Microsoft announces Surface Pro 3 *UPDATED*

By Peter Gothard
20 May 2014 View Comments
Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G

Microsoft has revealed its Surface Pro 3 tablet device in a low-key announcement hosted in New York.

As well as being thinner and lighter than the previous Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 devices, the big surprise with the Surface Pro 3 is the increase of its screen size to a 12-inch display, as opposed to the 10.6-inch screens of its predecessors.

Further reading

The screen's 2160x1440 resolution is presented in a somewhat unusual 3:2 ratio.

Microsoft corporate VP for Surface Computing Panos Panay unveiled the device, and immediately began comparing it to an Apple MacBook, rather than an iPad, Microsoft's core argument seeming to be how tablets are currently best at consuming data, while Microsoft's Surface devices should be about creating and "productivity".

The Surface Pro 3 weighs only 800g, with a total thickness of 9.1mm without the keyboard. Microsoft is now installing an Intel Core i7 processor at the top end of variants, which Panay proudly declared is "fanless".

Panay also referred to a battery life increase of 15 to 20 percent in comparison to the Surface Pro 2, the life of which was one of the device's few critically lauded features.

The device's kickstand, which began in the original Surface Pro with only one position, and two for Surface Pro 2, now offers an apparently fully flexible, friction-equipped hinge to allow any angle of display.

The Surface Pro 3 will be available in several variations based on processing power and storage, with Intel Core i3, i Panay announced that pricing will start at $799 (£474) for the i3 version.

"Tablets, from a product-making standpoint are designed for you to sit back and watch movies, read books, browsing the web, snacking on apps," said Panay.

"Laptops are not designed that way at all - they're designed to help you get stuff done. They're designed because you actually need to do things."

Earlier, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that, though Microsoft is still focused on devices, it is  "not interested in competing with [its] OEMs when it comes to hardware".

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