OK, you’ve spent time researching Microsoft’s amazing Surface Pro 3 and have picked out the exact model you want and the Type Cover and other accessories that you wish to purchase immediately. The next step is actually buying Surface Pro 3. Here’s how to do it.
Note: This article is excerpted from my e-book, Surface Pro 3 Field Guide, which I’m currently writing. During this pre-release period, you can download the book for free in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats from the Field Guide Books web site. Thanks for reading! –Paul
Microsoft makes all five Surface Pro 3 models available for sale from a variety of locations that vary from locale to locale. If you wish to buy Surface Pro 3 as an individual in the United States, your choices (listed in order of preference) are:
Microsoft Store (retail). If you are lucky enough to live near one of the 60 or so Microsoft Store locations in the United States—you can find a full list of these locations online—then you can purchase a Surface Pro 3 and various accessories in person, directly from Microsoft. This is your best option because you will be able to see, touch, and experience Surface Pro 3 in person, and get support and help from experts who really understand the device.
Electronics retailer. If there is no Microsoft Store nearby, you can choose from a variety of electronics retailers, including Best Buy, Staples, Fry’s Electronics, Micro Center, Tiger Direct, Wal-Mart, and a handful of others. (You can see the full list of Surface retailers on Microsoft’s web site.) This option is second only to a real Microsoft Store because you can experience Surface Pro 3 in person before your purchase and ensure that it’s the right machine for you, and if there is a problem later you can take advantage of the store’s local support.
Microsoft Store (online). Point your web browser to microsoftstore.com/surface to see the available devices and accessories.
Third party online retailer. Microsoft’s retail partners (listed above) also sell Surface Pro 3 devices and accessories online. (You can see the full list of Surface retailers on Microsoft’s web site.)
Note: If you are interested in purchasing one or more Surface Pro 3 devices for a business, you can do so from a variety of authorized Surface resellers—CDW, CompuCom, Insight, PC Connection, and several others—each of which offer volume discounts and other amenities. You can find out more about these resellers from the Authorized Surface Resellers web site.
Surface Pro 3 comes with a one year limited hardware warranty and 90-days of free technical support, but because you will likely use this device for three years or more, you may want to consider an extended warranty as well.
Third party retailers will offer their own warranty options, so you should inquire with them if you buy Surface Pro 3 from a company other than Microsoft. But Microsoft sells the Microsoft Complete Extended Service Plan for Surface Pro, which costs $149.00 (in the US) and provides two years (total, not additional) of warranty service, accident protection, and unlimited software support (including Answer Desk training at Microsoft Store retail locations). You can add Microsoft Complete to add Surface Pro 3 purchase, even if you bought it elsewhere, for up to 45 days after that purchase. I strongly recommend this option, as they will even fix a cracked screen during the two-year warranty period. (Some repairs do require a $49 deductible as well.)