Microsoft today introduced the Surface Pro 3 — a lightweight tablet that they want to replace both your tablet and your laptop.
With the Surface Pro line, Microsoft has been trying to convince buyers that its ‘best of both worlds’ approach to hybrid tablets makes more sense than the Apple’s approach, creating best-in-class, dedicated tablet and laptop devices. Microsoft positions the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet + laptop that’s more powerful than an iPad and lighter than an MacBook Air:
Multiple processor, RAM and storage options intersect with a sleek design that, with a simple snap or click, transform the device from a perfectly balanced tablet to a full-functioning laptop and back again – all in a beautiful package that is 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air.
Its stunning 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, luxurious drawing and note-taking experience with a single click of the pen.
Here’s the official intro video:
Surface Pro 3 Key Features
- It runs Windows 8.1 Pro, which means you can run standard desktop software and also tablet applications.
- Storage Options: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
- Screen Resolution: 2160 x 1440
- Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Processor Options
- System memory: 4GB or 8GB memory options
- Up to nine hours of Web-browsing battery life
- 5MP and 1080p HD front- and rear-facing cameras
- Full-size USB 3.0
- microSD card reader
The Surface Pro 3 makes the best case yet for Microsoft’s hybrid tablet/laptop approach. For users that find the iPad’s screen cramped, the 12″ Surface Pro 3 may offer a compelling alternative. And the Surface Pro 3 should also offer an attractive alternative for Windows users to the MacBook Air line.
Microsoft is doubling down on the hybrid tablet/laptop approach, though, which has not proven to be especially successful with buyers.
As a tablet, the range and depth of multi-touch software available for the Surface Pro line continues to lag behind the iPad. And the 12″ size of the Surface Pro 3 makes it unwieldy for a lot of standard tablet activities.
As a laptop, the Surface Pro 3 is priced as a premium product. The $799 entry-level model offers a great screen, but not the power that the Macbook Air or ultrabooks offer. The mid-range and high-end models will be a better match for musicians’ needs, but are more expensive than similarly-powered machines.
What do you think of Microsoft’s latest take on the hybrid tablet/notebook concept? Are you interested in it as a mobile music-making device?
Pricing and Availability
Surface Pro 3 will be offered in multiple configurations, featuring 4th-generation Intel Core™ i3, i5 and i7 processors.
- Surface Pro 3
- 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
Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro Type Cover and Surface Pen will be available for pre-order starting May 21 at 12:01 a.m. EDT through Microsoftstore.com, Microsoft retail stores and select third-party retailers. Commercial customers should speak to their authorized reseller.
Beginning June 20 in Canada and the United States, customers 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, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
More information on Surface can be found at the Microsoft site.