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Surface Pro 3 introduced, pre-orders start now

by Mark Tyson on 21 May 2014, 00:06

Tags: Surface

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacelr

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Tonight at the previously announced 'small gathering,' organised by Microsoft in New York, we saw the Surface Pro 3 launched. However despite the 'small' hints on the invite we never saw or heard a thing about the anticipated Surface mini tablet.

So, tonight was all about the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The headline grabbing feature on offer and a big change from the previous Surface range is the screen size bump to 12-inches. This ClearType 2160 x 1440 pixel display is paired with a 4th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 8 GB of RAM to bring to market a powerful and portable computing device. Talking of portability it's just 9.1mm thick, weighs 800g and has enough battery stamina for about 9 hours of web browsing, for example. For the sake of comparison Microsoft informed us that the Surface Pro 3 is 30 per cent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air.

Lightweight laptop beater

Pushing ahead with a message that this really is a laptop replacement, Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface said "So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that serves all purposes". He continued to make his point, "Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop - packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device. You’ll love being able to carry a single device for your next class, workday or weekend getaway knowing you have all the power you need."

Configurations and specs

The Surface Pro 3 is available to buy with a range of processors and storage options. Users can choose from a range of 4th gen Intel chips; i3, i5 and i7 with TPM. RAM options are from 4GB to 8GB and built-in storage from 64GB to 512GB.

Microsoft also says there are numerous tweaks to the rest of the Surface design. The Kickstand has been changed to offer a "full friction" hinge with a much wider range of viewing angle options. Multimedia fans might also be pleased to hear the new Surface Pro 3 is "45% louder". Also a new Surface Pen is present, "completely redesigned with form and function in mind". The pressure sensitive pen has a shortcut to launch the OneNote app.

There are new accessories to match this latest Surface tablet including Touch Covers, Type covers, a Surface Ethernet adaptor and the Docking Station for Surface Pro 3.

  • Size: 11.5" x 7.93" x 0.3", (292mm x 201.3mm x 9.1mm)
  • Weight: 1.76lbs, (800 grams)
  • Display: Screen: 12” ClearType Full HD Plus, Resolution: 2160 x 1440, Aspect Ratio: 3:2, Touch: Multi-touch
  • Battery Life: Up to 9 hours of web browsing
  • Storage/RAM: 64GB or 128GB storage with 4GB RAM , 256GB or 512GB storage with 8GB RAM
  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7, TPM Chip for enterprise security
  • Network: Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac/802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology
  • Location: Digital Compass
  • Ports: Full-size USB 3.0, microSD card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port
  • Software: Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Cameras, Video and Audio: 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera, Stereo microphones, Stereo speakers with Dolby sound
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Kickstand positions: Multiple
  • What's in the box: Surface Pro 3, Surface Pen, 36W Power supply, Quick Start Guide, Safety and warranty documents

Customers in North America can pre-order the Surface Pro 3 right now (21st May). Visitors to the Microsoft Store will be able to purchase the Intel Core i5 Surface Pro 3 and select accessories from 20th June. Other configurations will become available in August. At the end of August the Surface Pro 3 and accessories will start to become available in 26 other markets including the UK.

Incidentally the UK Microsoft Store shows a starting price, for the new tablet, of £639.00. The basic Surface Pro 3 in the US is listed at $799, which is $100 less than its cheapest MacBook Air competitor, according to the BBC.

Do readers agree with Microsoft, that this is a worthy laptop replacement with the portability of a tablet?



HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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Oh dear, we're being ripped off here in Blighty!
I just think the prices are overpriced full stop, it's had the ‘UK tax’ (yes I know we have that huge difference of a different plug socket lol) and then had extra added under the usual rubbish about ‘economic’ state of the country (in other words like for like prices)

Compared to the surface 2 pro, the i5 with 256GB SSD and 8GB ram isn't to far off the existing UK price (it's about £100 different which allowing for the screen is ok)… Having said that it's about £925 on a conversion including VAT, that's just under £200 for a plug… and being in the UK. Oh it's also almost like for like price of the US price….

Oh how we love being shafted and no wonder companies can knock £200 off easily as they sell end stock, they're not losing any money….

EDIT: I'm lucky as I'd be buying for work and so could claim back vat and offset against taxes but even with that saving (£916 before vat on the i5 above) and I'd still in essence be paying vat on the US price… seriously thats just stupid and actually makes me not want to buy one….

I thought Apples price gouging was pretty bad but they've got nothing on MS…
I prefer the aspect ratio of the 3 over the 2 though still not keen on the taper sides. Surely Microsoft could have squeezed another usb port in on something this size.
The price though is a killer and its hardly a laptop replacement if you then have to buy a keyboard on top (for some work a physical keyboard cannot be replaced by an onscreen one). If the type cover was supplied with the tablet at these prices it would be slighlty more bearable … but only slightly.
The sweet spot would appear to be the i5 128GB model but at £849 its £100 more than an entry level Macbook Air, the 256 GB model weighs in at a hefty £210 more than a 256GB 11.6" Air … and with out any keyboard.
If the i5/128GB model was £50 dearer than the 128GB iPad Air that would be acceptable, £689 (with a type cover) for a full fat OS driven tablet is easier to swallow.
At that price for the i3 version then no I won't be replacing my laptop for this. Even if I take in the costs of updating the ram, installing an SSD myself and updating the OS, then I still get an excellent “does what I want it for” laptop for under £500. Yes it's heavier and has a larger footprint than a tablet style pc and yes it's going to be a bit heavier on the old wattage (but not much) but I have a large(ish) HD screen that's easy to sit and work at all day long, I can take it apart for cleaning and component replacement and I for one have never had a problem carting it around when I go places.

The surface pro 3 line looks good and there is no doubt that has all the mobile performance that you need but the price is too high for me (the reason I don't buy Apple products). However I'm sure that my new “I'm a technology buff” Chief Exec will love spending large amounts of tax payers money on these especially as they will do what he thinks we need.
I have always desired a Surface Pro Tablet but the price has always prevented me. In this iteration, they really are becoming what Microsoft planned with the surface range but what I disagree with is this pricing structure.

it costs £2 per GB just if you change the solid state drive, that's wholly unreasonable! I would love to know whether such a small change warrants such a massive increase in price unless the increase in storage size also bundles in the increase in ram. But again the expense is huge.

But still, the quality of build of these devices rivals that of Apple's and it really is a premium grade device.