Avoid Surface RT Black Friday Deals
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Avoid Surface RT Black Friday Deals



Black Friday is upon us and retailers everywhere are showing off their ads trying to prime you to stand in line and create chaos at their stores so that you can save a few bucks. There’s no denying that there are good deals available and of course whether or not there is a value in the savings all depends on how you value your time. You’ll see pages and pages here at GBM on Black Friday deals because we do want to help those looking for a bargain on some great gadgets and accessories save when we can. But, and this is an personal opinion here and only my opinion, there’s one deal that is circling around the ad circulars that I think you should avoid.

Black_Friday_Deal__Surface_RT_32_GB_at_Best_Buy_for__199__US_Only____Windows_Phone_CentralMicrosoft in its own channels and at other retailers is discounting the original Surface RT Tablet quite significantly. Launched last year, the Surface RT had a starting price of $449 and was a flop to measure flops by. It was great hardware crippled by lousy software implementation, ran slow, crashed often, and didn’t know what it wanted to be. It left users confused and retailers seeing quite a few returns. Microsoft ended up taking a $900 million write down because of unsold inventory. Like I said it was a flop. You can bet these sales are to try and clear out unsold inventory.

Read: Microsoft Surface RT This Thing Confuses Me

Microsoft is on its way to redemption with the second generation Surface 2, a greatly improved experience, but you won’t find that on sale this Black Friday. The introductory price will still be $449.

Read: Microsoft Surface 2: Less Confusing More Viable

Why do I think you should avoid these Surface RT deals? Well, there’s the fact that it was a flop. Most importantly though, you’ll be buying last year’s hardware. One of the big issues with the original Surface RT was that it was extremely slow. To be fair users who have updated to Windows 8.1 have said there are some performance improvements, but I would suggest not enough to get stuck with a pokey system. Let’s put it this way, you won’t be playing Asphalt 8 acceptably on this device. (It was just released.) I would compare it to buying a horse and buggy in the age of automobiles. Not the age when they were first introduced. But today. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

All of the above said, there are a few legitimate reasons for looking at Surface RT Black Friday deals.

  • It’s a great Netflix, Hulu, or Xbox video machine. You’ll get a nicer picture on the later model, but the original was still quite nice.
  • You do get Office 2013 for free.
  • If you want to use Remote Desktop it does work well on the Surface RT.
  • You’ll want to buy a Touch or Type Cover for the device and the original Surface RT will work with the newer versions of those.
  • You can read Kindle or Nook books on the device, although I find the 16 x 9 widescreen format not conducive to reading. The newer Surface 2 is better balanced and makes reading anything in portrait mode a little easier to take over the first version, but still awkward.

Keep in mind that Windows 8.1 and the free Apps Microsoft installs eat up a lot of storage. On the 32GB Surface RT you have 18GB available for your Apps and data. On the 64GB you have 47GB available.

Staples will bundle a Touch Cover with its Black Friday Surface RT deal

Staples will bundle a Touch Cover with its Black Friday Surface RT deal

Price cuts Microsoft has listed include a $20 cut off the price of the 64GB Surface RT marked down to $379 from $399. The 32GB version will go for $199 which is $150 off the regular price. Microsoft is playing some hide and seek games with its Black Friday promotions as these prices which were listed earlier are now hidden and will supposedly not be revealed again until midnight ET on November 28.

Best Buy will be offering the 32GB Surface RT at $199. A Type or Touch Cover will be sold separately.

Staples will be offering a 32GB Surface RT WITH a black Touch Cover for $250 which looks like the best deal out there if you’re interested. That said, the Touch Cover will be the original version not the newer version that is a much better option.

Again, these are my personal opinions here. I can’t speak for anyone’s personal situation but my own. But I know how easy it is to get tempted by what seem like great deals and thought it worth pointing out some of the reasons I wouldn’t take this deal, as well as some of the reasons you might.



  1. More Details

    11/20/2013 at 4:00 pm

    Surface RT for 199 is a great deal. For 249., u can get with a keyboard at Staples. It has free Home office. It can load every web site because the flash is supported – better than flash crippled iPads – that is why there are too many apps in Ipads. There are enough apps for a normal human beings in Windows store. This supports USB and Micro SD. U can buy 32GB microSDs around 15 to 20$. iPads are crippled for additional storage which costs 100 of $ of additional every 16 GBs.

    • Daniel Ogden

      12/09/2013 at 2:11 am

      Bought one for my Daughter and she loves it. When are friends come over who have kids they love it because it will get their kids off the pc in the corner and not isolated. Now theirs a mad rush around here just to find one at any price. Also I’m gong to buy a pro after the holidays.

  2. JohnB

    11/20/2013 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve used the RT and the new Surface 2. The Surface 2 is definitely better, but not $250 better. I took my Surface 2 back and buying two RTs for less money. I’ll add a 64GB chip, a Musemee stylus and a type keyboard for $392 total and it does great at taking notes in a meeting, reading a book, watching Netflix, etc. Three years from now I’ll buy the next big thing and not worry about the bucks I dropped on this device. It is hugely under rated. And at $199, it is a fantastic deal.

  3. ctitanic

    11/20/2013 at 5:37 pm

    Warner, you have to keep in mind that for $200 you may not find a better tablet out there.

  4. finnius

    11/20/2013 at 9:46 pm

    At $200??? There is not another tablet that comes close. I have never had any of the aforementioned list of “problems”. I bought my 64 GB RT a couple days after it was released, 13 months ago. It has never crashed on me and has frozen maybe twice in 13 months. Is it slower than my engineering workstation laptop? Yes. Is it faster than my old net book? Infinitely faster and infinitely better. I bought that gem on Black Friday 5 years ago for more than $199. Hell, I paid $599 for my Surface and I consider it money well spent. I use it constantly for work, for play, for reading, for browsing, for email. Where are all these problems people have with the RT? I am on travel this week. I decided to leave my laptop behind and only take my Surface RT this trip. The only reason I missed my laptop once today was because I didn’t have access to a file needed. If I were allowed to save work files to Skydrive, that wouldn’t be a problem. I don’t understand the continual need of GottaBeMobile writers to strive for things to hate about the Surface. As far as I am concerned, the Surface is the only tablet worth the cost. An android would be worth the price at maybe $5.99 (no, that decimal is not misplaced) and an iPad? I think there is an app to determine what they are worth. Btw, even in terms of Windows tablets, the Surface just puts all of the competitors to shame. Sorry Dell, HP, Lenovo, your offerings so far are lacking. Acer, Asus and Samsung? Just cheap looking. Maybe Sony has something now?

    • Betote

      12/17/2013 at 1:23 pm

      Absolutley agree…

  5. Dan H

    11/21/2013 at 7:31 am

    I agree with the previous posts. I have had a Surface RT for quite a while now and have had none of the issues that you describe. It is fast and reliable and for $200.00 you won’t find a better tablet.

  6. andy

    11/21/2013 at 10:51 pm

    Yes, my surface is awesome (the RT) and with it coming with office 2013, that is an additional bonus. That is an $80.00 value. Never had any issues with it and with the update IT IS faster.

  7. Jesus

    11/22/2013 at 5:17 pm

    If I buy a surface will I need to buy office, powerpoint or is it just a trial? I’m a student so this would be a good deal if they were free.

  8. Rod

    11/23/2013 at 9:57 pm

    I am planning on getting one for $199 and moving away from my Android Motorola Xoom. Microsoft did a bad job in explaining what the difference early on and others focus on it not been able to run windows program on a tablet. It was not made to do that, the Surface Pro is the one for that. I know the RT cannot run windows programs, but neither can iPad or Android. The apps I use on my Android tablet is in the Windows store, so no problem there.

  9. kofi

    11/24/2013 at 11:54 am

    great. now i’m still gonna buy it and have a small speck of regret. lol in all seriousness though you do raise great points. don’t mind last years tech at that price. i’d be more inclined to treat it as if it were a $200 tablet by which i mean with moderation. at 32 gigs. starting if i ever decide to go big, i’ll get the pro2 512g WAYYY down the line.

  10. kofi

    11/24/2013 at 11:55 am

    unless the xperia z or lumia 2520 drop in price soon…

  11. Phil

    11/26/2013 at 7:19 am

    I get the feeling you just read about the Surface RT rather than actually using it. It does not crash and the OS is fast and fluid. Multitasking speed can’t be beat. Opening apps takes a little longer than newer hardware, but once running most run great. The kickstand, HDMI and full size USB are all incredibly useful.

    I have installed Asphalt 8 and while playable it can lag a bit. Surface RT isn’t a gaming rig. But what year old $199 tablet is? It’s certainly a better device than the three year old iPad 2 which sells for $400.

    The success or failure of the product in the marketplace should have no bearing on the decision to buy. Regardless of the low sales numbers, the Windows Store managed to get 100,000 apps out there in less than a year, which is faster growth than Android or iPad managed when they started. Microsoft has already supported the Surface RT with updates better and faster than any Android tablet ever made, and have pledged an additional 3 years of support.

    The bottom line is that if it meets your needs, there is no reason to avoid it. It’s not a perfect device, but it still brings a lot to the table that nothing else can match.

  12. mb

    11/27/2013 at 9:46 am

    Warne Crocker is off his rocker I have an iPad and a surface 1 and I use my surface daily and dust my iPad monthly. At $199 it is a steal! I plan to grab another for my son!

  13. Ron

    12/06/2013 at 3:09 pm

    I got a Surface RT for my wife on Black Friday -$200. I also got an iPad Mini on BF for me -$200 as well. After playing with both for a week I am now kicking myself that I did not get two Surface r/ts. It is clearly a phenomenal value at $200. No lag, no freeze very fluid and great device. I don’t think Warner here has actually used one or he would not be bad-mouthing it. Don’t hesitate go out and get one even at full price it is well worth it.

  14. Div

    12/07/2013 at 12:42 am

    May people like you, who don’t understand what is good tablet deal and what is bad please stop blogging?

  15. Div

    12/07/2013 at 12:44 am

    Just cant avoid to reply to this kind of Blogs. if you don’t understand what are good tablets and feel those crappy Android tabs are you, please go buy them. But don’t bad mouth things you have never used.

  16. Brad A

    12/08/2013 at 6:06 am

    I don’t know where nor how you got the knowledge or the courage to write about something that you obviously have no experience, KNOWLEDGE, or information about. I’m glad to read some of the responses, that assisted in correcting the bad information you’re provided those that are not so aware of. Surface RT at 300 DOLLARS is still a better buy than any other tablet on the market. So for MS to bring that price to 200 is AMAZING. I bought another RT (1) for my wife because it was such a great deal. APPLE NEVER BRINGS DOWN THEIR PRICES, not even by 20%. So please clear this up for me and tell us all your issue exactly with MS. BTW guys, if you do have an old IPAD or Ipod or iPhone, bring it to a microsoft store and they will pay you way more than you deserve for the piece of junk. Which then would have decreased the 200 dollar mark down to as much as 0 DOLLARS. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT AND LEAVE IT TO THE REAL EXPERTS.

  17. vw

    12/17/2013 at 12:49 am

    This post is supposed to bad mouth surface so that people will put response contradicting to the downside of the post. Well done for the great marketing strategy. It works!

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