Nearly a year after the launch of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has announced the next model in its tablet lineup: the Surface 3. The new tablet is said to feature the same design and materials as the Pro 3, but at a price point that will be much more attractive to many consumers.
When the Surface 3 launches, it’ll cost just $499.
“It is thin (just 8.7 mm) and light (1.37 pounds or 622 grams) and has a 10.8-inch screen,” writes Microsoft’s Panos Panay on the Surface blog. “Compared to the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 it is slightly smaller and it feels great when you’re using it as a tablet.”
“The 3:2 aspect ratio that we first introduced on Surface Pro 3 is also used here, and, like its larger sibling, it feels natural whether you’re holding it in portrait mode for reading or writing a quick note with the pen or in landscape mode to watch a movie or play a game.”
The Surface 3 features a quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor, a front-facing 3.5-megapixel camera, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera, a 10 hour battery life and a micro USB charger. It also runs full 64-bit Windows 8.1, and will be upgradable to Windows 10 for free when the new operating system launches later this year.
Microsoft will release a Surface 3 (4G LTE) with mobile broadband functionality.
Every Surface 3 will also include a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, “including full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote as well as 1 TB of OneDrive storage.”
As for accessories, Surface 3 owners will be able to pick up a Type Cover, a Docking Station and the Surface Pen.
Preorders are beginning today at Microsoft Stores, microsoftstore.com and through select retailers. The Surface 3 will be on sale beginning May 5th with availability in 26 markets by May 7th. If you want to try before you buy, Microsoft plans on bringing demo units to Microsoft stores starting on April 1st.
Watch the first preview video for the new tablet below: