Microsoft just announced its third-generation Surface tablet, the Surface Pro 3. The company is pushing it as a true tablet alternative to the traditional laptop.
Like Microsoft’s previous generation Surface Pro slates, it runs on Windows 8.1 Pro out of the box. The company claims that it’s thinner, faster, and lighter than the Surface Pro 2.
It runs on Intel’s battery-efficient Haswell processors, and like a laptop it can be configured to run up to Core i7 standards (i.e. very fast). Essentially, Microsoft has packed into a tablet format the same computing power you’d find on a high-end Windows laptop.
Microsoft has also added a larger screen to the Surface Pro 3, making it a 12-inch tablet as opposed to its 10-inch predecessors.
By the end of August 2014, the new model and select accessories will be available in Australia at MicrosoftStore.com, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi. Pre-orders will be taken from today.
It will start at an estimated retail price of $979 and will be available in the following configurations:
- Intel Core i3, 64GB and 4GB RAM
- Intel Core i5, 128GB and 4GB RAM
- Intel Core i5, 256GB and 8GB RAM
- Intel Core i7, 256GB and 8GB RAM
- Intel Core i7, 512GB and 8GB RAM
The Surface Pro 3 has a larger 12-inch screen with a 2160 x 1440 resolution display. This is an image from Flipboard shown on the Surface Pro 3's screen.
Microsoft is also flaunting the Surface Pro 3's new kickstand as one of its standout features. It features a more flexible hinge that offers new angles, which the company says is supposed to make it easier to use on your lap.
The kickstand folds seamlessly into the back of the tablet, just like the hinge in previous iterations of the tablet.
Microsoft has made some enhancements to the Surface Pro Typecover as well, most notably its track pad. The mouse pad is slightly larger and now offers tactile feedback when clicking.
Here's what the TypeCover looks like when it folds over the display. There's a spot to attach the pen on the front as well.
Microsoft is really pushing the Surface Pro 3's pen as one of its core advantages. The company claims its just as sturdy as a standard pen, and has placed two buttons along the side.
Sketching on the Surface Pro 3's screen felt natural and smooth. It supports 'palm rejection,' which means you can rest your hand on the touch screen and it won't interfere with your work.
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