Microsoft held a press event this morning New York to present the future of their Surface tablet/laptop hybrid series. While rumors pegged the conference to unveil a “mini” version of the tablet alongside a third generation, more powerful core device, only half that came true.
Fortunately for interested Surface proponents and consumers/students/workers on the go looking for a machine that does a better-than-adequate job of bridging the gap between laptops and tablets, Microsoft has honed in on the formula with the Surface Pro 3. In fact, it’s announcement is built around the idea that the Surface Pro 3 can legitimately replace your laptop needs.
The new Surface Pro features a larger 12-inch ClearType Full HD display but is 30% thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air. It’s powered by a 4th-generation Intel Core processor and there are multiple variants (more on that later) and so the RAM can be up to 8 GB. As for the tricky question of battery life, Microsoft claims that users can expect up to nine hours of pure browsing.
Some of the highlight features include a multi-positional Kickstand built with the new friction hinge, meaning there’s more than just one or two options like in the previous Surface iterations. You can put it where you want, how you want, and the new Type Cover can attack in two different ways for more comfort. The Surface Pro 3 line all runs on Windows 8.1 and feature a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader and Mini DisplayPort. And with the launch, comes a pile of new accessories, including the Surface Pen which was a focus of the unveiling:
- 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)
For users interested in fulfilling their mobile computing needs with this laptop substitute and take advantage of what the Surface Pro 3 offers, it’ll cost a pretty penny. You’ll want the type cover and possibly the pen, so that’s minimum $130 + tax plus the price of whatever model you want:
- Intel® Coreâ„¢ i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM $799
- Intel® Coreâ„¢ i5, 128 GB7 and 4 GB of RAM $999
- Intel® Coreâ„¢ i5, 256 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM $1,299
- Intel® Coreâ„¢ i7, 256 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM $1,549
- Intel® Coreâ„¢ i7, 512 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM $1,949
For a legitimately powerful, future-proof model (read: i7) plus the accessory (s), you might be getting into high-end gaming laptop territory, and for the gamer crowd, it would be beneficial to compare to the thin 14″ gaming machines from Razer and MSI. But for practical business solutions, or students and travelers with a hefty budget who desire portability, the Surface Pro 3 aims to offer the complete Windows 8.1 PC experience and more in its slim and sleek design.
Some highlights from the press release:
- People need one great device for work and play, for entertainment and for getting things done, and Surface Pro 3 is designed for people who want that premium laptop experience. Surface Pro 3 has a large, 12” ClearType Full HD color-calibrated display, a continuously adjustable kickstand, improvements to processing power, upgraded cameras and it is still only 1.76 lbs.
- Surface Pro 3 comes with the all-new Surface Pen, cased in aluminum and with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity for a smooth and precise writing and drawing experience, it looks and feels like a real fountain pen.
- A great laptop replacement needs a great keyboard experience, and Surface Pro 3 delivers with a new, larger Type Cover with an improved trackpad experience that, paired with the Surface Pen, gives Surface Pro 3 unmatched versatility as a tablet or a laptop.
Interested? The Surface Pro 3 opens for pre-order beginning tonight at midnight through Microsoftstore.com, Microsoft retail stores and select third-party retailers. And the best part? No more Windows RT nonsense and two different incompatible versions of the same friggin’ operation system, making hell on consumers and developers alike. The Surface Pro 3 is all about the real Windows 8, just like your laptops and desktops. Interested or too pricey? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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