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?