Microsoft has some very special pricing available for qualified students across a range of products, not the least of which is the Core i3 version of the Surface Pro 3 for $649. This price gets you 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, the latter of which can be complemented by up to 128GB of microSD storage.
Not only is this a great price for such a powerful and flexible machine that runs the full version of Windows 8.1, all Windows applications (desktop and modern), and with a full compliment of expansion options, but it’s also very competitive with some of the other tablet-only offerings on the market. Sure, you’ll want to add the $129 Type Cover, but these particular tablets don’t come with keyboards.
You might be able to find the Samsung and Apple alternatives for less somewhere else, and there are cheaper options, but seriously, $649 is an excellent price for a Surface Pro 3 that can serve a student as a full-featured notebook (with the Type Cover, of course, which is also available with the standard Microsoft 10% student discount), a powerful note-taking tablet, and even a desktop with the excellent dock accessory.
While roughly $800 including tax for the Surface Pro 3 and Type Cover is a significant investment for a student, it’s also a long-term investment that’s still likely less costly than any other notebook/tablet combo on the market. And, considering that you’re getting it all in one no-compromise machine, it’s really a steal.