With tablet sales slowing, Microsoft is looking to breathe new life into its Surface Pro 3 with a bit of a discount. Microsoft shoppers can now get $100 off the price of the Surface Pro 3, the tablet the company also touts as a laptop replacement, until Feb. 7.
But there’s a caveat. The base model is excluded from the deal. So those on a budget will still have to shell out $799 to get their hands on the 64GB Intel i3 model of the Surface Pro 3.
Beyond the base model, the discount continues to apply. So for $100 more, users can opt for the next model up, the 128GB with Intel i5 Processor at $899. In addition to the discount, Microsoft is offering a free sleeve for the tablet, until April 5. The deal is only available to Microsoft’s retail and online stores and customers are limited to three tablets.
Microsoft has aggressively marketed its line of Surface tablets, including a series of ads pitting the Surface Pro 3 against Apple's MacBook Air. The company also struck an exclusive deal with the NFL to supply teams with custom-built Surface Pro 2 tablets, which were on display during the Super Bowl.
Despite the deal, Microsoft had an early setback when the tablets were deployed to NFL teams last year, with many announcers calling it an “iPad-like” device. And during CNN's November 2014 election coverage, commentators were seen on camera using their own iPads instead of the product-placed Surface Pro 3s in front of them.
Overall, the global tablet market faced its first decline in the fourth quarter, with shipments falling 3.2 percent to 76.1 million, down from 78.6 million a year earlier, according to data from IDC.
“Despite an apparent slow-down of the market, we maintain our forecast about tablet growth in 2015," Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets at IDC, said. “Microsoft's new OS, a general shift towards larger screen form factor and productivity focused solutions, and technology innovations such as gesture interface that could be introduced in tablets will help the market maintain positive growth in 2015.”