The Surface 3, Microsoft’s answer to the iPad Air 2 and those who wanted a cheaper version of its popular Surface Pro 3 tablet, is just going up for pre-order at most websites. Warehouse retailer Costco isn’t just offering Surface 3 pre-orders for its members. It’s also rolling out some huge savings that any Surface 3 buyer will appreciate.
Over the weekend Costco began taking pre-orders for the Surface 3, specifically for its members. The Surface 3 is Microsoft’s next-generation mid-range tablet. It comes with a tall 10-inch display and can run Desktop apps like iTunes, something that the Surface 2 tablet that came before it couldn’t do. Microsoft says that with the Surface 3 it tried to bring the conveniences of a Surface Pro 3 to something that was more affordable. Still the device is debuting in May with a $499 base price tag and two very crucial accessories that users have to purchase separately.
Costco’s Surface 3 deal and pre-order eliminates a big part of those add-on costs. Pre-orders at Costco include a Surface 3 with 64GB of storage and 2GB of storage, a Surface 3 Type Cover and a Surface Pen for $599. $699 gets Costco shoppers a Surface Pro 3 with 128GB of storage space, 4GB of RAM and the same two accessories at no added cost. The Surface 3 arrives on store shelves and begins shipping on May 5th. It may not seem like it at first glance, but Costco Surface 3 buyers are getting roughly $80 in savings.
The Surface 3 Type Keyboard normally costs $129 extra. It’s the Surface 3 Type Keyboard that protects the device screen and lets users get something akin to a laptop experience. In most advertising for the Surface line, the keyboard and devices are shown together as if they are sold as one packaged deal, but they aren’t. Because the Surface devices have a full-size USB port and Bluetooth, the keyboards are optional, but they do provide the best experience. Costco is also including a Surface Pen with this Surface 3 deal.
The Surface 3 is the first low-end Surface tablet from Microsoft to include Surface Pen compatibility. Mostly, the Surface Pen acts as a Bluetooth stylus, allowing users to navigate the tablet with precision whether they have a keyboard or not. It’s also a very capable device for note taking and drawing digitally thanks to it being super-pressure sensitive. A button on the top of the Surface Pen allows users to skip logging in and go directly to Microsoft’s OneNote note-taking application. The Surface Pen costs Surface 3 users $50 extra.
Microsoft is throwing in 100GB of free OneDrive storage and a year of its Office 365 Personal subscription service with every Surface 3 sold anywhere. Office 365 Personal gives users access to Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps for $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month.
Roughly, the Costco Surface 3 deal gets users $80 in savings when you compare it to buying things separately. For a device that’s not yet available, any savings at all is pretty rare.
At first glance, the Surface 3 looks pretty similar to the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook Air.
Instead made out of the same durable metal material as past Surface devices and only comes in a gray. The focus of the device is a 10.8-inch high-definition touchscreen display with a touch-sensitive Windows button on the right. A rear-facing 8 megapixel camera means that the Surface 3 is about as competent a camera as the iPad Air 2. There’s a full-size USB port for connecting accessories like printers and more. The biggest upgrade to the Surface 3 is its processor. By using an Intel Atom x7 processor Microsoft has made it possible for Surface 3 buyers to run Windows Desktop applications.