Microsoft Equips Surface Pro 3 with a Bigger Screen, Thinner Profile, and Faster Hardware

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I can see business tripping all over themselves to shell out two grand a pop, so their employees can surf the web and troll Facebook.

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trivor

The problem is the same problem MS has had since the first Surface Pro is that these are beautiful, well engineered pieces of hardware that HAVE A VERY LIMITED MARKET. There are lots of people that love their Surface Pros and even their Surface RTs. The problem is that they will not sell large numbers of them since their are very few people that need the stylus and as an ultrabook their is TONS of competition like the Lenovo Yoga series or the ASUS Taichi at less money than an equivalent Surface Pro 3. In the Ultrabook space 0.5 lbs is not that much to add and the keyboards and trackpads on those ultrabooks are going to be MUCH better than the Type Covers and probably better battery life (to be determined for the Surface Pro 3s but the track record of the Surface Pro is not very good).

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maxeeemum

The 2015 Surface Pro 3 is out in May 2014 ??? No mini ???

I guess if you can't sell in the current market you make your own!

Looks like an overpriced fan boy toy! If this doesn't sell it's Zune time!!!

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Certainly

Larger price, bigger delusions, and less ability to face reality.

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Obsidian

Microsoft (not yet released) Surface Pro 3:

  • Core i3, i5, and i7 processor options
  • 64GB to 512GB of storage space
  • 4GB or 8GB of RAM
  • full-size USB 3.0 port
  • mini DisplayPort
  • microSD card reader
  • 12-inch display with a 2160x1440 resolution

Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 (out for 6 months now)

  • Core i5, and i7 processor options
  • 256GB to 512GB SSD Storage
  • 4GB or 8GB of RAM
  • 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 both full size
  • micro HDMI-out (currently more useful than Display Port)
  • SD Card Reader
  • 13.3-inch 3200x1800 Multi-touch display

Comically it would appear that Microsoft copied the Chinese (Lenovo) but still couldn't get a screen to compete spec-wise. It's not even all that innovative. Although it certainly IS an improvement over the current Surface Pro 2. The top end Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 comes with a keyboard, i7, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM and everything else for $1750 (currently). It has even gotten the price beat of the Surface Pro 3.

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riopato

But the Lenovo weighs 4lbs which is twice as much as the surface pro 3 with type cover. The pro 3 has a longer battery life due to it's screen that also acts as a digitizer. Add a power cover and it still would be lighter than the yoga pro 2 with true all day performance.
The Thinkpad x1 carbon is a better comparison to the Pro 3 and it still lacks a digitizer.

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Obsidian

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro 3.06 pounds (not 4 pounds, but nice try MS employee).

The Surface Pro 3 (by itself, with no keyboard) weighs 1.76 pounds. With the keyboard, it weighs 2.41 pounds.

How is 0.65 pounds twice the weight difference?

Since there are no retail Surface Pro 3s available battery life is left up to absurd marketing claims.

So your only factually differentiating point becomes the digitizer. ... if you HAVE to use a pen ... for the 1% of people that ever use that feature then it's the ONLY thing they'll look for. And they are probably artists, and they all own iPads anyway.

I think I had better bring up that the Lenovo can come in Orange, wow, MS really dropped the ball on that one (eye roll).

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riopato

The yoga 2 pro starts as a 3lb laptop depending on the configuration and can be close to 4 lbs due to the screen.
As for battery, Lenovo claims the same duration also depending on configuration.
The new digitizer is in fact the main differentiator aimed toward not only for artists but also for those who would need a writing device to makes notes. From what I saw in the announcement video the pen can also be a mouse alternative. I'm an artist and find the iPad useless and over priced compared to the potential the pro 3 can offer.

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Granite

I don't think there is any real necessity in getting into a pissing contest over whether MS's hardware is better or worse than any other OEM's hardware. In fact, I don't really think MS is in the hardware business to compete with the OEM's.

Rather, their stated intention is to introduce machines that show off what can be done and spur Lenovo and others to produce their competing devices.

I'm thinking it's likely that Lenovo will roll out new machines that use similar hardware as the Surface Pro 3 and will be competitively priced. It'll probably have that digitizer pen, too.

Bottom line: More choices are good for consumers.

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Chad727

Ahhhh... I get what you're saying. So your conclusion is that the Surface is in essence a showroom for what Win8 can do if it had boss hardware to work with? That makes more sense with the price points I've seen. I would have to agree with you. I can't say that I blame them with all the trash Apple talked about them in their ads. Now the shoe is on the other foot when it comes to tablets. Not a single tablet Apple makes can touch what the Surface Pro offers. It is pretty amazing that they have an i7 in there and people don't need oven mitts to handle the tablet. It makes me wonder what Microsoft would make if they made desktops. Like you alluded to, competition will lead to innovation. That's never a bad thing.

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Obsidian

But if we eliminated hardware pissing contests we'd have no MaximumPC ;)

(rim shot)

Although I totally agree with your sentiment! (and I truly really do) The entire industry, and other tech industries have long been a giant marketing grudge match and one-upmanship for as long as they've been around. Benchmarks, pixels, speed, size, weight, power, noise, Bitchin'fast 3D 2000, ultra, mega, uber, overclocked, ultra-thin, cloud supported, backed up, messed up, dressed up ... better than the competition somehow.

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bjoswald

And the world continues to buy iPads and Android tablets. Yawn.

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riopato

Those who continue to buy iPads and androids wouldn't know what to do with a Surface pro.

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jbitzer

Hmm. My laptop has discrete graphics, optical drive, a TB of storage and a lot more ports.

I don't think this is replacing it, and at the price, a Macbook air with boot camp is a better option, unless you have to have a touch screen.

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riopato

The closest device to the Surface Pro is the Wacom Companion. Now that's a PC I can't justify it's cost.

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Chad727

Just took a peek at the Wacom. F@#k that noise! Surface is a BARGAIN by comparison!

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JosephColt

Who needs a lot of ports if you are mobile?

TB mSSD will are getting cheaper fast.

Optical is a dead technology, there is very little use for it anymore.

You missed the point of the device like many others from what I can see.

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jbitzer

Or, it's that I think it's an overpriced gimmick. I was going to get a pro 2, but it's not worth the cost for what you're getting.

It's not going to replace my gaming laptop, and I can do anything that the portability of it offers with my 4 year old netbook.

They need to make these capable of being a solution for all needs, this is a good start, but it's not as capable as MY laptop which offered a lot more hardware for a lot less price than the 1900 the i7 model is going to sell for.

It might replace someone's cheap ass dell work machine, but at that price I'd save the money and get the dell since I'll be throwing both away in a few years due to no upgradability.

Maybe you have a different take on what the point of the device is, that you could enlighten me, but if you're into paying a lot more money to do basic tasks a cheap laptop could do, you'r ealready probably buying macs.

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JosephColt

It's not supposed to be a bulky laptop that is for gaming.

It's for productivity and mobility. It is NOT a gimmick. It's a fantastic device that is very useful for PRODUCTIVITY. This device is a bit on the expensive side, but that's because you're paying for the form factor.

Replacing a crappy dell work machine? I7/8gb ram/ 256gb+ SSD laptop in tablet form with very good quality construction is hardly comparable to a cheap dell machine. It is NOT supposed to be as capable as your laptop for gaming.

"You're ealready probably buying macs." I don't own a single Apple product, and I never will. I recognize a good product when I see it, and the Surface Pro 3 is a good device.

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jbitzer

I am not denying this is a good productivity machine. What I'm saying is that it is too high priced for one.

The i3, 64GB version is the least expensive, you then add a Keyboard cover at over $100. the price is now $899. The base price of the new macbook air is $899 for a core i5 with 128GB disk space.

The prices only get more horrible from there. MS jumped the shark, they are now more expensive for less hardware than Apple, it's like waking up on the other side of the looking glass.

If I'm a business owner, I'm going to save money and just buy employees a regular old ultrabook that is not all that much less portable, this is priced out of the niche it is trying to capture.

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riopato

If you are looking at old ultra books, the original Surface pro can be grabbed for $300-$600. Not sure if the Pro 2 prices are going to drop since the Pro 3 is a completely different device PC.

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JosephColt

The price is my only major concern for this device.

Before tax the Air is 1,299.00 for an i5/256GB/8GB.
Before tax the SP3 is 1,299.00 for an i5/256GB/8GB.

The type cover being a separate charge is kind of a killer, but it is a mechanical keyboard! You also get something much lighter, cameras, sensors, high resolution display, 3:2 aspect ratio, pen, touch, and a lot more!

In my opinion that is a very good deal, and a competitor to the Apple air. When you get down to the details the Pro3 offers much in terms of productivity. An Apple air is a toy in comparison.

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jbitzer

The only thing that makes those numbers similar is Apple's crack smoking memory prices. When you look at it for a particular build that is the only thing that skews the numbers.

Also, you are forgetting to add the $100+ keyboard cover to your price, the SP3 is $1420 at that configuration.

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JosephColt

The memory is jacked up on the Surface Pro 3 too.

Yea, the keyboard cost that extra, but the features of the Pro 3 offset the difference.

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jbitzer

It doesn't for me because I wouldn't need or care about those.

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JosephColt

Then you are simply not the target market for this device.

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jbitzer

I tried to say that I understand the features adding and cost, but my longer comment got stuck in the spam filter, I'm not being purposely short with that one.

I really want a convergence device like this, but it needs to be able to be docked as a desktop and handle those needs as well. I'd prefer they release maybe a gamer edition of it, but since they are also trying to get you to buy xboxes, that won't probably happen.

It just blows my mind that they now have the more cost for less hardware apple model.

I'm going to wait for these to mature a few more years I guess, though steam game streaming might have fixed my issues.

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JosephColt

You cannot, nor will you get, a gamer edition. You would completely throw out the purpose of the device then. You would add a lot of size and weight leading you to basically just go buy a gaming laptop instead.

If Intel can have integrated graphics run the latest games at 1080p/60FPS then we are on to something good here.

This device is something I like because I could carry it around easily, write down information and notes on the fly if in a business meeting and have it sync across all devices. It's light, reliable, only tablet of its kind that can run x86 software in such a small form, etc.

Simply making it a bit larger, using basic metals, and removing the features for the pen would make it a lot cheaper. This isn't supposed to be a device to compete with oems too, but encourage them to make products like it; it shows what can be done.

I would say you should wait until Intel releases processors capable of running games much better on integrated. This device can handle anything else excluding high end games well.

To be honest, if you're not a gamer or heavy power user, an i5/256GB/8Gb surface pro is an excellent choice rather than buying a PC and a tablet. I think the saddest fact though is an iPad can run up to 800 for 128Gb variant.

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jbitzer

Oh yeah, like I said, I like this idea, but it hasn't hit the sweet spot for me price/performance wise.

I'd rather pay a little more and get a less portable laptop that can game, and use a cheap tablet for the tablet functions.

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Chad727

To replace a laptop it would need at least 3 USB 3.0 ports and user-replaceable/upgradeable batteries, RAM, and HDD. I'm not saying that it's not a nice piece of hardware because it really is (I'd love to have one). However, the "tablet that can replace your laptop" line comes up short in my eyes. It's still nice to see Microsoft not giving up the fight in the tablet space. Competition is always a good thing for the potential buyer.

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riopato

Microsoft is competing in both the tablet and ultra book space. There isn't a device that fits in the Surface Pro category except what Wacon is offering and that's a very niche market.

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big_montana

If you need all 3 USB ports at once, than you are not going mobile and will be "docked", so that is the purpose of a docking station. My work laptop only has 2 USB ports, not 3, and my personal Thinkpad does not have a replaceable battery. Neither does the Mac Air which this is going after. A lot more laptops do not have user replaceable batteries now, especially the thin and light ultra book style.

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Chad727

I agree with you. More laptops aren't coming with a battery that can't be swapped out for one with a fresh charge by simply sliding a couple of latches free. The Thinkpad E531 I picked up for my wife last year can. It also has VGA & HDMI out and three USB 3.0 ports (one stays powered up while the laptop is powered off too). And she actually likes using the pointing stick while banging out reports for work. Hence my arguement. Sorry Microsoft, you can't replace the laptop that we have. That's not to say that the Surface is not great a great choice for a tablet, because it certainly is.

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Innomasta

I'll be damned, somebody not barking up the windows 8 hate tree.

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zcpro

LAME

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DeltaFIVEengineer

More of the same from Redmond. Nothing new, innovative, or groundbreaking.

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riopato

I'm curious if you have something in mind that would be innovative or ground breaking over the Surface line of devices?

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JosephColt

How is this not innovative? A very well built tablet with the power of a laptop in such a small form capable of x86 software with a ton of useful features.

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Innomasta

As compared to Apple? Samsung? They're doing the exact same shit here buddy.

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macmooda

"Microsoft invented a new fan technology that's 30 percent more efficient than the previous version." That is still innovation. Maybe not a new type of device, but still innovation. That was from the article.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

Easy there sparky. I never said they were. No one has pushed out anything worthwhile other than the typical upgrade iterations for a while now. Microsoft just happens to be pushing out the latest in lackluster hardware.

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JosephColt

There is only so much they can do as they are not a hardware vendor like Intel. An i5 or i7 Haswell chip isn't exactly lackluster either.

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MrSatyre

But you could also same exactly the same thing about Cupertino. The last things that Apple did that were truly innovative were the iPhone and the iPad. Everything since then has been same ol', same ol'. Just faster and now in different colors.

My 1st gen Pro is a solid beast, and a joy to use. I'll definitely be picking up one of the gen 3 Pros. The 4K output will very useful for me.

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riopato

The only innovation that Apple has made was to reiterate something that Microsoft started (eg windows mobile into iPhone, tablet PC into iPad). This and deconstructed their own operating system in order to dumbify mac osx.

One advantage that all the Surface pros have over Microsoft's OEM partners is never needing to search for the latest system drivers and firmware. This is why 1st Gen pro users are still using their device pcs making it worth the extra cost you pay for.