With previous Surface Pro tablets, Microsoft has been trying to deliver a slate that could compete with a laptop in terms of power and productivity – and with today’s Surface Pro 3 launch, the company claims to have finally hit the mark.
UPDATE 22/05: Pre-order for the Surface Pro 3 has started, and the base configuration which includes 64GB storage and powered by an Intel i3 processor starts from S$1108 while the high-end configuration with an Intel i7 processor and 512GB of storage is priced at S$2698. Microsoft Singapore confirmed that stocks are expected to arrive by end August.
The tablet is the largest Surface yet, with a 12in 2160 x 1440 screen – and yet it’s also the thinnest at just 9.1mm in depth (in fact, it’s the thinnest Intel Core-powered device ever made). It weighs 800g – quite a bit less, Microsoft was keen to demonstrate by wheeling out a set of scales, than a 13in MacBook Air. And it’s strong: it was dropped on stage (purposefully) from over five feet to demonstrate its hardiness.
The Intel Core i7 processor gives the Surface Pro 3 around 10 percent more power than the Surface Pro 2, but Microsoft claims it offers better battery life (around 15-20 percent longer). Oh, and there’s USB 3.0 connectivity too.
Microsoft was keen to play up the “PC-ness” of the Pro 3. Dock it in its new station and you’ll be able to output 4K video to a monitor.
There’s a new, improved kickstand and new, improved Type Cover with a larger trackpad and thinner profile. The way it clicks into the screen is now stronger, which Microsoft claims improves stability when used on your lap. In fact, it claims it’s as stable and comfy as a laptop: something we’re keen to put to the test.
READ MORE: Apple iPad Air review
The pen is mightier
The stylus is weightier and more pen-like than before. The idea is that, due to the light weight of the Pro 3, you can hold the tablet in one hand like a piece of paper and make notes or sketches. In fact, “clicking” the top of the pen will turn on the tablet immediately, and after writing notes another click will save them straight away to the cloud via OneNote.
96 percent of tablet owners also have a laptop, according to Microsoft, and that’s because they feel they one device just isn’t capable of fulfilling all the functions they require. Microsoft, of course, did claim that the first-generation Surface Pro would solve that problem – a claim that obviously didn’t hold water – but we’re hopeful that the third might actually have done so.
The Surface Pro 3 is available for pre-order from tomorrow in the US, priced from US$799 (S$1000). It comes in Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 varieties. We’ll update the story when we have Singapore availability and price details.
READ MORE: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review