Microsoft has called every device in its Surface line “the tablet that can replace your laptop.” But with the Surface Pro 3, it’s finally right.
Microsoft today released the Surface Pro 3, its latest tablet-laptop hybrid, in the U.S and Canada. It’s available through Microsoft’s online store as well as via retail partners like Best Buy, Staples, and Tiger Direct.
If you pick up a Surface Pro 3 today, you’ll get an Intel Core i5 version. Models equipped with Core i3 or i7 chips will be available August 1 in the U.S. and Canada.
The Surface Pro 3 is priced from $800 to $1,950. The i5 version available today costs either $1,000 (for 128 GB of storage) or $1,300 (for 256 GB). It runs Windows 8.1 and has a 12-inch, 2,160 x 1,440-pixel touchscreen, along with two (front and rear) 5-megapixel cameras.
The Surface Pro 3 has garnered Microsoft high praise from the tech press, including from our own reviews editor Devindra Hardawar. In VentureBeat’s review of the new gadget, he wrote:
The Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s third try since 2012 at unifying tablets and laptops — but with some key differences from its predecessors. Its screen is bigger, so you can actually use it as comfortably as a laptop. It’s lighter and thinner than previous Surface Pro models, so you won’t mind lugging it around all day. And its distinctive hinge is far more flexible than ever before.
After using the Surface Pro 3 extensively for several days, I can say that Microsoft is closer than ever to creating a true laptop killer. It’s not hyperbole to say that this is the best piece of hardware Microsoft has ever produced.
And yet, I’m not sure if it’s enough.
If you’re considering picking up a Surface Pro 3, you should definitely give the full review a read.
Industry observers had expected Microsoft to announce a smaller “Surface Mini” alongside the Surface Pro 3 unveiling in May. Reports suggested Microsoft scrapped those plans at the last minute — and some leftover references to the Surface Mini in Surface Pro 3 user manuals seem to verify those rumors.
Microsoft plans to launch its Surface Pro 3 in markets outside the U.S. and Canada by “the end of August 2014,” the company said. 26 lucky countries will be getting the device: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.