Microsoft Corp. released its new Surface 3 tablet on Tuesday as a follow-up to the Surface Pro 3 that it released last year. While the Pro was aimed at the business market, the Surface 3 is designed as a thinner, lighter and more affordable option for students, schools and consumer users. It runs the full Windows OS and Office suite and can also run Windows apps. A 4G LTE version is also available.
“Surface 3 brings what customers love about Surface Pro 3 to more people, delivering the premium design and productivity of Surface in a more affordable device,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Surface, in a statement. “We’ve taken everything we learned making Surface Pro 3 and poured that innovation into this newest Surface. It’s beautiful, versatile, powerful and productive, and our customers are going to love what it lets them do.”
The Surface 3 is powered by the new quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor and Microsoft promises up to 10 hours of video-playback on one battery charge. A number of storage and memory options are available. The 10.8″ ClearType HD multi-touch display features a 3:2 aspect ratio and the Surface 3 also boasts stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound. (Pictured above with optional docking station)
In addition to a durable magnesium design, the Surface 3 features an integrated three-position kickstand. It’s helpful for using the tablet in different use cases, such as while working at a desk, sitting on a couch or holding in the palm of a hand. The Surface 3 comes with full Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when the new OS launches. It also comes with a one-year Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription.
The Surface 3 and Surface 3 (4G LTE) can be paired with a number of new accessories. The Surface 3 Type Cover is offered in a variety of colours and has been improved over the previous model with a new trackpad and a more responsive keyset for fast, accurate typing. The Surface experience can also be enhanced with the new Surface Pen that, like the Type Cover, is available in four colours: silver, black, blue and red.
Another available accessory is the Surface 3 Docking Station to serve as a home base for Surface users. It allows them to easily connect to an external monitor and their desktop devices. The tablet itself also features a full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader and Micro USB charging port, and it’s compatible with the Surface Pro line of adapters and accessories.
Canadians can now pre-order the Surface 3 and new accessories either online, through select partner retailers or at their local Microsoft store. The Surface 3, Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector will be available May 5, and Surface 3 (4G LTE) availability will be announced soon. The Surface 3 is priced starting at $639. The base model features 64GB storage and 2GM RAM, and the pricier model at $769 has 128GB storage and 4GB RAM.