Microsoft just wrapped up their Surface event, and they announced the Surface Pro 3. Me? I’m a geek. So here is the stuff that matters!
General Surface Pro 3 specs:
- Weight: 800 grams (1.76 pounds)
- Thickness: 9.1mm
- Speakers now 40% louder
- 12″ screen
- 3:2 aspect ratio – similar to “legal pad” sheet of paper
- 2160×1440 resolution with ClearType (“Pixel Free”)
- Pen device, “weighty, feels good” and defined as “not a stylus.”
- Core i7 CPU support
- Surface Docking station: allows attachment up to 4K Monitor
The most shocking news, to me, came in a very subtle way, at the very end of the announcement. It has been confirmed by a spec-sheet linked to at the bottom of this post: Surface Pro 3 will be available with your choice of an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU. It will also be customizable with 4 up to 8 GB of memory and 64-512GB of SSD Storage. This is the “Surface as a PC” people have been waiting for. It brings back that feeling of customizability, that feeling that PC owner has more say than a tablet owner. I have found the list of options and pricing details, shown here:
Now, let’s talk about weight. It’s true, that iPad air weighs only 1 pound, this is nearly 2, but this is designed to replace the laptop, not just the iPad. The 11.8″ Macbook Air is just under 2.4 lbs. I find it pretty impressive.
The new kickstand includes a new friction hinge. This allows nearly anywhere from anywhere from the angle of the original Surface kickstand angle to 150 degrees of whatever feels right to you. Additionally, the Type Cover’s magnetic connection between the cover and the screen, allows for a much more stable scenario when using the Surface pro on your lap.
The biggest disappointment I had during the presentation was a brief demo that showed off a new version of Photoshop. The Adobe representative pinched to zoom out, and rotate the photo on screen. Let’s be clear, first, that there were a ton of pixels on screen, and the image opened in the application was a very high resolution. During the zoom out and rotate, there was some lag. It wasn’t severe, but it was something I never noticed when flipping photos around on my “New iPad with Retina Display” (iPad 3). It’s true, that I never had a picture quite so large, and I certainly wasn’t running Photoshop, but I was in awe at how quickly it moved on the screen. I was less amazed when I saw some herky-jerky motion on the screen, but not enough to turn me off to the product.
Speaking of being turned off, even if the Surface Pro is turned off, in the middle of the night, you have a dream and you want to write it down… just grab the tablet, click the pen, then put the pen to the Surface Pro 3, and write. It will spring to life with a very basic version of OneNote which allows you to jot down your thoughts. Click the pen again, and that note is instantly saved to your OneDrive account (in OneNote). I think I would find this to be fairly useful – the ability to just “click, write, click.” They showed off some other OneNote features, and features related to the camera, but all in all, I think I’m most impressed with the hardware.
The pre-order price will start at $799 for a Core i3 model, and go clear up to $1,949 for a top of the line model. Not a bad price for something designed to replace your $1,000 MacBook Air and your $500 iPad, and having a higher priced option really shows that Microsoft may be willing to take the “premium” mantle from Apple. Checking the MicrosoftStore.com and Surface.com, the pre-orders aren’t up at the time of publication of this article – but it won’t be far off. Until then, entertain yourself with the Surface Pro 3 Fact Sheet.