Microsoft unveiled the most powerful of all tablets today when they announced the new 12-inch 2160 x 1440 Microsoft Surface Pro 3. This Windows 8.1 tablet comes in several options beginning with a Intel Core i3 edition with 4GB of RAM, and goes up to a Intel Core i7 edition with 8GB of RAM. Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is available for order starting Wednesday May 21, at 12:01 AM ET, before the release in June:
Here are the complete specifications for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with 64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro.
Microsoft is selling as many as 5 different models of the Surface Pro 3. And with the price included, these model variations are:
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Intel Core i3, 64 GB storage, 4 GB RAM. Price: $799
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Intel Core i5, 128 GB storage, 4 GB RAM. Price: $999
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Intel Core i5, 256 GB storage, 8 GB RAM. Price: $1,299
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Intel Core i7, 256 GB storage, 8 GB RAM. Price: $1,549
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Intel Core i7, 512 GB storage, 8 GB RAM. Price: $1,949
These are 4th-generation Intel Core processors. To give you an idea of the power and speed, the i5-4300U have a Turbo Boost of 2.90 GHz. These processors also support TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module for enterprise security and BitLocker encryption).
The accompanying graphics card is the Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU, that goes along with the Intel Core processors. While the two 4GB and 8GB RAM variations are more specifically LPDDR3 RAM (1600MHz).
The 12-inch screen is an increase from the 10.6-inch display on the other Surface tablets. This screen is 38% larger than on Surface Pro 2, with 50% more pixels too. It is a ClearType display with pen- and multitouch input (with the pen featuring 256 levels of pressure sensitivity), with a 2160 x 1440 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. That makes it a “2K tablet”. Microsoft will color calibrate this tablet at the factory so that the color reproduction will be accurate from the start.
On the outside, the dimensions of Surface Pro 3 are: 7.93 inches / 20.12 cm x 11.5 inches / 29.21 cm x 0.36 inches / 9.1 mm. The weight is 1.76 lbs / 800 gram.
The casing is made of the high-end tablet wrap up magnesium, which was solid enough to have Surface team chief Panos Panay throw the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 too the floor during the unveiling to demonstrate the solidity of.
The Surface Pen digitizer is made out of polished aluminum for lightness and friction in the hand.
It has one color option: silver. The buttons are volume, power, and home buttons. As for ports, it actually has a full-size USB 3.0 port, which is wonderful and the envy of other tablets. Furthermore there’s a microSD card reader, a headset jack, a mini display port, a cover port, and a charging port. I should also add that there’s an optional Surface ethernet adapter, for wired Internet hookup with cable, which supports 1Gbps transfer rates.
There are 5MP front and rear cameras with 1080p video recording on both. It otherwise have front stereo speakers with Dolby Audio enhanced sound and a 45% higher volume than other Surface tablets. In addition it also has front and rear microphones. Sensors installed are ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and GPS.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is being launched as a Wi-Fi only tablet. The Wi-Fi supports 802.11ac / 802.11 a/b/g/n bands, in addition to Bluetooth 4.0 support.
Battery life on this tablet is up to 9 hours with Wi-Fi enabled web-browsing, which isn’t so strange considering the massive amount of RAM and large 12-inch screen with high resolution.
The official tagline or slogan for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is that this is the first tablet that can replace a laptop.
I like the feature that when you click the Surface Pen it opens OneNote so that it’s like having a black piece of paper available immediately. Any new work and change is then automatically saved too, which I find a very neat feature. Double-clicking the Surface Pen wil make a screen capture of your screen in that moment. An upcoming release of Photoshop CC, Final Draft, Sudoku, Drawboard that will be available later this year will have optimized support for Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Pen.
Related new gesture controls now means I can pinch and zoom with my fingers, pan using two fingers, zoom and pan/ or zoom and rotate at the same time, or hold my fingers down on the screen and move the canvas in a free form way.
To make the most of this tablet computer and to make it easier toe replace a laptop with the Pro 2, Microsoft have renewed and added to it’s already extensive range of Surface accessories.
Surface Pro Type Cover ($129)
The new backlit Surface Pro Type Cover now features a double-fold hinge that locks magnetically to the lower bezel. A keyboard and cover in one, it shuts off the tablet automatically when it’s closed and used as a cover. This new Type Cover have 63% bigger track-pads than its predecessor.
The five color options are black, blue, red, purple, and cyan. It weighs 0.65 lbs / 295 gram.
Surface Pen ($49)
The optional Surface pen has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and supports Palm Block technology. It has an “eraser” so you can easily wipe out things and make corrections quickly. The digitizer is 135mm long, 9.5mm thick, and weighs 20 gram. It connects through Bluetooth and is powered by 1 AAAA battery (included).
Surface Pro 3 Docking Station ($199)
This Docking Station is new for the Surface Pro 3, due to the larger size of this tablet.
The dock have Ethernet connectivity, 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio input/output, and a Mini DisplayPort video output with 4K display support.
Surface Ethernet Adapter ($39)
A short 20cm cable that plugs into the USB 3.0 port of the Surface 3 Pro and connects to the Ethernet broadband.
Release & Availability
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is available for pre-order from Wednesday May 21, 12:01 AM east coast time. It will then release 2 weeks later. It won’t be available in retail stores including Microsoft Store in the US and Canada before June 20, and then it’s only the i5 model that will be available to buy together with certain accessories.
All the other models will become available in August, with the rest of the accessories to follow in the months thereafter.
It’s in late August that Microsoft will announce the availability of Surface Pro 3 in 26 additional countries.
In alphabetical order, these are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and UK.
– Tom Bowen