch back to Windows 10 S.

NOTE #2: No official Surface accessories are included, so if you want to use it with the Surface Pen, Dock, Dial, Mouse, you have to use your own or purchase them too.

Pre-order brand new Surface PRO Tablets ($800 to $2700; 4G LTE Cellular coming later)

Microsoft’s Panay said no new Surfaces a few weeks ago during the Microsoft Educational event, but that was then, this is now! Microsoft is taking a page of the iPad marketing book, and is releasing a new Surface tablet that simply has the name “Surface PRO”, not Surface 5 PRO. So it will probably become the “Surface PRO (2017)” model. Details and specs organized nicely at Techmeme.

The new Surface PRO is now available for pre-order at the official Microsoft store with prices starting at $800 and topping out at $2700. RAM options range from 4GB to 16GB, on-board storage ranges from 128GB to 1TB, processors range from m3 to i7. However, not all combinations are available, there are six pre-configurated models at the moment.

These will begin shipping in June 15 (2017). They are eligible for the 10% Academic discounts for people who qualify per Microsoft’s terms (there’s a link there to find out if you qualify ~ requires login).

If you are a fan of Cellular 4G LTE on your Surface devices, there is some hope! 4G LTE models are coming in the future. Dates and prices will be revealed in the future. Patience is a 2G virtue for this 4G LTE device 🙂

NOTE: the Surface PEN is NOT included with this new model (the 2017 model, aka the 5th generation).

Pre-order new Surface Laptop starting at $999

Today’s Microsoft big event launched “Windows 10 S” (Windows RT reborn in the shadow of ChromeOS), and a brand new Surface Laptop that comes with Windows 10 S out of the box (but upgreable to Windows 10 PRO for $$$). The Surface Laptop is going after the MacBooks, with prices starting at $999 and pre-orders and custom configurations available at the official Microsoft Store. It is expected to begin shipping mid-June 2017.

Customization is in the processor (i5 or i7), RAM (4GB to 16GB), on-board storage (128GB to 512GB SSD), graphics card (Intel HD 620 or Iris Plus 640) and color (four options). Some of the options are interlinked, so you can’t get every combination. It is also compatible with some of the Surface accessories, making it more of a system play if you are already part of the Surface ecosystem (Surface Dial, Surface Dock, etc).

The screen is a 13.5-inch with 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI) resolution, a 3:2, with Gorilla Glass. It is compatible with the Surface Pen, however a Surface Pen is NOT included, despite the $1000 starting price 🙁 It has a full size USB 3.0 port, but not SD card reader built-in. With a renewed focus on education, it will be interesting to see whether Adobe and other photo/imaging software companies will be more motivated to put more of their software in the Windows store. Battery life promises up to 14.5 hours of video playback. It can connect to a 4K monitor using the built-in Mini Display Port.

So there are some things going for it in terms of photography-related use. It’s obviously not a mobile workstation, but for people who need a sleek and modern-looking laptop with a long battery life and access to the Surface ecosystem, this might be of interest (as long as the software options work out for your needs).

If you need some semi-funny (maybe) entertainment, I was live-tweeting / live-trolling the announcement on Twitter 🙂