Update 2/18/2015 4:02: This article has been updated with new information from Microsoft. Trade-in will be possible through Microsoft retail stores as well as online. We’ve also noted that providing a Type Cover is not required to receive the $650 dollar credit, and adding a Type Cover to the valuation does not provide a greater trade-in value.
The Surface Pro 3 is already a pretty big blockbuster, undoubtedly the most popular member of its growing family, but that can’t stop Microsoft from wanting more. In an effort to further boost U.S. sales of the 12-inch “laptop replacement,” Redmond now takes your old Surfaces in trade, offering store credit that’s only usable towards a Pro 3 purchase.
There’s a maximum of $650 to be redeemed in the new trade-in and trade-up program, but for that whopping discount, you’ll need to forsake a mint condition 256GB Core i5 Surface Pro 3 with an original power adapter. Owners can also send in their Type Cover, though that does not change the valuation for the top-tier Surface Pro 3 trade-in credit.
Taking the deal would slash the most expensive Pro 3 from $1,849 to $1,199 — a big discount, but still a lot to pay for a system you already have. The only benefit is the fact the top-end Surface Pro 3 has 512GB of storage, so if you have the 256GB model and absolutely must upgrade, this is the least expensive option.
The offer is available either online or in-store in the United States, but is not available online in Canada. The online offer requires you ship your secondhand Surface to Microsoft. A ballpark can be obtained here by entering basic information of the no longer needed tablet.
Starting from the rock bottom, a working 2012 Surface RT with no visible cracks or faulty parts and 32GB internal storage is worth $84. Peanuts, but no one else will pay you to take that raggedy thing off your hands.
Meanwhile, a recently discontinued Wi-Fi only Surface 2 RT starts at $105, as long as it powers on and looks unharmed by the passing of time. A 4G LTE-enabled Surface 2 is appraised at a measly $9 more, a 2012 first-gen Pro is $122 and up, a Pro 2 can procure you savings of at least $189, and finally, a used Pro 3 starts at $499 with Core i3 and 64GB SSD.
Owners of devices other than a Surface can also trade-in for credit, though only through Microsoft’s in-store recycling program. That program lets potential Surface owners earn up to $650 dollars for trading in a MacBook Air, for example.
Feel you might be ripped off? Best Buy has a similar program, featuring iPads and Androids in addition to Surfaces, and their big upside is you can take the tab you’re looking to ditch to a physical store, and get a hassle-free valuation. Then, if you change your mind, you can always come crawling back to Microsoft.