When Microsoft unveiled its newest addition to the Surface family, the Surface Pro X, the company showed how the ultraportable tablet was the perfect productivity device because of its keyboard and stylus support. Given how the Surface Pro X was almost always shown with these accessories, we wouldn't have blamed you for assuming that the Signature Keyboard and new Slim Pen comes included with the Pro X.
Sadly, that isn't the case.
If you really want to use the Surface Pro X as Microsoft intended --- as a tablet with stylus support that can be transformed into a laptop --- you'll need to spend more than just the price of the tablet. A lot more.
Let's look at how it all comes together.
The Surface Pro X starts at $999 when configured with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. If you want a keyboard, but not the Slim Pen, you can buy the standard Surface Pro X keyboard (without Alcantara fabric) for $139 extra. That brings your total price up to $1,139. Add the $145 Slim Pen and your cart total soars to $1,294.
If you want the Signature Keyboard, which is coated in Alcantara fabric and has a nifty magnetic Slim Pen holder, you'll need to spend $269 on a bundle that includes the keyboard and Slim Pen. That brings your grand total to $1,268.
That's obviously a better deal than buying the stylus and keyboard separately, but Microsoft doesn't currently sell the Signature Keyboard by itself, so you have to buy the pen to get the nicer keyboard. Bummer.
Now you're spending $1,268 (before tax) for the base Surface Pro X, which is about what a Surface Laptop 3 with 256GB of storage costs. Upgrading the RAM and storage of the Pro X only raises the price even higher --- up to a $1,799 model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
For what it's worth, Microsoft isn't the only offender who doesn't sell you the entire experience it promises as a complete package; Apple sells the iPad Pro without its Pencil ($129) and Keyboard Folio ($179) accessories, which cost even more than what Microsoft charges for those add-ons. Still, one could argue that Microsoft's pricing is more egregious given how hard the company pushes its Surface products as convertibles that can transform from tablets into laptops.
I was impressed by the Surface Pro X during my brief hands-on with the new tablet, but we'll have to get the device in for review to do further testing. That said, the Surface Pro X will need to blow us away if it's going to live up to its exorbitant price.