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Microsoft Australia slashes price of Surface Pro 128GB by $AUD400

Now priced about the same as a mid-range laptop

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Walk into JB HiFi, Australia's most prominent purveyor of consumer electronics, and slap down $AUD597. You'll walk out with this HP 15-d004au and its 15.6-in screen, quad-core AMD A6-5200 running at 2 GHz and packing a Radeon HD 8400 graphics card, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB disk.

Take just two dollars more to Microsoft Australia's online store and you'll get a 128GB Surface Pro for $599, a $400 discount.

This has the look of a run-out sale: the Surface Pro 2 is already on sale down under from $1019 and the Surface 2 starts at $529. It's hard to imagine that the Surface Pro's first edition is shifting big units when priced at only $20 less than its successor. Slashing its price is probably the best way to save them from landfill.

How does the $599 Surface stack up against that mid-range laptop? The HP has a bigger screen and storage capacity, but the pair are tied for RAM. The Core i5-3317U reportedly resident within Surface Pros boasts just two cores, but they hum along at up to 2.6 GHz, making them a little faster than the HP's AMD. And of course the lappie includes a keyboard, which is a $139.99 extra for the Surface Pro.

And the price of a WiFi-only 128GB iPad Air in Australia? $899, rather more expensive than the cut-price Surface Pro but also the very latest machine.

Where would you put your money? ®

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