Surface Pro 3
About two weeks ago, Microsoft sent out invitations to a “small” Surface event in New York City. We at Haverzine were unfortunately unable to be there in person but Microsoft has provided us with a live webcast of the event so we’ve been able to watch everything as it happened.
So, what goodies has Microsoft given to us this year? It turns out that the “small” hint in this year’s invite was nothing more than a red herring as no Surface Mini was unveiled today. There was also no mention of any upcoming Windows RT devices which hopefully means that Windows RT is on the way out. What we did see today was the unveiling of a brand-new Surface Pro, known as Surface Pro 3.
Surface Pro 3 is, as you’d expect, an x86 machine – this time, the Surface comes in Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 variants. The device has been made much thinner; it no longer appears to be the thick, heavy slab the previous generations were but seems to be a very thin and light device much like its underpowered cousin, the Surface RT. It’s only 0.36 inches thick and weighs only 1.76 pounds which is much lighter than a Macbook Air. Battery life has also been slightly improved, coming in at up to 9 hours without the Power Cover.
The Surface Pro 3 also packs in a better screen than the past two generations – it features a 3:2 aspect ratio display running at 2160×1440. To fit this new display, the device had to be enlarged. Instead of the more sane 10.8″ of the previous Surface Pro or the 9.5″ of the iPad, the Pro 3 is a monster 12″. Perhaps that won’t be an issue as the device has been made thinner and lighter, but the only way to test that for sure is to get one and use it (hint hint).
Of course, the ever popular (or perhaps more accurately, infamous) kickstand is still present. Where Surface Pro 2 had two movements, the Pro 3 has 150 degrees of movement and can be moved into any angle you want; the only hard limitation is 150 degrees as seen above. The above placement is also known as “canvas” mode and is aimed at people who use Photoshop often.
Type Cover has been improved with a larger and more responsive trackpad and a new form factor to fit the large 12″ size of the Surface Pro 3. To help add rigidity to the device when using it on the lap, there’s an extra set of magnets to get rid of that slight shifting the previous generation Type Covers had. And in case black or purple wasn’t the color you wanted, there’s three new colors for Type Cover: Dark blue, light blue and red.
Pen improvements also make their presence. Working to make the pen feel more like a real pen on real paper, they’ve enhanced the detail where you can write exactly where you want to. Not only that, but the pen even feels like a real pen – clicking the top of the pen like your average ballpoint pen will turn on the Surface and automatically open OneNote. Double-clicking the pen will send the device into an “acid wash” mode, which essentially lets you either quickly take a photo or screenshot, import it to OneNote and write notes on it.
Other interesting tidbits include: The speakers have been improved with a supposed 40% volume increase over Pro 2 and now are front-facing. A docking station is also available if you need that sort of thing and can drive a 4k display. The USB 3.0 port, mini-DisplayPort and microSD card slot are all still present.
Interested parties can pre-order a Surface Pro 3 and prices will start at $799 for a Surface with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and a Core i3 processor. It’s also possible to order a device with 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and a Core i7 but that’ll run you $2,000.