MICROSOFT TOOK THE WRAPS OFF its long-rumoured Surface Pro 3 tablet on Tuesday, touting it as "the tablet that can replace your laptop".
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with an Intel Haswell processor, with the tablet set to be made available in Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 models. What's more, with the tablet measuring 9.1mm thick, Microsoft is touting the Surface Pro 3 as the thinnest Intel Core product "ever made", which it credits to the device's "fan-less build", despite the tablet still including a fan.
The Surface Pro 3 also has a larger 12in 3:2 aspect ratio 2160x1440 resolution display, as Microsoft looks to challenge the Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 in the productivity stakes.
Microsoft corporate VP for Surface Panos Panay said, "Pushing it to twelve inches was critical. If we want to do more with the tablet, and have it replace the laptop, this was absolutely critical.
"96 percent of iPad owners also have a laptop - and we're going to take that conflict away."
Despite its larger screen size, the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than last year's model, tipping the scales at 800g. Microsoft boasted that this makes it lighter than the Macbook Air, seemingly forgetting that the Apple laptop also has a keyboard.
Microsoft is no doubt hoping the inclusion of Windows 8.1 Pro, along with the larger screen size, will give the Surface Pro 3 a boost in the eyes of business folk. With the full version of its much-maligned operating system onboard, Surface Pro 3 owners will have access to a full version of Microsoft's Office suite, security tools and support for an optimised version of Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshoppers might also be interested in the Surface Pro 3's built-in stylus, which can write on the screen even when the device is locked, along with the "full friction" kickstand that allows the tablet to sit in almost any position.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 also boasts, according to Microsoft, a "day long battery" life, and dual cameras.
New Type covers were launched alongside the updated tablet, which comes with an updated trackpad and new colour options. An optional docking station will also be available, allowing users to hook the tablet up to a 4K display.
As expected, the Microsoft Surface 3 will be available from $799, and those in the US will be able to order it from tomorrow. µ