On their blog Microsoft announced the latest device in their Surface line, the Pro 3. “When we developed Surface 3, we set out to design the tablet that can truly replace your laptop…” says Panos Panay, Corporate VP of Microsoft Surface.
The Surface 3 is 8.7mm thick and 1.37lbs, with a 3:2 aspect ratio that mimics the Chromebook Pixel. The announcement claims that “it feels natural whether you’re holding it in portrait mode for reading…” but that seems rather bulky for that particular activity. It also has a 3.5MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera that can both take 1080p video. The rear camera has autofocus. The battery is claimed to last up to 10 hours, but the test results are based on video playback.
The tablet comes with a Micro USB port, so you can use your typical non-Apple smartphone to charge it, and the Surface 3 comes with a 13W charger. Other ports include a full-sized USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort and a microSD card reader.
The Surface 3 will run full 64-bit Windows 8.1 and will be available with Windows Pro for the enterprise customers. When it becomes available, it will receive a free update to Windows 10. Some accessories include the usual Type and Touch Covers, as well as a Docking Station to turn it into a desktop workstation. It can connect to an HD monitor, a printer, and an external mouse and keyboard.
The brain that will be powering this new device is Intel’s newest system-on-a-chip, the Quad-core Atom x7 CPU. It features “a unique combination of burst mode and advanced power management…” It won’t need a cooling fan, which is the main reason why the new Surface is able to be thinner.
The Surface Pen will come in four colors: silver, blue, red and black. It will support 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. Drawboard PDF will come preinstalled for making notes and diagrams within PDF documents. A new entry in the Windows store is StaffPad, a music composition app specially created for the Surface 3 to take full advantage of the new Surface Pen.
The Surface 3 will be available on May 5th, and will be in 26 markets by May 7th. Starting April 1st you can try out the Surface in any Microsoft store. The Surface 3 starts at $499 and comes with WiFi-only and a 4G LTE broadband version. It’s claimed to be thinner and lighter than the previous versions. It can run full Windows which includes desktop apps. It also includes a one-year subscription to Office 365 and 1 Tb of OneDrive storage.