11 things you need to know about Microsoft’s new Surface 3

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google launches cheapest Chromebooks yet.

REDMOND, Wash., March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Microsoft Corp. is introducing a new Surface, the Surface 3. The new Surface 3 will cost less than the USD 799 starting price for the Surface Pro 3 introduced last year, but will also have a less powerful processor and lack some other features.NEW YORK (AP) — Google is unveiling its cheapest Chromebook laptops yet, two versions priced at $149 aimed at undercutting Microsoft’s Windows franchise and gaining an even stronger hold in school and overseas markets.Graphic artists, engineers and finance professionals needing to run complex software might still want the company’s higher-end Pro 3, said Dennis Meinhardt, director of program management for Surface.

Microsoft still wants its Surface line to be somewhere between a tablet and a laptop, but the result is usually a tablet that really wants to be a laptop. Priced in Canada at $639 (vs $849 to $1,999 for the Pro 3), the new tablet has a slightly smaller screen — 10.8 inches rather than 12 — a slower processor, and less flexible kickstand — just three angles rather than unlimited positions. Simply called ‘Surface 3’, the new model presents a truly compelling option to shake up not just the budget laptop market, but also Apple ’s iPad Air 2. The ability to run Windows apps and the versatile pen experience1 — great for taking notes or marking documents — make Surface 3 ideal for students, schools and anyone looking for a portable device to get things done. At first glance it looks like Microsoft has simply rebadged its unsold stock of Surface 2 tablets and squeezed a fanless quad-core Atom processor inside.

It’s beautiful, versatile, powerful and productive, and our customers are going to love what it lets them do.” Productivity and portabilityPowered by the new quad-core Intel® Atom™ x7 processor,3 Surface 3 is quick and responsive but designed to maximize efficiency with up to 10 hours of video-playback battery life.4 A range of storage and memory configurations gives people choice in power and capacity. The three-position kickstand is ideal for using Surface 3 while working at a desk, sitting on a couch or holding in the palm of a hand as a natural writing surface. Price – 2GB and 4GB versions will offer 64GB and 128GB of storage respectively with prices starting from $499 and a 4G model (with integrated GPS) from $599.

That might sound like a small difference, but it actually makes it a lot more usable in portrait orientation, and it brings it closer to the tablet experience you expect from an iPad competitor. Free upgrade to Windows 10To help people get even more done, Surface 3 and Surface 3 (4G LTE) ship with full Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when available.5 They also come complete with a one-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneDrive cloud storage.6 Full device specs are available here. This is a quad core chip and should run smoothly as Microsoft doesn’t load up its Surfaces with bloatware, but it can’t become a cutting edge performer.

Pre-order and availabilitySurface 3 and new accessories will be available for pre-order starting March 31 through microsoftstore.com, Microsoft stores8 and select partner retailers in the following markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Laboring under the presumption that the average laptop consumer is price sensitive — marginally sensitive to negative dollars as a percentage price delta between two competing devices — the move makes sense. Additional information on Surface can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/surface.Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft has long had two Surface units on sale at any given point, formerly split between ‘Pro’ and not-Pro models, the former running Intel processors a full build of Windows while the latter ran a variant of Windows that has since been left behind.

Whether partners will be concerned or inspired by these moves remains to be seen, but Microsoft certainly appears determined to not let Apple’s message of unified software and hardware go unanswered. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. 1 Surface Pen sold separately.2 Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about?ocid=WIN10_0_WOL_Hero_Home_Windows-10_Null_01 for more information.6 Available on Surface 3 with Windows 8.1 purchased prior to Dec. 31, 2015.

Microsoft isn’t opting for USB Type-C like Google or Apple just yet, but the port swap does mean you can charge the battery using your normal phone charger. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/microsoft-introduces-surface-3-the-thinnest-and-lightest-surface-yet-300058239.html During my brief testing I didn’t notice any major performance issues with the 4GB of RAM model (2GB is the base), but I’m sure that most Steam games won’t run on this tablet and Photoshop or any video editing apps will likely strain its abilities.

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