Product Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Specifications 12in Cleartype 2160x1440 resolution screen, Intel Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processor, 4GB or 8GB RAM, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB internal storage, microSD expandable storage, 5MP front and rear-facing cameras, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, Windows 8.1 Pro operating system, 292x201x9.1mm, 800g
Price From £639 to £1,649, depending on configuration
THE SURFACE PRO 3 tablet brings some of the biggest and most welcome changes seen in the Surface tablet line yet, with a bigger and better 12in HD screen, a much thinner case and an improved keyboard and kickstand, meaning its never lived more up to its motto of "the tablet that can replace your laptop".
The Surface Pro 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with an Intel Haswell processor and is set to be made available in Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 chip variants. It will launch in the UK on 28 August.
The Surface Pro is touted by Microsoft as the thinnest Intel Core product "ever made", measuring 9.1mm thick, which is not only slimmer than previous models but also has also seen a bit of a performance boost with the Intel Haswell processor update. Its thinness is a definite improvement over the Surface Pro 2, which measured a rather chunky 13.5mm thick. This 4.5mm reduction makes a big difference in aesthetics and feel, making it much nicer to hold. It's apparent that Microsoft has made an effort to make the device much more attractive to consumers.
As with all previous Surface Pro models, Microsoft has kept the build of the Surface Pro 3 at the same standard. It feels very strong with robust build quality, giving the impression that it will withstand a knock or two.
The Surface Pro 3's magnesium chassis feels robust and this makes the device feel expensive, probably because it is; it will retail from £849 for our review model's Intel Core i5 version when Microsoft launches it in the UK on 28 August.
The Surface Pro 3's kickstand is a major improvement over the last Surface Pro 2 iteration, which had only two angles to choose from. The Surface Pro 3's "full friction" kickstand allows the tablet to sit in almost any position and in our tests it rested well at any angle without slipping, even when applying pressure to the screen.
It does feel a little flimsy, however, and we feared a drop at an awkward angle could easily result in the Kickstand breaking off altogether.
The Surface Pro 3's 2160x1440 resolution HD display is the tablet's biggest overhaul since the previous iteration and is also now its nicest feature.
While it's around 1.5in bigger than the Surface Pro 2, it feels much bigger in the hand, probably due to its slimmer design. It's quite bright and the resolution doesn't lie - images displayed are finely detailed with no jagged text and with deep colour representation. It also proved very responsive to touch in our tests, in the same way the Surface Pro 2 did before. The updated screen is a welcome improvement over the Surface Pro 2's 1920x1080 resolution display.
We were impressed with the overall design and build of the Surface Pro 3. Its best feature is the display upgrade. This is the first time we've seen a Surface tablet with a design that actually makes us want to use it.
Next: Type Cover, kickstand and Surface Pen.
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