Microsoft has announced a new tablet to its Surface portfolio of devices, called the Surface 3.
The Surface 3 features the same design and premium materials as the Surface Pro 3, but in a more compact and efficient package as it measures in at just 8.7mm thick and weighs 1.37 pounds (or 622 grams). The tablet features a 10.8-inch display, which is slightly smaller than the Surface Pro 3’s 12-inch display, an 8MP rear-facing camera, 3.5MP front-facing camera, both of which capture 1080p video. It runs on an Intel Atom x7 processor, which features a combination of burst mode and advanced power management, and the tablet will run Windows 8.1, making it the first non-Pro Surface to do so, which is a big deal considering how restrictive and stripped down Windows RT was. The tablet will also feature a full-size USB port, microSD reader, and mini DisplayPort.
Some of the improvements Microsoft made to the Surface 3 was the addition of a microUSB charger, which replaces the proprietary charging port that was featured on previous Surface tablets, and improved battery life as it’s said to last up to 10 hours (based on Microsoft’s test results on video playback). The Surface 3 will have a new three-stage kickstand, although it isn’t the same adjustable kickstand that’s featured in the Surface Pro 3.
The Surface 3 will have new Surface Type Covers that will snap into place underneath the screen through the use of magnets, although this is nothing new to Surface users. Surface 2 covers will be supported, but with the change in screen size, they won’t fit as snugly. The covers will come in a variety of colors, including a new bright red option. The Surface 3 will also support the use of a stylus.
The Surface 3 will be available for pre-order today starting at $499 for the 64GB option and are expected to ship in the US on May 5th. All Surface 3 tablets will be eligible for a free Windows 10 upgrade, a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.