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Microsoft knocks up to £250 off the Surface Pro 3 tablet

The Windows-powered tablet has been cut in price until the end of the month.

Now playing: Watch this: Hands-on with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft is knocking as much as £250 off the Surface Pro 3 tablet between now and 1 March.

Price cuts start with the i5-equipped 128GB model which is down to £769 -- that's a saving of £80. The i5 256GB model is £949, a reduction of £160 and the i7 256GB version is now £1129, saving you £210. Lastly, the i7 512GB model is temporarily reduced to £1399, down £250.

The deals are available in Microsoft's MSStore. Some of the deals and models are also available in PC World, Currys and John Lewis.

By comparison, a 128GB iPad Air 2 costs £559 or £659 with 4G, so even with the price cut the Surface Pro 3 is still more expensive. However, the Surface is an inch-and-a-half larger, comes with a stylus and a kickstand, and can be attached to a keyboard for more involved typing. And of course, because it runs full-sized Windows -- like a laptop or PC -- it's capable of running your Windows software... handy if you're using it for business.

The 12-inch Surface Pro 3 was launched in May 2014 and went on sale in the US and Canada the same month, but not until August in other parts of the world. Powered by Windows 8.1, it's the third generation of Microsoft's Surface tablet-come-laptop. We rated it " Microsoft's best PC to date ".

Microsoft has knocked money off the Surface before, in short-term sales or trade-in deals for your older tablet. In the US, a recent offer knocking $100 off the Surface Pro 3 was supposed to end on 7 February but has been extended up to the end of the month.

The motives behind the deals here and in the US are unclear. Sales like this are rarely a sign of boffo business, but although representatives of Microsoft declined to talk sales figures, the Surface was earlier this year revealed to have helped drive $1.1 billion in revenue. It's possible that Microsoft is clearing out stock to clear shelves for a new model, but we're not due a new version until the summer.

Who knows -- maybe Microsoft is just feeling generous.