Microsoft, well known developer of some of the most popular business software, has for the past couple of years been trying to break into the hardware market with their own tablet – Surface. While the first two versions of Surface were met with largely mixed reviews, Microsoft is determined to make this platform work and has recently released a new version – Surface Pro 3.
About the Surface Pro 3 tablet
Officially announced on May 20, this newest version of Surface brings about a number of changes to the platform. First and foremost, there is a change in the device’s positioning. While previous versions were designed to be direct competitors to the Apple iPad, the new version of Surface Pro 3 is being marketed as a highly mobile device that is meant to replace your laptop.
In fact, Microsoft has noted that they are targeting users, especially business owners, who have both a tablet and a laptop. The company is billing Surface Pro 3 as the device that will allow users to ditch the two, and instead replace it with one.
In pursuit of this goal, Surface Pro 3 has a larger screen and some advanced tech specs that provide it with laptop-level power, while keeping the overall portability of the modern tablet.
Technical specs business owners will find useful
Surface Pro 3 comes in five different versions, with the models being separated by which 4th generation Intel processor is included and the amount of storage space they have:
[list style=”bullet”][li]64GB Intel i3[/li][li]128GB Intel i5[/li][li]256GB Intel i5[/li][li]256GB Intel i7[/li][li]512GB Intel i7[/li][/list]
Aside from the processor, RAM and storage space, all versions share the following specs:
[list style=”bullet”][li]Size – The Surface Pro 3 is 11.5 inches wide by 7.93 inches high and weighs 1.76lbs[/li][li]Memory – The 64GB and 128GB models have 4GB of RAM, while the 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM[/li][li]Screen – There is a 12 inch screen with all models and a resolution of 2160 x 1440. This equates to a high resolution screen that should be more than enough for every user[/li][li]Connectivity – All models can connect to Wi-Fi, support Bluetooth 4.0, and have a full-size USB 3.0 port, along with a microSD card reader, and Mini display port[/li][li]Operating system – Surface Pro 3 runs a full version of Windows 8.1, which comes pre-installed on the device[/li][li]Accessories – There are a number of cases you can buy including the Surface Pro Type Cover which includes a full keyboard and trackpad built into the case. Combine this with the built-in multi-function hinge and you can use the device almost anywhere[/li][li]Battery life – Previous versions of the Surface had average, or slightly below average battery life. Because this device isn’t out yet, we can’t give an accurate number as to how long the battery should last. That being said, this is a powerful device so battery life will likely be closer to most laptops rather than tablets – anywhere from four to eight hours[/li][/list]
Should my business invest in this technology?
From the specs alone, the Surface Pro 3 looks to be a good investment for users who are looking to merge their tablet and laptop. Also, because this is a Microsoft tablet, users of the company’s other systems and software, especially Office 365 and Windows 8, will be at home with this device.
If you or your employees are looking to be productive while on the go, and use Microsoft or cloud systems, this device could be the perfect business tool. The major downside to Surface Pro 3, as with previous versions, is the price, which starts at USD$799 just for the device, so you are looking at almost USD$940 per unit. The most powerful version – the 512 GB/ Intel i7 starts at USD$1,949.
Should you be about to replace your tablet and laptop, this could be a viable solution as the cost of replacing both could be more than, or at least similar to, the cost of a Surface Pro 3. That being said, this is still a new device so it may be worthwhile waiting a few months to see how people who purchase the unit like it, and how it can be integrated into your business better.
Where can I find one?
Because this tablet was just announced a few weeks ago, it actually isn’t available to purchase just yet. You can go to the Surface website and pre order one now and as of the writing of this article, the i3 and i7 devices will be shipped August 31, 2014 while the i5 devices are scheduled to ship June 20, 2014.
If you can wait until the release, you should be also able to pick up the device from most major retailers and Microsoft partners who carry hardware. And, if you would like to learn more about this device and how it can integrate with your business contact us today.