The current model Surface Pro is proving extremely popular in
Australia with several retailers selling out of the device which has been
heavily supported by Microsoft marketing.
Overnight Microsoft unveiled details for the new Surface Pro
3, which has the guts and functionality of a Windows 8 laptop.
The 0.77 kilo tablet runs Windows 8.1 Pro and offers
automatic Cloud storage it also has as a magnesium casing that has a 30 percent
thinner footprint than its predecessor.
The Surface Pro 2, at
0.994 centimetres, has a newly designed friction-driven kickstand that can
position the tablet in any position from flat to 150 degrees.
Forbes said of the new tablet "it's hard to ignore the
fact that it's still based on Intel's Haswell processor architecture, which is
starting to get long in the tooth. This perception is unavoidable when you
consider that the Haswell-equipped MacBook Air (which Microsoft itself has
repeatedly highlighted as the Surface Pro 3's main rival) has been on sale for
almost a year already. During this time, Apple has probably pushed battery
life, portability and value just about as far as it can go with current-gen
Click to enlarge
Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface corporate VP said at the
launch "So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want
just one device that serves all purposes".
He added "Today we take away the conflict between
tablet and laptop." To illustrate his point, Panos placed a 12-inch MacBook
Air on a balance scale and then placed the Surface Pro 3 on the counter
balance. "Remember three years ago when we all said the tablet will
replace the laptop? Well, look around this room. Clearly that hasn't
happened," he said to a room full of reporters balancing laptops on their
shows that 96 percent of tablet owners also own a laptop, so clearly the tablet
is not fulfilling its promise." With that, he added an iPad Mini to the
scale on top of the MacBook Air. "So now which would you rather carry in
your bag?" Panay stressed the appeal of the Windows 8.1 Pro OS, which runs
popular desktop software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.
"There are more than 1 billion Office users in the world, and most of them
would like to access their Office documents on their tablet," he said.
Click to enlarge
He then introduced Michael Goff of Adobe, who demonstrated a
preview of the company's upcoming Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud software,
which is optimized for use with the Pro 3. Goff promised more Pro 3-optimized
Creative Suite software introductions "in the very near future."
The newly designed Surface Pro Type cover is thinner than
its predecessor and adds an improved track pad that is 68 percent larger and
almost 80 percent more sensitive to touch, the company said. The new Surface
Pen, with a polished aluminium casing, was completely redesigned with form and
function in mind, Panay said. "It's not a stylus.
It was designed to
act, feel and function like a pen. It feels great in your hand. It has the
lowest latency levels of any screen writing device on the market." It can
be used to digitally mark-up presentations and images, sign documents or create
art in apps such as Fresh Paint.
A click of the end of
the Surface Pen powers up the device and opens the included OneNote app for
quick note taking. A double-click of the Surface Pen instantly captures a
screenshot of whatever's on the screen.
Palm Block technology allows the user
to write naturally without unintended inputs and marks from hand pressure. For
media playback, the Pro 3 features Dolby Audio-enhanced sound and twin front-facing
speakers that are 45 percent louder than the Pro 2's.
The device has two
5-megapixel cameras, front and back, capable of capturing 1080p HD video. It
has three physical buttons for volume, power and home. Input/outputs include a
single USB 3.0 port, a MicroSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort and a headphone
jack. The display has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which emulates the footprint of a
standard paper tablet, Panay said.
Wireless functionality is via Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth Smart. Battery life is said to be about nine hours of web browsing.
Apps are driven by an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and
magnetometer. Five models of the Surface Pro will be available with three Intel
Core processor options: i7, i5 and i3.