The tablet has a 1.5 screen ratio, instead of the 1.77 ratio usually found in Windows tablets. It's then much closer to the 1.33 iPad ratio. It also lends itself better to split-screen multitasking -a feature rumored to be introduced in upcoming iOS 8.
The HD screen resolution is 2160×1440.
The device runs on Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors.
The tablet is 9.1mm (0.36 inch) thick, which makes it the thinnest computing device with a Core i7 chip.
The Surface Pro 3 weighs 800g (1.76 lbs), which is less than previous, smaller models. Weight was often mentioned as a weakness in the previous Surface tablets.
Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Surface Computing, positioned it as an alternative to the MacBook Air. He said the Surface Pro 3 screen is actually larger than the 13-inch screen of the MacBook.
Other highlights include:
- a new multi-position kickstand, which is supposed to make it easier to use on someone's lap
- a larger trackpad on a new Type cover
- a new clickable pen, which opens One Note
- a new, large desktop dock
The emphasis is clearly on productivity. Adobe demonstrated on stage a touch-optimized version of Photoshop for Windows.
A note-taking app, called Final Draft, has been designed specifically for the Surface Pro 3, to take advantage of the parallax-free screen.
"Microsoft can now point to a device with which it can win in commercial accounts against the iPad,", says analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates, "although it will still require a battle against the ingrained bias of many users towards Apple’s ubiquitous device."
The Surface Pro 3 will be available for pre-order tomorrow, Wednesday May 21. Starting prices will be:
- $799 with a Core i3 processor
- $999 with a Core i5
- $1,949 with a Core i7
"I expect the 'sweet spot' for enterprises to be the $1,299 i5 powered unit with 256GB", says Jack Gold.
Storage options will range from 64GB to 512 GB.
See TabTimes' early reviews roundup of the Surface Pro 3.
The Surface 2 will still be sold alongside the Surface Pro 3.