Microsoft announces Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 will have a range of processors from the i3 to the i7. (Image: Microsoft)

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20 May 2014 | 0

Microsoft has announced the latest in its Surface line of tablets, the Surface Pro 3.

At 800g and just 9.1mm thick, it is claimed to be the thinnest product on the market to have an Intel Core i7 processor. The new device also has a 12” diagonal screen with a 3 x 2 aspect ratio and 2160 x 1440 resolution. There will also be options for Core i3 and i5 variants.

The device is more powerful than its predecessor, offering the real possibility of replacing laptops altogether with a single device that has all the capability of a tablet and a laptop.

Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Surface Computing, cites statistics that says 96% of people who own an iPad also have a laptop. He says that this conflict is resolved by the Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft is not competing with OEMs in hardware.

“We don’t want to build hardware, for hardware’s sake,” he said.

“We are building new strength and capability around that alchemy of bringing hardware and software together”.

“We are not interested in competing with our OEMs when it comes to hardware. Our goal is to create new categories and spark new demand for our entire ecosystem. That is what inspires us with our devices and hardware.”

The Surface Pro 3, Nadella asserts, is a major step in that direction.

The Pro 3 has a new kickstand that is fully posable between 22 and 105 degrees due to a new friction hinge. The peripherals have also been improved, as the new Type cover has a 68% larger trackpad with improved action and reduced friction. There is also a new locking action for Type cover based on magnetic lock to increase stability when using the Surface on the lap.

There was a major emphasis on usability, especially in pure tablet mode. Panay said that there was a significant improvement in writing on the Surface with a pen, making it more naturalistic. There is now a fast access mode for handwriting activated by the pen and greater integration with OneNote for capturing and storing such input.

Prices start at €819, with the top of the range version expected to be in the $1,950 range available from 21 May in the US. The new range of devices will be available in Ireland in August.

 

TechCentral Reporters

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