Microsoft has raised the price of its Surface products by around 15 percent in the UK, due to the Brexit referendum vote and the consequent cataclysmic decline of the pound.
While the Surface Book used to start at a somewhat reasonable £1300 from the Microsoft Store, it’ll now set you back £1450. The top-end Surface Book, with 16GB of RAM, a discrete GPU, Core i7 processor, and 1TB SSD, now costs just over three grand—an increase of £400.
The Surface Pro 4 tablets are more of a mixed bag, primarily because the stock is old and due to be replaced sometime soon. The entry-level Pro 4, bundled with a pen, still costs the same £750, but some of the other models have been bumped up by about 10-15 percent. Amusingly, the low-end Surface Pro 4, with pen, is currently on sale for $700 in the US. With a new Surface tablet expected soon, you shouldn’t buy the Pro 4 until it receives an end-of-life discount in the UK.
Microsoft has held out on Brexit-related price increases for a surprisingly long time. Almost every major American tech company has hiked its UK prices following the June 2016 referendum to leave the EU. The dollars-to-pounds exchange rate plummeted immediately from 1.45 to 1.3, and then onwards to 1.25—a total decline of about 16 percent, which closely matches the price increases. Dell and HP were two of the first to move in July, Apple followed in September (and then again last month), and then just a couple of days ago Sonos increased the price of its connected speakers by up to 25 percent.
For the last few years, the USD-GBP exchange rate has hovered at around 1.5. During that period, multiplying an American dollar price by 0.8 would usually get you a fairly accurate price in pounds or euros; so, for example, a $370 Apple Watch comes to £296—which is very close to the pre-Brexit price of the device (£300 including VAT).
Until the pound regains some its value (if indeed it ever does), you should expect that multiplier to be very close to 1.0. Something that costs $370 in the US will cost £370 over here; a $1,500 laptop will cost £1,500. So it goes.