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Microsoft wants to replace your laptop with its 12-inch, pen-toting Surface Pro 3

|May 20 2014 |Tablets, Microsoft, Windows 8, Intel

“The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is as powerful as a laptop, yet thin and light as a tablet”

Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins of Microsoft this February, he's been trying to change the course of the company. The biggest example being the launch of Microsoft Office on a rival platform, the iPad. But today's an even bigger day, as Microsoft is again trying its luck in the tablet segment with its Surface range. At an event in New York today, the company has announced the third iteration to the Surface Pro. However, defying the rumours which said that Microsoft will venture into the small tablets category, the software giant has launched its biggest tablet ever.

Before the product unveiling, Microsoft also shared a startling insight that 96 percent of iPad users also own a computer, which means that tablets are still being used as devices that complement computers and not replace them. However, the Redmond-based company is hoping to replace your computer with the Surface Pro 3. The slate bears a large 12-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a screen resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. With this screen size, the Surface Pro 3 is one of the largest tablets available in the market.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 display

 Similar to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 2, it also features a kickstand at the rear, but now with more modes. There’s 22-degree angle (present in the original Surface too) and a Canvas mode of zero to 150-degrees.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 multi-position kickstand

Taking Samsung’s Note series head on (the direct competition would be the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO also boasting a 12.2-inch display), the company also showcased the Surface Pen. It’s a capacitive pen that allows the user to write or sketch on the screen, but also features some neat tricks. Clicking on its button once, you can switch the Surface Pro 3 on. When you’re using Microsoft’s note-taking app, OneNote, then the note will automatically uploaded by clicking on the button. You can also capture images by double-clicking the same button and the image will automatically be uploaded to OneNote allowing you to annotate on it. The Windows 8.1-based tablet is loaded with the usual suite of apps such as OneDrive and Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with the Surface Pen

Don’t worry, the brand has tried to keep the device easy enough to carry and use. It tips the scales at 800 grams and is just 9.1mm thick. What’s more, in comparison to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3 is thinner (10.6mm vs 9.1mm), 10 percent more powerful with the latest Intel Core i7 chipset (only in the high-end model, the other variants are powered by Core i3 and i5), offers better battery life and is encased in strong chassis. The slate offers an option of 4 or 8GB of RAM, and 64 to 512GB of onboard storage. When it comes to ports, it gets a full-size USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort and a microSD card slot.

Microsoft has also unveiled a new generation of Type Cover that's thinner and has an improved trackpad. Unlike its previous iteration, the Type Cover is connected to the screen thanks to its magnetic abilities, instead of being attached to the side. There’s also a docking station allowing you to output the display to a 4K monitor.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Type Cover

The pricing of the Intel Core i3-powered base model starts at $799. The other variants include more powerful chipsets – the Core i5 and Core i7. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 goes on sale starting tomorrow in the US. Sadly, there’s no information if the slate will make its way to our shores since its predecessors haven’t been launched here too.

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