IT'S ONLY TAKEN TWO MONTHS since the unveiling of Microsoft's latest Surface Pro 3 tablet, but the Redmond firm has revealed the improvements coming to the upcoming Surface Pro docking station, which is now available on the firm's Surface Accessories store.
Before you get too excited, it's worth noting that this bit of plastic is available for pre-order for £165 and has a basic design similar to that of the original Surface Pro docking station model for the same inflated price, but just adds several additional features.
These added features include extra connectivity options, including three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a security lock slot (which the original Surface dock didn't have), and an Ethernet port supporting 10/100/1,000Mbps speeds as opposed to just 10/100Mbps speeds on the Surface Pro port.
As with the original, there's a 3.5mm audio connection and a mini Displayport connection, but this time Microsoft touts it as delivering high-definition video output of up to 3840x2600 resolution.
And that's your lot. We told you not to get your hopes up. Though those who have pre-ordered a Surface Pro 3 and intend to use it as a desktop replacement are likely to welcome the upgrades, but not the rather hefty price.
Measuring 9.1mm thick, the Surface Pro 3 is the thinnest Intel Core product "ever made", according to Microsoft, which it credits to the device's "fanless build". It might not sound like a vast improvement over the Surface Pro 2, which was 13.5mm thick, but in our hands-on review we immediately noticed a huge difference in aesthetics. It is much nicer to hold due to its thinner design and it's apparent that Microsoft has made an effort to make the device much more attractive to consumers.
The Core i5 powered Surface Pro 3 will hit the UK sometime towards the end of August, priced at £849 and £1,109 for 128GB and 256GB storage options, respectively. The cheapest, an Intel Core i3-powered Surface Pro 3 model has been priced at £639, while the most powerful and expensive Core i7 model will set users back an eye-watering £1,649.
Despite its high price-tag, the technicians at iFixit cracked open the tablet last month and found that it's one of the hardest of its kind to repair, giving it a laughably low score of just one out of 10. Labeled by iFixit as a device with "severely limited upgradeability and repairability", Surface Pro 3 was let down by Redmond's decision to trade the Surface 2's 90 screws for some "seriously hideous adhesive", apparently. µ
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