Saturday, April 20, 2013

Now you can buy Microsoft Surface RT directly from the Japanese Microsoft Store

Surface Pro was announced more than 2 months ago but Japan only recently got the Surface RT model which was released more than 6 months ago. At least now you can buy the Surface RT directly from Microsoft’s Japanese Store. The prices start from JPY49,800 for the 32GB model (57,800 with touch cover) and JPY57,800 for the 64GB model (JPY65,800 with touch cover).

Amazon Japan was selling them for a high price – like JPY60,000 range even when the USD was about JPY80. Even the Expansys.jp website is selling them (the 32GB model) for JPY62,000 (with the touch cover) and they only offer like 3 month warranty. Duh!

No thanks to the new Japanese government, the currency has been devaluing ever since and it has dropped by a whopping 20%. Now the JPY sells for 1USD = 100JPY. Sucks! If Microsoft made the Surface RT available in Japan before this devaluation, the price would have been around JPY40,000. More people would have bought it I guess. I still wouldn’t, because especially back then, there weren’t many apps. The situation hasn’t changed a lot, but at least there are legacy apps if you really want to get something done. In my case, playback of MKV and FLV. The built-in XBOX Video app doesn’t support those, surprisingly, popular formats.

I guess there is not point releasing the Surface Pro in Japan. The price is too high right now. Better settle for a Clovertrail based tablet like I did or buy an iPad which still sells for the old JPY value. Or hold off for Haswell based tablets.

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