Microsoft is introducing a new Surface tablet to its line-up – a thinner, lighter and lower cost alternative to its flagship Surface Pro 3.
Starting at US$499, the Surface 3 sits between the RT model – which it is replacing – and the Pro in terms of price. But unlike its RT predecessors, this tablet runs the full version of Windows 8.1 (which can be upgraded to Windows 10 once the new operating system is available) and Office, including desktop applications. It also supports pen input.
Still designed to serve as a laptop replacement, the new tablet looks fairly similar to the Pro, but is slightly smaller with its 10.8-inch screen. It has front- (3.5MP) and rear-facing (8MP) cameras, a reported ten-hour battery life, and is powered by Intel’s Quad-core Atom processor.
According to Microsoft, this version is aimed at users that don’t quite need the full power of the Pro.
“If you do very demanding work – things like editing and rendering video or complex 3D modelling – then the power and performance of a Surface Pro 3 is for you,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Surface. “If the majority of your work is less intense – working in Office, writing, using the internet, and casual games and entertainment, then you’ll find that Surface 3 delivers everything you need.”
The University of Phoenix, BASF, Emirates and Prada have already committed to purchasing and deploying Surface 3 across their organisations.
“Having explored multiple platforms, we are confident that Surface 3 meets the expectations of our experienced and professional flight crew,” said Captain Alan Stealey, divisional senior vice president of Flight Operations at Emirates. “The device’s innovative design and functionality proves to be the choice for our electronic flight bag initiative.”
The device is already available to pre-order and will go on general sale in the US on 5 May, before being launched in a further 26 markets on 7 May.
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