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Microsoft Surface RT headed to Costco on the cheap and with more options

For those looking to pick up the Surface RT tablet your local Costco’s (Costco.com) may be the place to look. Yup, in addition to the Microsoft Store, Best Buy and Staples, the Surface is now listed in upcoming inventory for Costco’s (see image below) including the RT’s various options for purchases.

Users will have their choice of 32GB RT tablet without Touch cover ($499), which is the norm for that SKU but the real deal comes in the “packages” where the Touch cover is included.

On the old SKUs (online and often in stores), users could only get the 32GB or 64GB Surface RT with a black Touch cover for $599/$699. If you wanted a different color, you had to buy the 32GB ($499) and a separate Touch Cover ($119), bringing the total to $618. Likewise with the 64GB (which was even worse as there was no 'bare bones” option and you had to buy a black cover).

Granted, we’ve seen people buy 64GB packages with a different color Touch Cover in a physical Microsoft Store, but for online orders, that was never possible.

Costco is stepping it up by offering just about every SKU available: 32GB Surface RTs with Red, Cyan, Black and White Touch covers for $599 or less (the Cyan and Black are $589).

Customers can also opt for the 64GB RT with any color as well (the same color discount for Cyan and Black apply here too but more so). That means a Surface RT 64GB with Cyan cover is only $679--$20 cheaper than what Microsoft is selling it for plus you get your choice of color.

And if you look closely on Costco's site, you can even find some Surface RT demo videos.

Combined with Costco’s buying power and customer reach, the Surface RT should fare well at that store. No word on if the Pro version will be heading there, though we’ll keep an eye out.

Thanks, Peter M., for the inventory screen shot!

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Reader comments

Microsoft Surface RT headed to Costco on the cheap and with more options

124 Comments

Do you own a Surface? Because the quality of it justifies the price. If you want cheap quality (bust solid internals) go with Acer.

I want a surface... But staples here doesn't have it.. Also have no costco here and im not much a fan of buying electronics online. Hopfully future shop will have them soon

The build quality is fantastic and the OS is great. However, the processor leaves a lot to be desired. I love my Surface, but it should be $100 cheaper.

I own a surface and the headphone jack is shit. Filled with noise and extremely disappointing. Kinda hoped it would at least match the Ipad which never had much noise but I guess a small detail like that doesn't matter for most.

cashcar1979

Is right , but the MSFT fanboys won't accept to realize that the tablet wars have now moved on on to a sub $400 price point.

They're pricing it on par with ipad which is much higher than 400. Only flaky android tablets are that cheap

Right, except that MS is playing catch up. Catching up to the maturity of the App store that iOS has, the services that Apple provides, the entire ecosystem.
Surface has a great design, and Office. That might be enough for some but when you have $500+ to spend on a tablet people might choose Apple. MS should be giving some more incentives to users wanting to buy a tablet from them.
 
That being said, I am buying Surface Pro on Feb 9th and I am excited for it! 

I don't understand why are you all complaining about the price point. Have you seen a dual or quad premium 10.1 tablet? Galaxy Tab 2 is nearly discontinued... Galaxy Note 10.1 is $489.99 for their 32Gb unit. Im sorry but their prices are about right. Keep in mind that this is the closest to PC that you can get, also price is competing against the iPad.

Well, yes price is justified... I was also in the claim that Surface is expensive but when I bought it in my region by paying extra 180 dollar, I wasn't disappointed. And guess what, I bought it for my father who is 50+ and he is loving it everyday.
For me, I am planning to Surface PRO.. will switch to Xbox as well, already got Lumia920 n loving it, finally will kick out the damn gaming rig out of my house.

I disagree.  Peolpe like us who enjoy using Microsoft products will obviously know what an amazing product it is.  But to regular consumers, @ the price of $499, people will easily choose the iPad over the new Surface because there's no reason for them to choose a product that they are not familiar with.  If Surface wants to compete with iPad and other Android tablets, it has to be more than just an amazing product.  Microsoft has to put more money into advertising and price Surface more aggressively.  In my opinion, $499 without a keyboard is a fair price, but its not enough to compete.  I think Surface will sell a lot better if its $499 with the touchcover. 

Oh and most people DO go to Acer Daniel that's why Android DOES have more market share than MSFT in the tablet space. Trust me as well designed as thing thing might be, no one wants to shell out $600 for a device that is for one ; confusing ,two; doesn't have as many apps as the "others" and three; you can't even download any desktop programs on it. For that money people either get a low end laptop or a $300 ipad/kindle that can do the same, or perhaps even more because of the apps to justify it.

Can't download desktop programs on an iPad or android tab either, so that argument in the tablet world is moot.

People also forget that the RT version comes with full office adding to the value of the tablet.

While people feel the need to bash on the Surface, one only has to look at the reviews from consumers to see that the owners, myself included, enjoy the tablet and see it's potential.

I don't undersand why someone hasn't mentioned that you can use a jump drive and SD card with the Surface and you can't with Ipad!!!  That was a selling point for me!!

You must have me confused with yourself. Wait it says you joined January of 2013, sounds like you are a troll who changes user id's every month.  

FWIW, I agree with the general idea that RT tablets are overpriced. I own a Surface and love it, but the premium is unjustified. That goes for all RT tablets IMO. THey're putting to much of a premium on them. They should be undercutting comparably spec'd android tablets and ipads. 

Android solid platform? I have Nexus 7 and  there is nothing so special about it except lags and It shot down by itself and you call this Jelly Beans, more like Pinto Beans.

Agreed... Should be $399 with touch cover. Their OEMs gave up on Windows RT, MS should go for market share.

I'm pretty sure the Asus Vivo Tab RT was $399 at Best Buy recently, and Asus had a free keyboard promo going on.  
 

I got the Asus + free keyboard for $395!  Couldn't be more happier!  I love my Asus RT!
 
Microsoft should take notes.

The build quality of the Surface is fantastic. I use it several hours every day and don't regret the purchase whatsoever. I retired my Kindle and use this exclusively.

I've been on my Surface RT for about the last 3 hours doing work with XBox music playing in the background. This damn thing continues to impress the hell out of me. This is a joy to use unlike my kids ipad or kindle Fire HD. As far as I'm concerned, if you've never used one then you're just talking out your ass.

Haven't touch my Kindle Fire either after I purchased my Surface RT. Didn't think of it until you mentioned it.

How can you put the Fire HD and RT in the same class when the RT is 3 times the price?
I know the subject's been beat to death but $600 for a Surface vs say $800 for a Win8 touch screen laptop that has the screen that folds back-I'd go for the laptop. Surface definitely too expensive considering the limited storage. I guess it depends on what you use it for..

Point being you couldn't do crap on a kindle (android) tablet. The Surface RT runs circles around it and the ipad. Especially if you actually want to do anything in it except watch YouTube, which is pretty much all my kids do on the kindle fire HDs. (I do like the speakers on that Fire HD though)

Expensive!! Compared to what?? An iPad at 32gb?? Compared to the entertainment tabs like 7 inch droids... Seriously just MS Office runs at 120 bucks. You can add a USB hub on to the device and you would open up a new world.

The general price for Windows RT and Clover Trail tablets (without extras, e.g. digitizer) seems to be $499 without keyboard/covers. In that context I'd go with a Surface-series device. Also, the Surface Pro seems to be lower priced than similarly spec'd and equipped (I.e with digitizer) tablet-PCs.

The surface has excellent built quality but the software is very very shoddy. My surface lags, games stutter, Xbox music is near unusable and the way the OS uses external SD cards is mind boggling. The price needs to be cheaper.

I won't argue the SD card issue and the XBOX Music... But those could be remedied with software. Correction: need to be. I definitely feel its great value were their music services not in a state of transition. They bungholed that up!

The SD issue definitely needs to be remedied. No user should have to understand, create, and use mount folders to store/retrieve media content.

This is a great deal for buyers like me who want the cyan cover instead of black. I'll still have to get my Surface from the Microsoft Store though because I want the 2 year insurance plan for $99 offer.

You should check out the Costco electronics insurance plan - most things are about 99 for two years with full replacement.

They do indeed, plus, if you buy with an AMEX card you'll even get a third year of coverage tacked on for free which is bloody outstanding.

But then you'd end up paying 3% more with the AMEX card? Or is that not the case in the US? [In most countries paying with Visa or MasterCard is usually free but as AMEX charges vendors 3% higher fees than everyone else they refuse to absorb the cost & pass it on to the customer directly, making AMEX a very unpopular option.]

Costco.com was in parentheses after mentioning Costco, so I wasn't sure if that was just a friendly link to Costco or it was to emphasize their online store. I always see people playing around with laptops/electronics at Costco; they're not specially displayed in any way (as it should be at Costco), but besides iPods, Apple does not really have a strong presence at Costco, so this should be a nice chance for Microsoft to sell some tablets.

can't wait to see how poorly these are displayed...of course anything can be better than the BB and staples fuck ups.

I went to check out the Surface display at my local Best Buy and I was really, really impressed. I'm sure it varies from location to location, though. Not sure it would be fair to blame corporate.

A steep enough discount to hold off on buying the Surface? I don't think I'd be able to hold out on buying the Surface unless it's a significant amount off. :)

My interest is in the pro more specifically, and a $103 discount between the tablet and a colored cover would be a pretty sweet deal.

Only people complaining about price haven't seen one or what it can do. Go buy one. You won't be disappointed. Or better yet, get an iPad and then get a keyboard and tell me how much you spend. Then, go purchase their $20 app to get anything remotely close to Office. Then, go purchase a micro SD card for more local storage. Oh, that's right. iPad doesn't have that option. Sorry. Surface can do about 90% of what my laptop can do and, short of gaming, can do everything an iPad can do. Oh ya, for those who have 4g ipads, how does it feel to pay an additional $120-240 a year for something your phone can already do? If you think Surface is overpriced, then go buy a toy and play games.

I have one and I am complaining about the price.  I wanted 64GB with Type cover but was not allowed to buy that.  I had to buy it with Touch cover (and the Touch cover was definitely not free) and then drop an extra $120 for the Type cover, which I haven't done yet.  Extremely annoying that people who want the 32GB version can buy whichever cover they want, but buyers of 64GB version are forced to buy Touch cover.
The other reason to complain about the price is that Windows RT needs apps, and the apps are not going to come if Surface/WinRT does not get significant market share.  And at these prices, Surface/WinRT is not going to get significant market share. 

I have the ASUS Vivo Tab RT and it blows the Surface out of the water. I got it for $399+free keyboard dock.

Of course the Surface is too expensive. Why can't people just see it?

Because the two devices have a completely different build quality and each holds a separate value in the eyes of the people buying the devices. I have the Surface because it appealed to me, though Asus is nice as well, and I needed something highly portable. The Asus is good but that's a honking big keyboard dock they gave away and I could see it going to waste. I don't feel I've wasted my money and in all honesty you can only say the surface is overpriced because Asus undercut it to sell their tablet as intended.

After I bought the Surface, I went to a store to check out the ASUS Vivo Tab.  I can tell you, as soon as you pick up the ASUS you could feel that it's mostly cheap plastic.  The build quality is no where even close to that of the Surface.  

Still too expensive for a device with no NFC or GPS, and no backward compatibility..
The DELL XPS 10 RT device costs the same and has NFC and GPS.. as well as a keyboard w/ battery..
 
OR if you want Windows 8 the Dell latitude 10 is only $499, and you can run legacy software.. 

What do you mean that the surface does more than an iPad? If it is office, apple has competing products, the email app supports Gmail, while windows rt only supports email Gmail, not calendar or contact sync (as of Jan 31st), there are a ton more apps including all the apps for the iPhone.

You also get full mouse/trackpad support because the OS is designed for more than just touchscreen input.

I'm a big MSFT fan, but anyone saying the Surface can do more than an iPad either works for MSFT or is batshit crazy...

Options wise, Surface blows iPad out of the water. IPad has a better display and camera but Surface has everything else. Expandable storage, USB port, keyboard with touchpad, so many more options than iPad. IPad has the apps but RT is only 3 month old OS. IPad only had scaled up iPhone apps for a time. By the time you get iPad set up with keyboard, USB port, sorry not an option, and expandable memory, you have invested much more in ipad. And expandable memory isn't built in. Apple just loves to sell you $30-$50 adapters to make their stuff work. And Office like apps were a $20 charge last I checked. Surface brings so much more to the table unless you are a gamer. Want games? Than buy an iPad but Surface fulfills many more of my daily tasks than iPad ever did.

Oh, did your iPad sprout a USB port? Mine hasn't yet.  (Yes, I own both an iPad 3 and Surface RT and my Surface goes with me everywhere because it is so much more useful.  My iPad is used as a games/Game Center device.)  Anyone who says an iPad can do more than Surface is a total nut job iSheep who probably hasn't even used a Surface.  I've used both and it is crystal clear that the Surface is more useful.

Can you create an office word or excel document and print it by hooking up your local printer using USB?
Can you copy your pictures from your camera SD card using USB card reader or microSD reader?
Can you hookup xbox controller using USB and play games with it?

Yes, Surface is capable of more than the iPad. But are those extra things things that the masses of buyers care about? I don't think so. iPad has a billion apps that do absolutely everything you want with a tablet. For most people, that trumps Office and a USB port. Surface has the *potential* to do more than the iPad, but the reality is, the apps are not there. And they aren't coming because market share isn't there, and market share isn't there because price is too high.

You could debate that easily. Most apps, besides games are designed because the companies web portal sucked on a touch phone or a tablet. With regular IE and a mouse you'll be fine. ADT control, Volt and many other car control websites, banks, many don't have WP or W8 apps but websites that do all of the same functionality. Counterpoint to my point would be www is dying, most people connect to the internet through apps. Just what you prefer to use really. Usability, as a producing and feature filled device, from worst to best is iPad, Surface RT, Android Tablets, Windows RT and Surface Pro.

You will label me as vain, but perhaps I'm.  I glad MS Surface priced as is, and I don't think it's expensive at all.  You get full MS Office 2013, which I use daily for work:  Excel, Word and occasionally Powerpoint.  I love the fact that Surface RT battery life lasted 9+ hours for me on the go.  Not a day do I have to use Word to draft a business agreement, and Excel to edit my company Financial report at my convenience. 
I love the fact that I'm sittin at a coffee shop, and watch people drooling at my Surface.  I'm working in a district that have 15 branches, and so far 3 of my colleagues will be getting the Surface Pro.  I'll also be getting a Surface Pro, hence I'm a photographer, and with pen for photoshop editing would be so useful. 
I want MS Surface to be cool, and expensive.  I don't want fanboys to look at the Surface and say "Oh, that cheap thing!"
 

Actually per the T&C, he can use office just the way he is. It is not like he is fully using this version for his office work... This is personal device that he also uses to do work with. He stated that he drafts documents and such in his his leisure...

Read the T&C in the link i posted again:
"As sold, Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final edition are not designed for commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities."
He states he is creating and editing company documents, which is a commerical activitiy.
My point is that it is dishonest to state that Windows Surface RT comes with full MS Office. It doesn't; if you're an enterprise user you have to buy a license.

Its $100 too expensive...$399 they would have moved quite a few units. Either price it like this or get an 8" model out for $299 to compete with the iPad Mini (which is an excellent tablet despite its specs)

Great to hear this! I'm tired of walking into Costco all the time only to see a giant pallet of Android Tablets. It'll be great for the Surface to get some decent exposure, and Costco is a great place for it.

I'm waiting on the Surface 2 or the rumored Nokia tablet.  I don't generally hold out for technology but the Tegra 3 is just too old.

Typing this commment on my Surface RT....  I really like the Surface (excellent tabletop PC replacemet for normal daily use) for what it is and understand what it is not really good for (not and iPad competitor).  I cannot wait to see what Nokia is coming out with regarding an RT tablet.   Hopefully, it will be a good piece of hardware and help draw more attention and support towards the RT platform.

I own an iPad 2. I bought my 12 year old the Surface RT for christmas. His perception of an iPad is an blown up iPod, iPhone. Furthermore I wanted to get a feel of the RT as I have plans to purchase the Surface pro. The build quality and productive capabilities exceeds those of the iPad by far. Haven't touched my iPad since. I'm extatic about the Surface Pro!

How embarrassing that they so quickly moved from positioning the device as a premium thing only available at select Microsoft outlets to now dropping it at friggin Costco.

Stop whining about the price and processor. They are fine considering the build and what you get compared to other tablets.

Its a numbers thing. MS couldn't meet the demand of every retailer. The "exclusive" was basically we need to get it on the market. They sold out of 32gb option even with limited availability. There was no way to meet the demand and MS knew it. I don't really see what's embarrassing about it. In 6mon, it will be everywhere. Even Walmart I would assume.

Rubbish...they ordered production for 4m and sold under 1m units...demand was weak due to their stupid decision to have only at ~30 MSFT stores..

It's still better to get it at Microsoft Retail because of their excellent customer service and the warranty options available for it.

I love my surface and sold my iPad s week after getting my surface on launch day. Yep, I originally stood in line for my iPad2 all day too. I really liked my ipad.. Problem with my iPad, I never could be productive in the office sense of things. Had to buy logmein ignition before it was free... No really way of local storage without using iTunes or copy trans manager, bought a zagg/logitech keyboard, smart cover, etc... All was way more expensive than my surface... My iPad and cover alone cost over 700 dollars... No remote desktop, no storage expansion to the 16 GB.

My 32 surface is running circles around what my iPad did. Yeah, flash is such a welcome to have on the surface too. I can interact with websites that still have it... Shoot, flash is not going away so soon, no matter what apple says. I can create, download, upload, and share files with people locally or over the air. I have a keyboard...

There is not question. I am a programmer and sr helpdesk at my company, among other IT tasks with servers and data analysis... I can do to tons more locally and remote with my surface than I could ever do on my iPad. My colleagues like my CFO, Network Administrator, CIO, managers, and others love the surface too. These were apple Android people, but they are constantly blown away at the thing the surface can do.

The surface is a real computer and a tablet... The others are just tablets with limited mobile operating systems.

Sensible, now we need 128GB RT model for $699 with 2nd gen. And bundle the TouchCover with the tablet instead of the Office apps.

Ask yourself if you want a laptop or a tablet. Pro is heavier and battery life is weaker so it's more like a laptop, RT is a fresh device without the legacy. Thanks to the recent jailbreak I believe in RT and like the idea that it unburdens me from the past.

A little OT... but this is the only site where I will actually read the article comments because they don't get me steamed nearly as often as any other "tech" sites. So.. thanks WPCentral readers/commenters, you truly are a level headed (and reasonable) bunch!

I'm more interested in Vizio's 11.6" Tablet with AMD's Z60 APU. Would be nice if Costco is going to sell both the Surface Pro and the Vizio to compare them side by side.

But can you get 64GB Surface with Type cover *instead of* Touch cover?  What has steamed my beans from day one is that if you want 64GB Surface with Type cover, you have to buy it with the Touch cover and then buy the Type cover separately. 

How difficult is it to type on the touch cover? I tried it at a local Staples and I found it very difficult to type because they required a lot of pressure to register and I was constantly missing the keys (even more so than I do in a touchscreen).  I am a decent typer, I can touch type and my speed is roughly 90 words per minute.  I was wondering if you cna change the settings to make them more sensitive or if you just get used to them with time.

I got the 64gb at launch with touch cover. And I wanted type cover but waiting for it to come down in price a little. I'll be honest, if you type on it everyday you can get used to it. You will never type as fast on touch. It just isn't possible. I have trouble when I go from full size and then Touch. Spacing gets me every time. There are no sensitivity adjustments, but you really don't have to press that hard and it doesn't register when you rest your fingers on keys. You probably won't like it at first, but a little practice and it's very usable. You won't want to write a college paper on it but for getting around in daily task its ok.

Just give it time. It is still not the same as a tactical button keyboard, but it works better that a touch screen keyboard. I find it to be finger pecking, and I am a touch typist. Having the keyboard in such a slim and concealable manner with the option to use it when I need to over the on screen keyboard is good for me. I wish it was like $50, but I love it packaged with the surface. Not needed, but really nice to have, even if it just a cover the majority of the time.

I want surface but i'm gamer and even surface pro not for me.I'm thinking about razer new tablet

The apps will come. Apple didn't have the iPad apps at first either. MS stepped all over the OEMs toes with Surface. MS would probably love to give the thing away at cost just for market penetration. But, they can't screw over the OEMs. Samsung has already dropped RT and others are very hesitant to support RT. If they dropped the price, OEMs would scrap every RT offering they have. They wouldn't be able to compete. They barely can now. If RT doesn't take off MS will be in trouble and you will see price drop. Al la Playbook. Which is bad for RT ecosystem. But if it takes off, price will stay as is to allow OEMs to offer their devices at a more reasonable price. Its good tact on MS part and it probably won't change. And, for what you get with Surface, its a good price. IMO.

Got my Surface RT on launch day and initially felt some buyers remorse, but after having used it every day since, I no longer regret my decision. Sure, the app selection may seem sparse, but I find some kind of strange satisfaction in trying out new apps and finding hidden gems. Also the fact that it 1) hasn't crashed once on me, unlike the Asus Transformer that I owned previously that crashed almost daily and 2) it will receive support for the next few years, unlike every Android tablet; these are what make the Surface RT worth the investment. I have no qualms with Apple or their products, but don't reject a perfectly capable product because it doesn't have enough apps.

The most notable thing is not the fact that you can save a few dollars or do a mix and match.  It is that Costco is going to be selling the tablets.  Costco does not include products in their inventory unless they know they can sell, 

Has anyone actually seen any Surfaces at Costco?  Still not online and that video isn't available anymore...