updated 12:18 pm EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
Intel Core i7 processor, 12-inch 2160x1440 screen in Surface Pro 3
Microsoft has launched the latest incarnation of its Windows tablet line, the Surface Pro 3, at its New York Surface event today. Following on from the original Surface and the Surface Pro 2, the Surface Pro 3 measures just 9.1mm (0.35 inch) thick, and while it has a larger display compared to previous versions, it weighs a relatively light 800 grams (1.76 pounds).
Increasing the size of the display from 10.6-inches in the Surface Pro 2 to 12 inches with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2160x1440. Inside is an Intel Core i7 processor, and while it still uses a fan, Microsoft has updated the body to minimize the "ridge" from the earlier Pro models. Microsoft is also machining magnesium for the device after optically measuring each part, with the new body claimed to be stronger and more resilient to drops than before.
On the back is a 5-megapixel camera with a 1080p-resolution front-facing counterpart, along with front and rear microphones, stereo speakers with Dolby audio processing. A USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a battery said to last for up to nine hours of web browsing are also included.
The kickstand has been updated with a slightly new design. The standard 22-degree position has been expanded to allow the friction hinge to extend far beyond 90 degrees, allowing it to lie at a 150-degree angle in "canvas mode".
The trackpad of the TypeCover has been increased by 68 percent, along with an increase in friction. The TypeCover also includes an extra magnet that lets it partially stick to the front of the Surface itself, firming the body and making it closer to a notebook in terms of stability.
The stylus has also received a makeover, with Microsoft referring to the latest version as a pen. Sized and weighted similar to a pen and made for Surface Pro 3, the stylus can be used with handwriting recognition, and has 256 levels of sensitivity. Clicking the pen automatically turns on the Surface and opens the OneNote note taking app, with alternate clicks synchronizing notes to cloud-based storage.
Microsoft will be opening up pre-orders for the Surface Pro 3 tomorrow, starting from $799 for a version with an Intel Core i3 processor, with Core i5 and Core i7 processor options, 4Gb or 8GB of RAM, and between 64GB and 512GB of storage. The first shipments will starton June 20th in the US and Canada, with 26 other markets receiving it from the end of August.