Microsoft Announces New 12-inch Surface Pro 3

Kevin Lee

Bigger screen, slimmer profile

Microsoft kicked off its Surface event in New York City announcing a new 12-inch Surface Pro 3 tablet that’s faster and even thinner than the Surface Pro 2 . The biggest thing about the new slate is its new 12-inch diagonal screen with a 2160x1440 resolution. What’s more the screen has 3:2 aspect ratio screen that adds a bit more vertical resolution space to read stories.

Tucked inside the Surface Pro 3, it has what Microsoft Corporate VP Panos Panay says is the thinnest Core processor Intel has ever created. While it’s extremely thin, the new Haswell Core i7 processor also affords the new tablet 10% more performance. You'll get “the full power of the PC in one hand,” Panay said on stage.

By packing in a more effecient fan, the Surface Pro 3 has been slimmed down to a mere 9.1-milimeters, a major nip tuck from the Surface Pro 2’s 13-millimeter thickness. It’s also over 100-grams lighter compared to the Surface Pro 2 at 800-grams.

In another external change the new tablet has a fully articulating kickstand rather than the two-stop hinge on the Surface Pro 2. This new fiction hinge allows the tablet start off from a 22-degree angle to a nearly laid flat canvas mode making the tablet easier to type and write on.

Panay says they’ve also reinvented its type cover with an extra magnetic latch that clips into the bottom lip of the tablet to make it more stable when laid across your lap. It’s a small addition but Panay demonstrated the way an extra point of stability almost like a laptop. The new type cover is also thinner and has a much better track pad reducing friction by 70% and a two-finger scroll that actually kicks in when you want it to.

The Surface Pro goes one sale starting tomorrow starting at $799 with a Core i3 model complete with 4GB of memory and 64GB of SSD storage. It's $999 for the next tier up with Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and the same ammount of RAM. For double the storage and RAM it's $1,299. Getting into the first Core i7 chip with the same internals as the previous Core i5 spec costs $1,549. Lastly power users can pick up the top-end Core i7 model with 512GB of SSD space for a hefty $1,949.

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