Get that tilted party-hat on your head: Microsoft has ditched its love of the Australia Tax for the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets! In fact, Aussies may actually be getting the Surface 2 tablets cheaper than the US!
The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 were announced by Microsoft in the wee-hours of this morning.
The new base model — the Surface 2 — ditches the RT moniker despite running the Windows RT 8.1 update. Under the hood of this new white-lightning, you'll find a new Tegra 4 processor, a 1080p screen (rather than the old 1366x768 panel), USB 3.0 ports (instead of 2.0) and a 25 per cent battery increase. The Surface 2 comes in 32GB and 64GB iterations, starting at $529 in Australia as a stand-alone model (no Type Cover), while the 64GB model will go for $639.
Surface Pro 2 packs Intel's new 4th Generation Core i5 Haswell processors for better graphics and phenomenally better battery life, as well as a huge amount of storage and RAM options. The highest you can go with the new Surface Pro 2 is a 512GB solid-state drive and an insane 8GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $1019 for the 64GB version, which is actually $20 more than the launch price of the original Surface Pro back in May. The 128GB Surface Pro 2 is priced at $1129, the 256GB model is priced at $1469, and the 512GB version is priced at $2039.
The Surface Pro 2 has a few more models in the line-up, with the 64GB version starting at $1019, the 128GB model costing $1129, the 256GB model priced at $1469, while the mammoth 512GB model will cost an equally large $2039.
Interestingly, if you look at the US pricing compared to the prices Australians are set to pay, it looks like Microsoft has ditched the Australia tax entirely.
Angus over at Lifehacker has noted the same thing:
The Surface 2 will be priced from $529 (for a 32GB model), while the Surface 2 Pro will be $1019 for the 64GB model. In the US, those prices are $US449 and $US899 respectively.
Convert those to Australian dollars at the current exchange rate and you get $476 and $1079 respectively. Add 10 per cent for GST (the US pricing doesn’t include tax) and you end up with $523.60 and $1186.90. At those prices, importing wouldn’t make a lot of sense, especially given you’ll need a different power adaptor for Australia.
If anything, Aussies are actually getting the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 models cheaper than the US. Check this out. The high-end 512GB model reportedly costs $US1799 for our Amerifriends. Convert the pricing to Australian dollars and that $US1799 becomes $1904. Add the 10 per cent GST on top of that (because US prices aren't required to include tax on the sticker) and you find that the Surface Pro 2 would cost you $2094 to order from the US. That's $55 more expensive than if you had just bought it in an Australian store, not to mention the cost of shipping it over here and buying a local power adapter.