Microsoft Announces Thinner, Lighter 12" Surface Pro 3; Starts at $799
May 20, 2014 11:06 AM
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Microsoft continues to refine its Surface concept
Microsoft is giving it another go when it comes to its Surface tablet family. The first generation Surface RT and Surface Pro were
introduced in late 2012
respectively. Microsoft followed up with the
second generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in September 2013
The company is now hoping to boost its fortunes in the tablet market with the new Surface Pro 3. One of the big things that Microsoft is trying to stress with the Surface Pro 3 is that it is a device that can can “do it all.” Microsoft’s Panos Panay proclaimed that “96% of people who own an iPad also own a laptop.” With the Surface, all you need is one device.
Surface Pro 3 is a big step forward, as it now features a 12” display (3:2 screen ratio) compared to 10.2” (16:9) for Surface Pro 2. Screen resolution has been bumped from 1920x1080 to 2160x1440.
And it must be stated that amazingly, Microsoft was able to not only make the Surface Pro 3 lighter despite the increase in screen size (1.76 pounds compared to 2 pounds), but also made it thinner than the existing model.
The Surface Pro 3 is now 9.1mm thick instead of 11.7mm thick.
The Surface Pro also expands on what Microsoft calls “lapability.” Microsoft wants to make it easier to use the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop, and to do so the company has seriously upgraded the kickstand thanks to an innovative hinge.
The kickstand can now be used at any angle up to a 150 degree degrees (no more pre-configured indents).
When used in conjunction with the redesigned Type Cover, the Surface Pro 3 should be easier to use in your lap. The redesigned Type Cover magnetically seals itself to the bottom of the screen and can easily adapt to fit your preferred typing position.
Microsoft also has a new trick features with the Surface Pro 3’s stylus. With the device off, you can simply click the button on the top of the stylus to automatically turn the device on with it ready and waiting in the OneNote app. The notes you then take will be synced to the cloud instantaneously.
Microsoft says that the Surface Pro 3 is good for up to 9 hours of battery life, and includes front-facing speakers that are now 45 percent louder. In addition, the Surface Pro 3 now includes two 5MP cameras which are capable of shooting 1080p video.
Microsoft continues to include a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and a Mini DisplayPort.
The Surface Pro 3 Docking Station will set you back $199
The Surface Pro 3 will go on sale tomorrow, starting at $799 for the Core i3 version with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Full pricing is as follows:
Intel Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 64GB - $799
Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128GB - $999
Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256GB - $1,299
Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256GB - $1,549
Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 512GB - $1,949
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RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
5/20/2014 7:04:08 PM
I want to play around with one a bit more to see if the nTrig digitizer is good. In my very brief hands-on, it seemed way better than any nTrig digitizer I've used before, but I didn't get a chance to try it with Photoshop or Manga Studio. The Wacom in the Pro 2 works well with those programs, and previously Photoshop had driver issues with nTrig. I hope MS and Adobe worked with nTrig to iron that out. That said, the switch allowed MS to make the device thinner, and got rid of the slight gap between the nib and where the ink appeared on screen that the Wacom equipped Surfaces had.
RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
5/21/2014 2:30:40 AM
I've had an n-trig 1.0 and 2.5 revision hardware. The improvement was dramatic, the 1.0 had HORRIBLE support and was pretty clunky, the 2.5 was almost up to Wacom levels. I think they are on 4.0 now so I would be surprised if it wasn't honestly competitive with Wacom.
RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
5/21/2014 4:51:39 AM
That is what I have been hearing from people who have used it more extensively. A couple of my old MS contacts told me the decision to switch was pretty easy, as the nTrig was actually more precise. The biggest downside is the pen is active and needs batteries.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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