Microsoft's decision to drop bundled pen options means no one will be caught out by a raw deal. You can still buy the Pen separately for an overall savings.
Microsoft has removed the entry-level Surface Pro 4 with Surface Pen bundle entirely, but while this might seem like a limiting of options for Surface Pro 4 buyers, it actually could save them money. The cheapest Surface Pro 4 without the Surface Pen is $100 cheaper than when it came with one, and you can always buy the pen separately for just $60.
When we took a look at the Surface Pro 4 back in mid-2016, we called it the best 2-in-1 PC we’d ever tested. Although mostly that was to do with the hardware inside and its presentation, the Surface Pen did add a lot to the package, too. It’s much more sensitive than the Pen that shipped out with the Surface Pro 3 and feels like an intrinsic part of the Surface Pro 4’s design.
Even so, it’s not terrible that people can save themselves some money and still pick one up later if they are looking to buy the cheapest of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4s. The “no pen,” version still comes with 128GB of storage, a Core M3 processor, and 4GB of memory.
Ditching the bundled pen option for low-end Surface Pro 4s may be something Microsoft does across all territories before long. As it stands, many regions still have the bundle as an option on the Microsoft store, but considering Microsoft’s change in the U.S., a decision to do something similar elsewhere in the world wouldn’t be surprising.
All of this is likely part of the build-up for Microsoft’s next iteration of the 2-in-1 PC at some point in the next few months. The Pro 4 is still a solid purchase, but it is getting a little long in the tooth, especially for those who like their hardware upgrades to be annual, or anyone sitting on convertible hardware that’s much older.