Microsoft took the stage during a press event in New York City on Tuesday and introduced the Surface Pro 3. The company billed the product as the “tablet that can replace your laptop.” The device measures just 9.1mm thin, far thinner than the Surface Pro 2 and it is the “thinnest Intel Core product ever made,” according to Microsoft.
The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch 3:2 aspect ratio display with a 2160 x 1440-pixel resolution, and Microsoft said that the increased size is “critical” for productivity. The device weighs 800g and Microsoft has been trying to stress just how light and balanced it feels in a user’s hand. The company event demonstrated that the new Surface Pro 3 is lighter than a MacBook Air.
Microsoft said it partnered “super close” with Intel and spent “tireless hours together” to get a Core i7 in the fanless Surface Pro 3, which required a lot of work to keep the device thin while still offering 10 percent more performance than the Surface Pro 2. “Every single Surface Pro 3 that comes off of the line is custom machined,” Microsoft said, noting that it machines down the aluminum to make sure that the airflow is perfect on each device. The company also said it didn’t compromise on anything to get the device this thin, including battery life — it says the battery life should be better than any Surface device before it.
In addition to the tablet, Microsoft announced a Surface Pro 3 docking station that allows you to use the device as a full PC. It works with 4K monitors and allows you to add other things, like a wired keyboard and mouse, use additional USB ports and more.
Wondering about the kickstand from previous Surface products? The kickstand on the Surface Pro 3 “does a lot for a tablet,” Microsoft said, noting that it isn’t “just about a tablet.” The new kickstand has several modes thanks to a hinge that took three years to make. You can lay it back down at 150-degrees in canvas mode, prop it up in the mode we’re all familiar with and more. Also, there’s a new Surface Pro Type Cover, which is thinner than before and will launch in six different colors. The trackpad has been reworked, too, and is now 68 percent larger. Friction has been reduced by 78 percent so that it’s much easier and efficient to actually use. The goal with the changes to the hinge and the keyboard is to make the laptop much easier to use in the lap.
Finally — Microsoft also announced a new Pen for the Surface Pro 3 that it hopes users will actually take advantage of for taking notes. The goal is to make the experience “feel organic and natural like a piece of paper.” There’s a New York Times crossword application that takes advantage of the pen and, in a live demonstration during the press event, it worked pretty well.
The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow starting at $799 for Core i3, there are also Core i5 Core i7 models.
We’ll be bringing you hands-on and more information shortly.