Microsoft wants to replace your laptop with the new Surface Pro 3, which sports a large 12-inch display yet is only 9.1 mm thin. The Surface Pro 3 is also light given its bigger canvas, weighing 1.8 pounds. Other upgrades include a much improved Type Cover with a more lap-friendly typing experience and a pen that lets you start taking notes with a click.
The company announced the news at its “small” Surface event, but didn’t launch the Surface Mini rumored to debut at the presentation. “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.
The display itself is quite sharp, hitting 2160 x 1440 pixels. That gives you 6 percent more content than the 13-inch MacBook Air in a smaller and lighter design. The kickstand and hinge on the Surface Pro 3 have also been improved, which includes a new canvas mode for pen or lap use. The hinge can fold 150 degrees.
Microsoft says that it has reinvented the fan on the Surface, making it 30 percent more efficient. This allows to keep the system quiet and cool even though it has a blazing Core i7 CPU under the hood. Microsoft also squeezed in a bigger battery.
Surface Pro 3 keyboard: The new Type Cover for the Surface Pro 3 is even thinner, and Microsoft says that it has worked to improve the trackpad. It’s 68 percent larger than before and suffers from much less friction. You can now click in the cover to the screen, which helps stabilize the device when typing in your lap.
There is a USB 3 port on the Surface Pro 3 and support for 4K external displays. Microsoft is also touting pen support, which can be used for taking notes or making fine touches in Photoshop. Better palm rejection will certainly help.
Surface Pro 3 hinge: In addition to an improved hinge, users can now tilt the screen to an angle of up to 150 degrees. And the SP3 keyboard is now designed to capitalize on how it sits in your lap, cutting down on shaking that occurs when you type.
The pen that comes with the Surface is weighty and is designed to feel like a real pen. You get start writing notes just by clicking the top of the pen, which saves time. This action fires up OneNote. This nifty pen click action can also be used to capture webpages and then start annotating them.
The Surface Pro 3 starts at $799 for the Core i3 version with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. A Core i5 version with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM costs $999, a Core i5 with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM costs $1,299, a Core i7 with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM will be $1,549 and a Core i7 with 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM tops out the group at $1,949.
Microsoft also has a variety of accessories to sell for the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro Type Cover will cost $129.99 while the docking station will go for $199.99 and extra pens will run you $49.99 each.