On Tuesday, Microsoft introduced Surface Pro 3 - a lightweight tablet designed to replace your laptop, designed to take on Apple's laptops.
Surface Pro 3 is a tablet and a laptop: multiple processor, RAM and storage options intersect with a design that, with a snap or click, transform the device from a tablet to a full-functioning laptop and back again. It weighs 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thin. In fact, it is just half the thickness of a MacBook Pro, and 30% thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air. And the battery life is up to 9 hours – 10% better than Surface Pro 2.
At a presentation in New York, new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella made it clear that Microsoft, which recently acquired Nokia's handset business, is committed fully to making its own devices.
"We are not building hardware for hardware's sake," said Nadella, at today's Surface event. "We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company.
Its 12-inch display and new, continuous kickstand provide the screen real estate and multiple viewing angles people need for work and play. And the new Surface Pen — completely redesigned with form and function in mind - delivers a precise drawing and note-taking experience with a single click of the pen.
Surface Pro 3 features a 12-inch ClearType Full HD screen with 2160 x 1440 resolution. The new screen is 38% bigger than Surface Pro 2, with 50% more pixels. In addition, every screen is color calibrated at the factory. It is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor (there will be Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 options), and storage capacity ranging from 64 to 512 GB with 4 or 8 GB of RAM. It still features a full-size USB 3.0 port for peripherals, a Mini DisplayPort for projecting to an external display, and a microSD card reader for expandable storage.
Click-in keyboards and a multiposition kickstand that goes from movie mode to working mode and all the way to writing mode. Because it runs Windows 8.1 Pro, people can run the desktop software such as Microsoft Office, multitask with side-by-side windows, and use it at work. Surface Pro 3 also great for writing and drawing with Surface Pen included and a new capability where with just a click of the pen, Surface launches a fresh page in OneNote, so you can capture your thoughts immediately. The new Pen with pressure sensitivity also enables more natural writing. But the pen does more than take notes. The upcoming release of Photoshop CC, optimized for Surface Pro 3, will include touch and gesture controls, pen accuracy and line precision and larger touch targets. The New York Times is bringing a new crossword puzzle app to Surface. These and other apps designed for Surface including Final Draft, Sudoku and Drawboard, will be available later this year.
Surface also delivers big-screen entertainment anywhere with the full HD screen, the kickstand, speakers with Dolby Audio enhanced sound.
New Surface accessories like the improved Surface Pro Type Cover will take Surface Pro 3 from tablet to laptop in a snap.
Coupled with additional optional accessories, including a new Docking Station for Surface Pro 3 and a Surface Ethernet Adapter, Surface Pro 3 has all the features and capabilities of a complete laptop.
Starting at an estimated retail price of $799, Surface Pro 3 will be offered in multiple configurations featuring 4th-generation Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. Apple's lightest laptop, which starts at $629 with a full cellular connection, was the device to beat.
Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro Type Cover and Surface Pen will be available for pre-order starting May 21 through Microsoftstore.com, Microsoft retail stores and select third-party retailers.
Beginning June 20 in Canada and the United States, consumers can visit Microsoftstore.com, Microsoft retail stores, select third-party retailers and commercial resellers to purchase Intel Core i5 Surface Pro 3 and select accessories. Additional configurations will become available during August, and additional accessories will be available in the next few months.
By the end of August, Surface Pro 3 and select new accessories will become available for purchase in 26 additional markets.
No Surface Mini
For weeks we've been treated to rumors that Microsoft would announce a new 7- or 8-inch "Surface Mini" at today's press conference in New York. But today there was no mention of an ARM-stunted Surface -- Mini or otherwise.
Does it mean that Steve Sinofsky's Windows RT concept device is dying? A version of Windows that runs on ARM-based tablets but doesn't run on phones was not a success for Microsoft so far. On the oterh hand, it could be just a delay in Microsoft's plans.
- Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro
- Dimensions: 7.93 in x 11.5 in x 0.36 in
- Weight: 1.76 lbs
- Casing: Magnesium
- Color: Silver
- Physical buttons: Volume, Power, Home
- Storage: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
- Display Screen: 12-inch ClearType Full HD display
- Resolution: 2160 x 1440
- Aspect Ratio: 3:2
- Touch: Multitouch input
- Pen input: Pen input and pen (included with purchase)
- Pen features 256 levels of pressure sensitivity
- 4th-generation Intel Core i5-4300U (1.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.90 GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 4400, 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM - dual-channel LPDDR3, TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module - for BitLocker encryption)
- 4th-generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Processor, 4GB or 8GB memory options, TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac/802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0 low energy technology
- Battery: Up to nine hours of Web-browsing battery life
- Cameras and A/V: 5MP and 1080p HD front- and rear-facing cameras
- Built-in front- and rear-facing microphones
- Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound
- Full-size USB 3.0
- microSD card reader
- Headset jack
- Mini DisplayPort
- Cover port
- Charging port
- Ambient light sensor
- Power supply: 36W power supply (including 5W USB for accessory charging)
- Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty
- Intel Core i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM: $799
- Intel Core i5, 128 GB7 and 4 GB of RAM: $999
- Intel Core i5, 256 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM: $1,299
- Intel Core i7, 256 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM: $1,549
- Intel Core i7, 512 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM: $1,949
Surface Pro 3 Accessories
- Surface Pro Type Cover:$129.99
- Additional Surface Pen: $49.99
- Additional 36W Power Supply: $79.99
- Additional Pen Loop: $4.99
- Docking Station for Surface Pro 3: $199.99
- Surface Ethernet Adapter: $39.99