Microsoft recently hosted a media event in New York City to introduce the Surface Pro 3, the company’s next-gen tablet device. Billing the Surface Pro 3 as the culmination of its three-year effort to create a “tablet that can replace your laptop,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay highlighted a number of improvements over the previous generation, including a larger 12-inch display with 3:2 aspect ratio, thinner design, an improved stylus and a full friction kickstand that gives users greater flexibility for adjusting viewing angles.

The new device is priced beginning at $799 with pre-orders starting tomorrow and availability of select models coming on June 20 in the US and Canada. Availability will expand with additional models and countries in August. Based on Intel’s Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, Surface Pro 3 measures 9.1 mm thick and weighs 800 grams making it thinner and lighter than a MacBook Air with Panay placing the two devices on a scientific balance scale to highlight the difference in weight.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 also comes with a new Surface Pen stylus offering 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. During the presentation, Panay highlighted how the thin optical stack of the precision of the Surface Pro 3 brings the content close to the surface of the tablet, allowing for greater precision with the stylus which makes it appear as if ink is flowing directly from the pen tip. Integration with OneNote makes it easier to jot down notes on the Surface and have those notes uploaded to other devices and the Surface pen’s button can be used to wake the tablet to take notes and then upload to the cloud when finished.

In an effort to showcase that the Surface Pro 3 can replace a notebook, Microsoft partnered with Adobe to show a preview of Photoshop optimized for the tablet device with larger icons and support for both stylus and touch input.
The $799 entry level Surface Pro 3 model carries a Core i3 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, with Core i5 models priced at $999 (128 GB storage, 4 GB of RAM) and $1299 (256 GB storage, 8 GB of RAM). High-end Core i7 models with 8 GB of RAM will be available for $1,549 (with 256 GB storage) and $1,949 (with 512 GB storage). Battery life appears to be marked at nine hours of web browsing.

Along with the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft also introduced several new accessories including a new $130 Type Cover that is thinner than its predecessor while offering a much larger trackpad. A $200 docking station converts the Surface Pro 3 into a desktop workstation, including Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, USB and audio ports.

We’ll have to see how it holds up compared to Apple’s iPad offerings.

Source: Microsoft