The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a laptop and a tablet all-in-one. Find out how to get the best price when you buy

By Stephen Pate – The Surface Pro 3 has quickly become the most elite of all tablets. The new 12-inch Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop.

With its powerful Intel processors, Windows 8.1, magnetic keyboard and touch screen it can do anything your desktop does and do it anywhere you go.

Unlike the iPad and Android tablets, the Surface Pro 3 runs the same programs you use on our desktop plus 100’s of thousands of special touch apps for Windows 8.1.

It is compared to laptops like the Apple MacBook Air except the MacBook Air is not a touch device.

There are several ways to get a discount on the Surface Pro 3. From time to time, the Microsoft Store and vendors like Best Buy get special bundles that can save on peripherals like the Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals Now!.

One of the most popular ways to get a discount is to pay Education pricing which is a straight 10% off the retail price of a Surface Pro 3. For the $799 Surface Pro 3 i3, you pay only $719 not $799. The Surface keyboard and accessories are also discounted.

You qualify if you are one of the following: K-12 and higher education students including trade schools, parents purchasing for students, faculty, staff, school board, and PTA/PTO executives. I believe grandparents purchasing for their grandchildren also apply.

That means about 200 million people in North American qualify for this discount. It’s pretty likely you do too. Enter the Education Store at the Microsoft USA Education Store icon and in Canada at Microsoft Canada Education Storeicon

After you enter the school affiliation, you can see both the retail and the Education pricing.

There is another 5% discount for those who do not qualify for the education pricing who are enlisted or retired from the US military. You cannot combine the education discount with any other.

The discounts are available at Microsoft online store in US (including Puerto Rico) icon and in Canada at Microsoft Canadaicon.

Generally you will need the name of the qualifying person, their student card or employee ID when you close out your Shopping Cart.

Best Buy will honor the same pricing with the production of a student card, although some stores will give you a song-and-dance to get the discount.

When selecting a Surface Pro 3, I recommend the models that have 256 GB or 512GB of SSD storage since they also have 8GB of RAM. The extra RAM is important if you’re multi-tasking or doing intensive processes like photo or video editing. The price is about $200 higher for the larger SSD drive and double memory but you will never regret it later.

Have fun with your new Surface Pro 3. They are a fantastic tablet.