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Microsoft Officially Unveils the Surface Pro 3

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
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Update: apparently, the $799 price only includes the Intel Core i3 processor. The price scales upwards dramatically when you upgrade the processor and other features.

We have heard rumors for weeks concerning a new Surface product. Many of the rumors centered around a possible 8-inch Surface Mini, but that turned out to be inaccurate. Microsoft just officially launched the Surface Pro 3 for $799. Here's a quote with all the juicy details,

With the company’s Surface event in full swing, the first new device unveiled on stage on Tuesday was the all new Surface Pro 3. The new Pro model features a larger 12-inch display and a completely revamped thinner design that is only 9.1 millimeters thick. It also has a new kickstand that holds the device up at any angle.

Microsoft says its new Surface Pro 3 features an “absolutely beautiful” screen that has been increased to 12-inches so that the device is a better laptop replacement. It also has the highest contrast ratios in the industry.

The Surface Pro 3 is even lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air, and it is powered by the latest-generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 also ships with redesigned Type Cover keyboard that has a larger trackpad and new keyboard keys. The cover also has a magnetic strip that connects to the front of the tablet to change the angle of the keys.

Also improved is the pen input on the Pro 3. Microsoft’s new tablet can convert pen-written text to digital content almost instantly, allowing users to write notes that are converted into digital text quickly and painlessly.

There is also a feature that allows the user to click a button on the back of a pen to instantly open a new note on the Surface Pro 3. After writing out the note, another click on the pen’s button save’s the note to OneNote and syncs it to all of your other devices.

The new Surface Pro 3 goes on sale beginning Wednesday starting at $799...

It seems like Microsoft is refocusing the Surface device to compete more directly with laptops than tablets now. What do you guys think?

Source: BGR
 
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I wonder why MS is staggering their Surface line out? How would all these H/W releases play out with Windows 9 next year?
Sadly, I think that the next Surface h/w announcement is not going to be positive news for fans of the RT line. I'm thinking that Microsoft wanted to separate the announcements so that one doesn't get drowned out by the other.

The Surface Pro 3 is generating lots of positive buzz. If Microsoft were to also announce a Surface Mini running RT that retails for $399 that would generate negative buzz. Or, if MS were to announce a Surface Mini running x86 Windows for $350, that would generate negative buzz as well.

There is also the possibility that Microsoft is waiting to see what Apple announces.
 

samtoohey93

New Member
Is anyone keen for the i7 Model at such a high price range?? I personally am going to preorder the i5 128GB or 512GB (having the 64gb SP2 atm), for my business needs the i5 is plenty, but thats not for everyone.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Sadly, I think that the next Surface h/w announcement is not going to be positive news for fans of the RT line. I'm thinking that Microsoft wanted to separate the announcements so that one doesn't get drowned out by the other.

The Surface Pro 3 is generating lots of positive buzz. If Microsoft were to also announce a Surface Mini running RT that retails for $399 that would generate negative buzz. Or, if MS were to announce a Surface Mini running x86 Windows for $350, that would generate negative buzz as well.

There is also the possibility that Microsoft is waiting to see what Apple announces.

Makes sense. Having now seen the Surface Pro 3 and given its aspect ratio, form factor, and the pen capability, I am ready to move off the RT line (this is unfortunate since I do like the Surface 2). I am assuming that since the SP3 is a full Windows machine, upgrading to Windows 9 (free or otherwise) should not be a problem. On the other hand, there are two things that I am waiting for from the inevitable slew of reviews that will soon emerge - (1) how hot does the device get under normal/ average Office-centric and browsing-centric workloads and (2) the battery life - interestingly, the specs page of the SP3 says 9 hours of web browsing (whereas for the Surface 2 it said the same but for video play). If this is true, then the SP3 would be a remarkable device for me.
 
Makes sense. Having now seen the Surface Pro 3 and given its aspect ratio, form factor, and the pen capability, I am ready to move off the RT line (this is unfortunate since I do like the Surface 2). I am assuming that since the SP3 is a full Windows machine, upgrading to Windows 9 (free or otherwise) should not be a problem. On the other hand, there are two things that I am waiting for from the inevitable slew of reviews that will soon emerge - (1) how hot does the device get under normal/ average Office-centric and browsing-centric workloads and (2) the battery life - interestingly, the specs page of the SP3 says 9 hours of web browsing (whereas for the Surface 2 it said the same but for video play). If this is true, then the SP3 would be a remarkable device for me.
I find the SP3 drool-worthy from a hardware perspective.Even the most rabid fanboy of other companies/hardware should give Microsoft praise for what they've done with it.

Having said that, I have serious questions about the total ownership experience.
- manufacturing quality. (will it suffer from loose-fitting buttons, friction hinge that is too loose, etc.)
- battery life. (shouldn't be an issue like it was with the RT/2 because the Tegra chips were optimized for video playback, vs. the general-purpose design of the Intel Core processors)
- TypeCover trackpad performance. I saw no physical trackpad buttons on the TypeCover3. Panay said that he "heard the feedback" about the TrackPad2. I'm not so sure he heard the right things.
- post-release changes. Microsoft is notorious for punishing early adopters. I suspect that within 4-6 months after the SP3 starts shipping that they will do something to entice people to buy.
- performance of the pen. Would like to see how this thing performs in the real world.

In the end, even if all those things go well, I'll have a hard time justifying a well equipped one.

I purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad S400 for $379, an Asus X200MA for $279, and Surface 2 for $349. For $1010 I have a 14" ultrabook-wannabe, 11.6" netbook, and tablet. They all serve different purposes, and I couldn't replace them with a single SP3. A well-equipped (for my purposes) SP3 would end up being $400-600 more than that combo.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
I find the SP3 drool-worthy from a hardware perspective.Even the most rabid fanboy of other companies/hardware should give Microsoft praise for what they've done with it.

Having said that, I have serious questions about the total ownership experience.
- manufacturing quality. (will it suffer from loose-fitting buttons, friction hinge that is too loose, etc.)
- battery life. (shouldn't be an issue like it was with the RT/2 because the Tegra chips were optimized for video playback, vs. the general-purpose design of the Intel Core processors)
- TypeCover trackpad performance. I saw no physical trackpad buttons on the TypeCover3. Panay said that he "heard the feedback" about the TrackPad2. I'm not so sure he heard the right things.
- post-release changes. Microsoft is notorious for punishing early adopters. I suspect that within 4-6 months after the SP3 starts shipping that they will do something to entice people to buy.
- performance of the pen. Would like to see how this thing performs in the real world.

In the end, even if all those things go well, I'll have a hard time justifying a well equipped one.

I purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad S400 for $379, an Asus X200MA for $279, and Surface 2 for $349. For $1010 I have a 14" ultrabook-wannabe, 11.6" netbook, and tablet. They all serve different purposes, and I couldn't replace them with a single SP3. A well-equipped (for my purposes) SP3 would end up being $400-600 more than that combo.

Looking at it from my vantage point, the SP3 has a number of advantages subject to the caveats I mentioned previously. For one thing, there is the aspect ratio. It would be immensely helpful for me to use it for my work. That plus the pen would be fab. The other thing is what you mentioned about the battery life. With the Intel chip I get a more rounded device - battery-wise.

As for cost...well, I do need a device - the question is which one? I will be giving my Surface 2 away to a family member and though I do have a relatively well-equipped desktop, I will need something for when I move around and for work (I don't touch the computers at my workplace - simply put, they suck in a variety of ways!). So, my options are either I get an ultrabook (if this is the case then I would get the ThinkPad Carbon, which is not very cheap here in the UK) or I get something like the SP3. The advantage that the SP3 has over the ThinkPad is that I can take the tablet and work on my documents (particularly when I am proof-reading and/ or reviewing). I also need to make diagrams, which I need to insert in my texts. Taking notes at meetings is also a plus, but it is not something that I do often. The SP3's pen capability will probably help here. This is something that I am currently missing with both my Surface 2 and my iPad.

Now, you mention about some upgrades that MS may bring to the table a few months down the road. I agree. This is a distinct possibility. But effectively, there are two basic things that MS can really introduce. They can introduce Broadwell chips (if Intel gets its act together, that is). And, they can introduce refinements for the Pen. I am not sure what advantages the Broadwell chip will bring - faster? cooler? more powerful? Of these three possibilities, it is the "cooler" running possibility that I would be most affected by because the tasks that I would use it for will not really require too much - an i5 chip of the current 4th gen would suffice for the next 2 years or so. As for the Pen, the update would be both software and hardware. If it is the former, then one can expect that to be brought to the existing platform. If it is the hardware, I think - though I could be wrong - it would most likely be backward compatible.

Having said all of the above, the thing that worries me about the SP3 is - how cool will it run?
 

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