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NZ$400 Surface 2 a bargain for Office fans

Microsoft's swanky new Surface Pro 3 went on sale in New Zealand earlier this week.


It's a lovely device, but not cheap. Prices start at NZ$1200. For one-third of that you can buy a 32GB Surface 2 at Noel Leeming until September 7.


Is it worth considering?


At NZ$400 the Surface 2 is good value. Whether you should buy one depends on what you want. Surface 2 not for everyone. If your life revolves around Microsoft Office and you mainly use a desktop, the Surface 2 is a great way to add mobility.


Although they share a name, Microsoft has two distinct product lines. Surface Pro 3 is closer to a laptop than a tablet. Microsoft's marketing directly compares it with Apple's MacBook Air. Surface Pro 3 runs Windows, it will handle all your Windows software.


Surface 2 is a more traditional tablet. It's smaller and runs Windows RT.


RT looks like standard Windows, but only runs specially written software. It won't run all your existing Windows apps.


However Surface 2 comes with its own apps including an edition of Microsoft Office at no extra charge.


You have to buy a licence to run Office on a Surface Pro 3. Office 365 prices start at NZ$119 for a Personal licence covering a single device. I recommend paying NZ$165 for Office 365 Home which covers five computers and five mobile devices.


If you get more than three years use out of a Surface 2, you effectively had the hardware for free.


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