Microsoft announced the next generation of the Surface tablet in a small event in New York. The launch of the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 comes less than a year after Microsoft released the Surface Pro 2. The pre-sale starts Wednesday with an opening price of $799 for an Intel Core i3 version. Devices with i5 and i7 processors will also be available for $999 and up to $1799 respectively, depending on customization. As in previous years, the price doesn’t include the keyboard, though this seems counter-intuitive to their marketing, considering they are branding the tablet hybrid as a laptop killer.
“This is the tablet that can replace your laptop,” said Panos Panay, corporate VP of Microsoft. “We designed it in thinness around every corner. This is faster than the Surface Pro 2 you’ve loved to date and is much thinner.”
The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display, which is 1.4 inches bigger than last years model. It weighs 1.76 pounds without a keyboard and measures in at just 9.1mm, making it thinner and lighter than the Macbook Air. It comes with a 2160×1440 screen, microSD card reader and a USB 3.0 port.
The new Surface also includes a digital pen that can be used in conjunction with OneNote to take handwritten notes. Someone at Microsoft and Samsung must have a love of pens to keep building digital pens when consumers aren’t exactly asking for or using them. The Surface looks interesting and like a solid piece of hardware, but low adoption for the previous two models could seriously hamper the sales of the third generation product.
Tell us what you think about the Surface Pro 3, and if you’ll be buying the tablet once it hits the shelves.