This week a lot of us are anticipating the arrival of our new Surface Pro 4’s and Surface Books. This resulted in the number of comparisons “iPad vs. SP4” and “MacBook vs Surface Book” to decrease slightly. As a result, some new and interesting, news stories made their way onto the web.
Here’s a list of my cherry-picked selections for your information this week:
- New Surface Book i5 with NVIDIA GPU Option
- Microsoft Reports Slower Surface Sales
- Microsoft Starts Shipping Surface Book
- SP3 Price Cuts on eBay
- Microsoft Surface Trade In and Warranty for Businesses
Let’s jump right in….
Weekly Surface News Roundup: New Surface Book i5 with NVIDIA GPU Option
Microsoft has thrown in yet another Surface Book option into the mix, just before they go on sale tomorrow. The latest model combines an i5 Processor with 8GB of RAM and a discrete Nvidia GPU. Previously, only the i7 options offered the GPU.
While this is nice, since it gives people more options, it results in a slightly higher price, so instead of paying $1,499 USD (£970, or AU$2,075) for the base machine, if you get one with a dGPU you’re looking at closer to $1,699 USD (£1100, or AU$2,350).
Still, if you can deal with a slightly slower CPU but want good graphics performance, it might be worth a look as it can save you a couple of hundred dollars.
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Microsoft Reports Slower Surface Sales, Maybe….
A couple of days ago, Microsoft reported their quarterly revenue (while it was up overall in the MPC division (More Personal Computing) which is where the Surface “lives” in their structure) is down from last year at the same time.
So, does this mean the Surface’s popularity is waning? Maybe but probably not….
You see Microsoft has made it tough to discern just how the Surface is doing because the MPC division is also where the xBox and Phones “live” in their financial reporting structure. So, it’s possible the Surface sales have actually grown.
However, if you ask me, I’d say at least part of the dip in sales this past quarter is from people waiting on the Surface Pro 4, i.e. they held off on buying a Surface Pro 3. The rest is probably due to the Nokia write-off.
Related: ComputerWorld [divider]
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Microsoft Starts Shipping Surface Book
Officially, the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book won’t start shipping until tomorrow but at least some folks who pre-ordered are starting to get notification that their devices have shipped.
So, if you pre-ordered, the wait may be shorter than you thought.
Weekly Surface News Roundup: SP3 Price Cuts on eBay
If you don’t care about having the latest and greatest, and you’ve been waiting on the release of the SP4 and Surface Book to knock even more off the price of an SP3, you may want to check out eBay.
Right now, you can get an i7 SP3 with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB hard drive for $1499.99 USD. This model was formerly selling for $1999.99 USD so, it’s a full $500 USD off!!!
You’d better hurry, though. the sale ends at 11AM Eastern tomorrow (Monday)!!!
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Microsoft Surface Trade In and Warranty for Businesses
And finally, this week, Microsoft has started offering businesses Microsoft Complete and trade-ins toward the purchase of Surface devices.
This is really good news for enterprise customers who want to adopt Microsoft Surface devices.
The new enterprise warranty offering includes the following:
- The ability to pool warranty claims by company.
- Allow for warranty claims against non-bootable devices.
- Replacements via next day air in the U.S. with a similar rapid replacement system outside the U.S.
- A support center to assist IT staff to get setup with warranty and support processes along with online training to help non-IT employees get up to speed as fast as possible.
Along with the new warranty, Microsoft also has a new trade-in program to let them trade in their old devices towards new SP4’s or Surface Books. This is different from other trade-in offers Microsoft has offered because it’s permanent, rather than a limited time as past promotions have been.
It’s going to roll out in the U.S., Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland first but will hit Australia, France, Germany and the UK in a couple of weeks.
You can get more details at: www.microsoft.cetradein.com.
That’s it for this week. See you again next week for another Weekly Surface news Roundup.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.