Microsoft announces $799 Surface Pro 3, "the tablet that can replace your laptop"

Xbox maker announces latest revision to its portable computing line, Intel Core i3 version sells for $799; Core i5 and Core i7 versions will also be available.

Today during a special event in New York City, Microsoft officially announced the Surface Pro 3, "the tablet that can replace your laptop." It is the latest revision in Microsoft's Surface line, following Surface and Surface 2. Microsoft says the Surface Pro 3 will remove the "conflict" some consumers feel when they are deciding if they should buy a laptop or a tablet.

Microsoft's Surface boss Panos Panay says the Surface Pro 3, at 9.1mm (compared to 10.6mm for the Surface Pro 2), is the thinnest Intel Core product ever made. It weighs 800 grams, which is lighter than the Macbook Air, though Apple's product has a built-in keyboard, of course. The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch screen (up from 10.6" from the Surface Pro 2) and will work with a stylus. There's also support for USB 3.0 and Microsoft will offer new Type-covers, which will come in multiple variants.

Screen resolution for the Surface Pro 3 is 2,160 x 1,440. The Surface Pro 3 features an Intel Core i7 processor. It's also durable, as Panay dropped the device on the (carpeted) floor during the presentation and there was no damage to it. Microsoft will also offer a new kickstand that can go up to 150 degrees and stop anywhere on that spectrum. The Surface Pro 3 also has an overhauled trackpad that is larger and capable of responding better to two-finger controls, Panay says.

The Surface Pro 3 starts at $799 for the Intel Core i3 version. Core i5 and Core i7 versions will also be available, but pricing for those versions was not disclosed. Pricing was also not announced for the Surface Pro 3's new Type-covers and styluses.

The is a breaking news story. Check back later for more or follow along with GameSpot sister site CNET's liveblog.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

207 comments
andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

People really need to stop being so bloody short sighted and accept this for what it is.  It's an ultrabook in a beautiful tablet format.  It's a great idea and it works really well if you actually give it a good chance.  It's not for people who want a dedicated tablet or dedicated laptop.  But there are people, like me, who want a -very- lightweight laptop for travelling purposes, but don't want it to be a limited as an iPad.

Daian
Daian

An i3 for 800$? U can get that 400-500$ in a regular laptop. Tnx but no tnx.

Apofis_SG-1
Apofis_SG-1

It might be good tablet but I would not change my laptop for it. I mean in what purposes in could actually change laptop? For reading stuff online I have my Nokia Lumia - AKA - almost tablet already. For gaming or work? I rather playing games on laptop than on tablet and I doubt this tablet is fine for working with AutoCAD and so on. The only way I see it to fit is the same way as the other tablets at the moment. Unless you want to play games so bad all the time that you cant wait till you back home and want to do that right on the go. Other than that your phone can do that already, read stuff, comment stuff, stay in touch with people and even little gaming when you have to wait 1h till bus home starts moving.

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

so, I found a lenovo, model, ideapad G500. It has an i3 3110 CPU an AMD 8570M Pro with 2 GB of VRAM, 6Gb of RAM and a 500 Gb HDD. the resolution might not be nearly as high as the Tablet's, but HD ready not only is enough, it also allows for more than decent performance in games in conjuction with the hardware. all that for like 500 bucks. Also, I can reformat it to windows 7.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

ah 800 for an I-3?! 

that's not a good deal, FU M$oft 

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

not a bad deal to be honest, but... what do i get in there? can i game on this thing decently?

(decently meaning games up until 2007 can run without problem) 

Karchy
Karchy

For $800 i could buy Yahoo.. or 800 Cheeseburger.

nparks
nparks

Correction, the Surface Pro 2 is 13-14mm thick, not 10.6.

rarson
rarson

It's actually a decent product, and the price isn't all that outrageous given the form factor, but I'd still take a cheaper, better laptop over this any day.

holtrocks
holtrocks

Its taking place of a laptop AND a tablet, not a bad deal. A new iPad Air will run you no less than $600 and a laptop with the same capabilities will run you a minimum of $400. So you get both in one for $800 that's a pretty attractive deal to be honest.

stewedyeti
stewedyeti

Am I the only one that doesn't want such a small screen on a laptop (or tablet that I'd be using in lieu of a laptop)? I guess I can understand wanting to cut the weight and power consumption down, but honestly the height/width dimensions and weight aren't *that* critical of a factor when carrying something like this around. Most day bags and backpacks are easily big enough to fit a 15" device into and, unless you're a frail elderly person or have compromised motor abilities, I can't imagine weight being a burden (and let's face it: those two groups aren't exactly a major tech industry demographic). It's not as if people had to tote around pre-MacBook Air and iPad portables around in a trolley because they weighed too much. The difference between 800 grams and three or four pounds is really not that obvious in a bag on your shoulders. I suppose if you're using it while laying flat facing the ceiling weight can be an issue, but who uses their laptops like that (which is what this Surface is intended to replace)? 


Maybe I'm just out of touch with what other people want, but whenever companies try to make these claims I can't help but think they're trying to solve a non-existent problem. 

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

Why didn't they just make a tablet with detachable keyboard ? this kickstand and Smart Cover combo is just a convoluted ergonomic nightmare, theres enough crap out there with chromebooks and ultrabooks trying to carve out niche's which don't exist. You missed the tablet boat Microsoft get over it already.

yellowsanchez
yellowsanchez

o surface trying to be unique but it is not helping

bigtimemad
bigtimemad

WOW i bought an Hp 17inch A10 laptop last year at bestbuy with 8gb of ram for $150. I dont know why it was on sale for the price but it was online only. It came in 4 days and i had to pick it up from the store. At that price it was a steal but at the price that i3 surface pro is microsoft is planning on stealing our hard earned cash lol. If i were in the market i wouldnt want an i3 i would want an i7 and i could just imagine the price for that. WOW

dogman12602
dogman12602

800 bucks for a freakin i3. Yeah or you could just, you know...use a laptop. I'll stick with my Galaxy note 8.0 that I got for $160.

millerboycls09
millerboycls09

The i3 version is 800 bucks?!?  Yeah, this will replace laptops... because you can't afford both

Raditz5
Raditz5

I will not be excited till I see what kind of gpu it has. If it is using the integrated stuff forget it.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Sounds awesome! I might just have to get myself one of these. An i7 tablet is awesome and way over-due. Finally, tablets are catching up to laptops. I have the Google Nexus 7 tablet, but I've always wanted a Windows tablet; they're just so damn expensive. 

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

So you mean it has a lower resolution than my kindle fire HDX? And only cost about $200 more lol sticking to my fire HDX. 

straightcur
straightcur

I see no use for this.  my laptop is far cheaper, has a keyboard attached and a bigger screen.   Tablets are really only useful for casual internet surfing and facebook games.  Not worth the price.

sonicblast19
sonicblast19

Who in their right mind would replace their laptop with this overpriced POS?I bet the i7 would go over 1500,with taht cash you can buy a badass laptop that runs every current and upcoming games at max settings for the next 2-3 years.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

It can't replace my laptop unless it can run current games, preferably, without melting in the process...

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Comes close to the price of my gaming PC...why would I be interested in something like this? An actual laptop sounds more versatile and a tablet for mostly surfing costs me 130 dollars for a decent one....so. Why would I want this M$?

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

@Daian yes, for a great big chunky piece of poorly built HP/Acer/Toshiba plastic.  Wonderful...but definitely no thanks.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

@quickshooterMk2 It will most likely be the Intel GPU, however they're actually not that bad any more for light gaming purposes.  My best friend's Surface Pro gen 1 can handle Skyrim at 1080p with low-medium settings, that has an i5 Dual Core/Quad Threaded with ivy bridge gen APU chip.  It's really quite impressive.  But these gen 3 CPUs are -light years- ahead of that tech.

rarson
rarson

@de-astroturfer  

It's a Surface tablet. It has a detachable keyboard, just like all the other Surface tablets.

surrealme
surrealme

@bigtimemadThe i7 models are $1549.99  and $1949.99, which is right in line with what you'd pay for an ultrabook. That's basically what the Surface Pro is, just in tablet form.

xscrapzx
xscrapzx

@dogman12602 The problem is the laptop is no where near the portability of the surface, and that galaxy note doesn't have the power nor the ability to use the same applications that you can use on a full blown windows desktop/laptop.  MS is trying to bridge the gap between the two devices.  Anyone who has a tablet also has a secondary device to do the full blown stuff.  Personally I would love to have a tablet that can do both.  People are just getting up in the arms because its the cool thing to hate MS right now.  Yet, these same people will run and jump and waste their money on the new IPADs, and Galaxy tablets and phones that haven't changed or even justify the purchase of the new one in a year span.  Its a scam and no one notices because oooohhhh Apple is so great, and so isnt Samsung and Google as they take 300 from me each year so I can have the cool looking icons or a new camera feature.  Its insane.

hystavito
hystavito

@Idontremember  Nope, the stated resolution is correct.  I checked it on MS' site, it's a 3:2 aspect ratio, not 16:9.

hystavito
hystavito

@Vodoo  I thought I always wanted one too, so when there was that good sale on Surface Pro 1 recently I jumped on it.  Unfortunately, it's barely getting used, but admittedly I rarely need to do any real computing outside my home nowadays.  When I am at home, it's just so much easier to use my PCs at my desk.  When I want to kick back on a sofa or something, well then I don't need power so the weight and overall UI just make it harder to use than my phone or other tablets.


I had a lot of ideas, all these interesting planned uses for it, they just never really worked out in reality, which is often how it goes :).

hystavito
hystavito

@straightcur  The Surface Pro can be very useful for very specific circumstances, which just happen to be circumstances that very few people find themselves in :).  That includes me which is why my Surface Pro 1 is mostly a dust collector.  I got it not long ago on sale, so while I feel stupid I would feel extremely stupid if I had paid the launch price for it :).

McGregor
McGregor

@straightcur  So true. I bought my wife an iPad for Mother's Day, and she said, "take it back, I'll never use this". The most expensive waste of money ever...Her reasoning, she already has a laptop that does everything a tablet does, and more...it was $450...which was cheaper than the iPad!

rarson
rarson

@sonicblast19  

No laptop runs current games at max settings.

Gaming laptops suck. They always run hot, have terrible battery life, and last about a year before having massive problems. Plus, they're giant, heavy, and expensive. Pretty much everything you don't want in a laptop. The only people who buy gaming laptops are suckers who don't know any better.

holtrocks
holtrocks

@sonicblast19  This is not for gamers, its for people who want a tablet and a laptop. It's also very compact, I personally would love one for note taking in classes and studying on campus, as it would be much easier than carrying around a laptop.

rarson
rarson

@Damnation_6  

A decent tablet costs more than $130. If you're spending $130 on a tablet, you're buying a piece of crap.

ninja-jason51
ninja-jason51

@andrew_ribbons @Daian chunky? pretty sure at least HP and Lenovo leaves the chunky and plastic out of it, cause they both make very slim metallic laptops.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@rarson @de-astroturfer  The fact they've made the same mistake 3 times in a row doesn't alter my point, the tablet that wants to be a laptop but isn't, tablets are good at being tablets and laptops are good at being laptops, from an ergonomic standpoint this is good at neither. They are trying to create a niche which doesn't exist. 

wallacom
wallacom

@surrealme @bigtimemad I like some of the specs and features, and I think i5 is the best value, but I can buy an Alianware gaming laptop for that price lol. Plus, as long as Windows RT is the OS they wont see a penny from me.

rarson
rarson

@xscrapzx

A tablet doesn't need the power of a laptop because nobody wants to do productive things on a tablet. Even a tablet like this, which doesn't have a keyboard half as good as a cheap laptop. How many of the programs you run on your Windows computers do you think you'd like to use on a tablet with a touch interface? Even just navigating the operating system via touchscreen is kind of a pain compared to Android.

This new Surface is pretty good for what it is, but it's still a product that's trying to answer a question that no one is asking. Sure, it can do both tablet and laptop, but it's a compromise that doesn't do either one as well as a dedicated device.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@xscrapzx MS are trying to be Apple and create a niche for themselves, problem is tablets have already found a niche and the niche MS is trying to create is a bit filled at the moment with ultrabooks. But hey they might as well try to be first at something since they missed the boat on smartphones and tablets.  Sorry but if you buy a pure Google table like the Nexus you don't have to upgrade that unless you seriously want to, the OS is supported indefinitely and you don't even have to pay a dime to get the newest version. Try doing that with next version of Windows.

Idontremember
Idontremember

@hystavito @Idontremember  
Saw that too.
They should have gone all the way to 2560*1700 like the chromebook pixel if they really wanted 3:2.
Now the screen ain't a perfect 2x2 resolution for 720p because it ain't 2650 wide and that sucks for me.

rarson
rarson

@de-astroturfer

You asked why they didn't make a tablet with a detachable keyboard. They did. That's exactly what a Surface is.

I don't disagree with the rest of your point. It's a product without a purpose, just like any other "2-in-1." Tablets are for entertainment, laptops are for productivity, and every product that I've seen that tries to be both doesn't excel at either one.


For whatever reason, manufacturers keep thinking that we need or want these products. Lots of stupid people out there will buy them just by virtue of seeing them on TV. That's probably why they're still making them.

Surface 3 is more about mending their relationship with Intel and at least trying to compete with the MacBook Air in some form than really fitting a market need. I can't imagine it'll be a huge seller, but it's a big improvement over the old Surface.

rarson
rarson

@wallacom

Windows RT only runs on ARM processors. That would be the non-Pro Surface tablets, which they don't sell anymore (because Windows RT is stupid and nobody wants it).

kingkoopa009
kingkoopa009

@Idontremember  its meant to replicate paper and windows 8 does great job of scaling ratios, it adapts to any screen size, and it allows for 6% more storage space than the 13'' mba