Microsoft’s refreshed tablet is available with a Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor starting next month.
To date there has been a stark divide between the laptop and tablet worlds: laptops are for producing; tablets are for consuming. But with the Surface 3 Pro introduced on Tuesday, Microsoft wants to bridge that gap.
The Surface 3 Pro will be available for pre-order Wednesday, and will be available in the US on June 20 with a worldwide release slated for August. Prices range from $799 for the Core i3 version to nearly $2,000 for the high-end Core i7 edition.Storage capacity and RAM are the same as its predecessor, with the 64 and 128 GB models coming with 4GB of RAM and the 256GB and 512 GB versions will come with 8GB of RAM. It has a full buffet of connectivity ports, 802.11ac wireless connectivity, and dual 1080P cameras.
While many expected Microsoft to release a Surface in the popular 7-inch form factor, Microsoft went the other way and made the Surface Pro 3 much bigger than its predecessors. The tablet sports a 12-inch screen with a 2,160×1,440 display which Microsoft claims has the highest contrast ratios in the industry.
Given the device’s screen size, and x86 processing horsepower, Microsoft is marketing the device as tablet that’s a notebook replacement.The improved keyboard and new stylus drive home that message. On stage at the launch event Adobe showed off a version of Photoshop with a UI optimized for the Surface Pro 3’s touch screen, and Microsoft promises that many productivity apps will have patches available to make them optimized for the Surface shortly after its release.
Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson: Windows and ARM do not mix. While the first Surface was a flop, and the second wasn’t that much better, the Surface Pro 3 has the potential to be a best-seller with its laptop replacement form factor, but ultimately its success is for the market to decide on June 20.