re: Microsoft Surface Tablet Details, Examined
Yep, I was surprised too. An iPad does what it's supposed to be out of the box; when people throw keyboards on them, the accessories are supplements, not something crucial to the device's appeal. But with the Windows Store being what it is, Windows tablets rely much more on keyboards.
Do I use my Surface Pro without a keyboard? Yes-- but the keyboard is still the thing that makes its desktop compatibility useful, and that helps make using a Surface Pro different (in a potentially good way) than using an iPad. If Microsoft has just thrown the Type Cover in, I'd consider the event a solid, but not necessarily overwhelming, success. They'd still be able to upsell people (especially Pro users) to the Power Cover, but they'd avoid the perception of market-deaf pricing. But with the current structure, consumers are going to feel nickel and dimed.
The new machines look much nicer and I'm looking forward to playing around with them more extensively. But at these prices, and with keyboards and docks adding hundreds more to the "true" cost, I think the new devices face many of the same questions that the previous ones faced.