The Original Surface Pro Gets a $200 Discount: Do Not Buy

Never underestimate the importance of a good viewing angle.

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Jared Newman for TIME

Microsoft is offering a big discount on the first-generation Surface Pro, knocking another $100 off the price, presumably while supplies last. That brings the 64 GB model down to $699, and the 128 GB model down to $799–the same price as an iPad with similar storage.

But the more I use the Surface Pro 2, the more I think you’d be crazy to buy an original Surface Pro, even at the lower price.

While I haven’t used the first-generation Surface Pro extensively, my first couple of days with Pro 2 has made me certain that new two-stage kickstand is essential. The original Surface kickstand unfolds to just one angle, of 24 degrees, whereas the Surface Pro 2 can kick back further to a second, 40-degree angle.

That added angle is the one I’ve been using most of the time, and I can’t stress enough how important it is. In your lap, it makes the Surface much more stable, so you can attach a Touch or Type Cover and use it like a laptop. Even without a keyboard cover, the extra angle helps for just relaxing on the couch. Instead of holding the two-pound tablet in your hands, you can let the kickstand do the work, providing a nice angle for looking down on the screen. You might also find the 40-degree position useful if you’re sitting at a low table, or if you need a more upward angle to avoid glare from a nearby window.

Granted, the viewing angle isn’t the only thing Microsoft changed in the Surface Pro 2. Its 4th-generation Intel Core i5 processor is more battery-efficient and slightly more powerful. But I could see some users rationalizing the battery difference by resolving to plug in the Surface Pro most of the time, or by picking up a battery-boosting Power Cover when it comes out next year.

The viewing angle is one thing for which you can’t compensate, and it really prevents the original Surface from being both a great laptop and tablet, which is the very point of this device. If you happen to own an original Surface Pro and love it, I’m happy for you, but everyone else should stay away from this deal.

7 comments
GaryDickey
GaryDickey

stupid people...you never used the surface pro and you wrote this article...go back to school

hudsonhornet
hudsonhornet

So at the moment I can get the Surface Pro for $611 on Microsoft Online (Australia) and the Surface Pro 2 for $911. After reading this article the difference of $300 is just for the kickstand?? I think I'll be buying the Surface Pro and using that $300 for something useful.

rosa89n20
rosa89n20

so you paid 200 dollar basically just because kickstand, good for you, sir.

at89
at89

Are you sure you should be writing for time?

ashley.lett
ashley.lett

IS THAT IT??  Please i'm getting the 200 dollar deal!

spookiewriter
spookiewriter

I'm sorry, it took me a moment to register this. You said "do not buy" the old Surface because the kickstand only has an unsatisfactory (for you) angle?

I read the article thinking that there was something horribly wrong with the tech.

Most everyone I know with tablets gets an aftermarket case/support anyhow.