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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 Could Be a Laptop-Killer

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3

Microsoft's third-generation Surface Pro 3 device aims to be "the tablet that can replace your laptop."
Image: Christina Ascani, Mashable Christina Ascani, Mashable
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unveiled its third-generation Surface Pro 3 device at an event in New
York City on Tuesday, with larger surface area than its previous model
and even lighter than a MacBook Air.

The launch of the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 comes less than a year after Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 2, which received positive reviews for being a powerful PC inside a tablet form factor but has struggled to gain traction in the market.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Microsoft debuted its Surface Pro 3 tablet with a 12-inch screen at an event in New York City on Tuesday.
Surface Pro 3, which comes with a multi-position kickstand, aims to not
take on other tablets but the MacBook Air, with its eyes set on getting
business professionals on board with its new design.

The pre-sale starts Wednesday for $799 for an Intel Core i3 version. Devices with i5 and i7 processors will also be available.

The company announced the news at its "small" Surface event, but
didn't launch the Surface Mini rumored to debut at the presentation.

"This is the tablet that can replace your laptop," said Panos Panay,
corporate VP of Microsoft, said during the event. "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 is 12 inches, up from 10.6 inches, to increase
productivity and weighs 1.76 pounds, without a keyboard. It measures in
at just 9.1mm and is the "thinnest Intel Core product ever made,"
Microsoft says. It comes with a 2160x1440 screen, microSD card reader
and a USB 3.0 port.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 screen
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 screen vs. the Surface Pro 2.
It also comes with an updated trackpad: "We got no praise for our [last] trackpad. We heard you."

In addition to an improved hinge, users can now tilt the screen to an
angle of up to 150 degrees. The SP3 keyboard is different than before
too, capitalizing on how it sits in your lap and cuts down on shaking
that occurs when you type.

The device features a pen too, which during the on-stage demo seemed to work seamlessly when writing letters into a New York Times crossword puzzle. By clicking the pen, it impressively turned on a note-taking app too.

Surface Pro 3
Meanwhile, Adobe's Michael Gough gave an early look of
Photoshop CC, which will be optimized for touch on the Surface Pro 3. It
also runs Microsoft Office.

The Surface Pro 3 comes with a fan that is said to be 30% more
efficient than other fans on the market. Also available is a new docking
station that can push video to 4k monitors.

Panay made it clear that the Surface Pro 3 aims to be both a tablet
and laptop — saying it has "lap-ability" — and get rid of the confusion
for consumers deciding which one to buy.

"[Tablets] are designed for you to sit back and watch movies,
browsing the web and snacking on apps," said Panay during the event.
"Laptops are designed to do something ... editing and making. Sometimes
they come out clunky or beautiful, but that is a design point and they
are made for that reason."

"It doesn't matter what store you walk into, the conflict exist," Panay said.
"It doesn't matter what store you walk into, the conflict
exist," Panay said."What am I supposed to buy? ... The response is 'what
is it you want to do?' ... You've been told you need a tablet, but you
know you need a laptop."
Panay noted that 96% of people who own an iPad also own a laptop, but
the Surface Pro 3 promises both functions. Panay put it on a scale
alongside a 13-inch MacBook Air, but showed you can get 6% more content
on the Surface Pro 3 than the Apple model.

Surface Pro 3
"Today, we are taking this conflict away from people," he
said. "It would still have to be thin and light ... it would have to be
sexy, feel good ... all in one package ... and maybe a little bigger."

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