Microsoft isn't offering the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 prices it promised

Watch out for Microsoft's "Essentials" bundle, which forces you to pay more.

Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG

At Microsoft’s Surface launch, Microsoft device chief Panos Panay put up a slide with minimum, “starting at” prices for the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Studio 2: $899 and $999, respectively. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft initially tied those lowest-cost models to "Essentials" bundles that force you to buy other items along with the device, resulting in a higher total price. Microsoft appears to have removed that restriction for the Surface Pro 6 as of this article's posting, but the $999 Surface Laptop remains trapped in a higher-cost bundle.

Microsoft surface pro 6 preorder page Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 preorder page doesn’t list a Core i5/8GB/128GB option. Instead, the “minimum” price is this $1,200 option for a SP6 with 256GB of storage. The Surface Laptop 2 page is configured similarly.

Trapped in a bundle of 'Essentials'

When the Surface Pro 6 went on sale October 2, we noticed right away that the store offered a Surface Pro 6 Essentials bundle, which required that you buy a $99 Type Cover and at least a $49.99 subscription to Office 365 along with your Surface Pro 6. The process of choosing the elements of your bundle actually creates steps for choosing a Type Covers and the Office 365 subscription, noting that each is required. 

That put the true minimum price for a Surface Pro 6 at $1,167.98, and $1,167.99 for a Surface Laptop 2. (Both prices assume the presence of a Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD.) As we were writing this story, however, Microsoft added an a-la-carte $899 i5/8/128 option for the Surface Pro 6.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 essentials bundle circle Mark Hachman / IDG

Yes, the $899 Surface Pro 6 option is available—but only as part of a bundle. The final price isn’t even close to $899!

If that’s not confusing enough, consider the fact that there are in fact two different versions of the Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Laptop 2: one configured for business, and one for consumers. For the same configuration, Microsoft charges $100 more for a Surface Pro 6 for Business and $200 more for a Surface Laptop 2 for Business. (Business users and consumers must choose from the same Surface Studio 2 configurations.) The reason for the pricing difference? Microsoft offers business customers an optimized processor with Intel vPro support, as well as a more potent warranty option.

surface pro 6 Surface Laptop 2 pricing Mark Hachman / IDG

And here’s what Microsoft originally promised for Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 pricing.

What this boils down to, though, is that Microsoft promised one thing and is delivering another. If the $999 Surface Laptop 2 remains available only as part of an Essentials bundle, that “starting at” price is pure fiction.

What this means to you: The fact that we saw Microsoft adjust the pricing for the Surface Pro 6 as we were writing the story—and after we had notified Microsoft that we were writing it—could mean that the company is rethinking its bundling strategy. Let’s hope so. Otherwise Microsoft is effectively promising one thing and delivering another—certainly for the Surface Laptop 2. 

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Surface ProSurface Laptop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?