Calling it "the tablet that can replace your laptop," Microsoft announced today the Surface Pro 3. At 9.1mm thick, the company claims that it's the thinnest Intel Core-powered system ever made. It now sports a range of Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, instead of the i5 in the Surface Pro 2. It retains the Surface hinge, but it's been re-designed to be a friction hinge that looks able to hold in almost any position, up to 150 degrees.
In spite of the thinness, it's faster than the current Surface Pro 2. The screen is a 3:2 ratio 2160×1440 12-inch part, with the highest contrast ratios in the industry.
It's still not fanless, but with a newly designed fan that's apparently 30 percent more efficient than any other fan, owners should neither hear the fan nor feel the breeze from the vents around the edge. Battery life is said to be some 15-20 percent better than any other Surface. It's nonetheless light, at about 800 grams.
It comes with a new set of Type Cover accessories. This time they'll include a trackpad that's actually good, 68 percent larger than the old one, and with greatly reduced friction. The Type Covers have a new magnetic latching system to make the connection to the screen more rigid, which Microsoft says enhances the stability when using the device on the lap; this has previously been one of the bigger sore points with the Surface.
As with previous Surface Pros, the Surface Pro 3 supports pen input. The pen and ink experience has been improved by making the display even thinner, so that the ink appears at the pen tip, with minimal parallax. Clicking the pen, similar to clicking a retractable ballpoint, turns the Surface Pro 3 on and goes instantly to OneNote for immediate writing support. Similarly, clicking the pen within the camera app will take a picture and stick that immediately in OneNote so it can be annotated.
Prices start at $799. Pre-orders open on May 21, and retail availability begins on June 20.
Size 7.93×11.5×0.36 inches Weight 1.76 lbs or 800 grams Display 12 inch 2160×1440 10 finger multitouch Processor Unspecified 4th generation (Haswell) Core i3, i5, and i7 options. RAM 4GB/8GB Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB SSD Cameras Front and rear, both supporting 5MP still/1080p video Ports USB 3, microSDXC, mini DisplayPort, headphones Sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, 256 level pressure sensitive battery-powered pen Battery 9 hours Other TPM 2.0, front and rear-facing microphones, Dolby-enhanced stereo speakers
Core i3, 64GB disk, 4GB RAM $799 Core i5, 128GB disk, 4GB RAM $999 Core i5, 256GB disk, 8GB RAM $1,299 Core i7, 256GB disk, 8GB RAM $1,549 Core i7, 512GB disk, 8GB RAM $1,949
This thing can now truly replace laptops.