It’s amazing how quickly Microsoft has updated the Surface Pro. The last iteration came only in October and while it wasn’t a bad effort, the resultant tablet was still bulky and inconvenient. This and few more things were quickly addressed by Microsoft with this new Surface Pro 3.
A new display
The new display of the Surface Pro 3 is more advanced in so many ways. It is larger, for one, standing at 12″ ClearType with 2160 x 1440 resolution. It also has a new 3:2 aspect ratio which should make portrait usage better.
The kickstand on Surface Pro 3 can also tilt all the way up to 150 degrees, meaning that you can work with the device in a variety of modes. The type cover features a much, much larger trackpad, and can magnetically attach to the bottom of the screen making typing more convenient on Surface Pro 3.
Under the hood
Beneath the display lies a wide range of hardware. Processing power of Surface Pro 3 starts from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7 and from just 64 GB worth storage to 512 GBs, all being expandable.
The design of the Surface Pro 3 has seen major changes too. While the last tablet was quite thick, Surface Pro 3 is just has a 9.1mm waistline and is lighter than a MacBook Air. The fan ridge has disappeared too, and while there is a fan, you won’t notice it. Still, it is not prone to shattering, as Microsoft demonstrated in its demo by dropping the Surface Pro from a height of about 6 feet.
There is also an external dock which can connect to a 4K display, meaning there still is a big punch under the hood. The Start Button has also been moved to the side, putting more emphasis on portrait use.
Better pen input
The Surface Pro 3 features a new pen which Microsoft says is meant more to resemble a real pen rather than a stylus. A note-taking app can be launched directly from sleep mode by a push of a button. Apps like Photoshop will be compatible while the pen itself can attach to either the tablet or the keyboard covers.
Battery life is also quoted at being 9 hours. The OS running will be Windows 8.1 while two 5 megapixel cameras have also been added. Connectivity options include USB 3.0, mini Display and microSD.
Of course, no one expects cutting-edge tech to come cheap and the Surface Pro 3 isn’t either. It still starts at $799 for the Core i3 model with 64 GB storage. Core i5 versions with 256 and 512 GB storage will cost $999 and $1299 respectively while the top-end Core i7 versions with the same storage is retailing for $1549 and $1949.
The new Type Cover costs $130 while the Surface Pen will retail for $50.
With the new Surface, Microsoft is trying to rectify a lot of fundamental problems found in the original models. How much it has succeeded remains to be seen but on the surface, it looks like it has.