Pre-Orders for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 Ongoing: Price Starts at $979

By @CBCondez on
A sign is highlighted on the wall during the launch event of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in New York May 20, 2014.
A sign is highlighted on the wall during the launch event of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in New York May 20, 2014. Microsoft Corp on Tuesday unveiled a larger but lighter version of its Surface Pro tablet as it ramps up efforts to make an impact on the mobile computing market and counter the popularity of Apple Inc's iPad and MacBook Air laptop. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Microsoft has not much luck in the past when it comes to mobile technology, but it has recently introduced Surface Pro 3, due to roll out in Australia and other 25 countries on August 28.  The new Surface is designed as a true hybrid - it is a laptop that runs on a Windows 8.1 Pro full version that conveniently can function without its keyboard when needed or as Microsoft puts it, "the tablet that can replace your laptop."

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Surface Pro 3 can be pitted against Apple's MacBook Air.  It has a 12-inch Clear-Type Full HD Plus LCD screen with a resolution of 2160x1440 although, based on the review, is not as bright as the iPad or as sharp as the Apple tablet with retina display.  The screen was altered to have the dimensions of an A4 paper, making it more convenient for reading and creating documents.

The Surface Pro 3 runs on a fourth generation Intel Core processor (i3, i5, i7), with options for either 4GB or 8GB memory.  It is equipped with connectivity features, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology, full-sized USB 3.0 and a microSD card reader.  What it does not have is an Ethernet slot, but one can purchase the Surface Ethernet Adapter (transfer rates of up to 1Gbps) as an accessory.

The hybrid is powerful enough to handle desktop programs, so users can install their favourite software such as the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.). 

Those working on documents or presentations most likely prefer using a keyboard. The five-millimetre thin Surface Pro Type Cover (sold separately) that functions both a keyboard and screen cover, latches onto the tablet via magnets and one can select the appropriate angle of the screen using the Kickstand. 

Additionally, the Surface Pen is an aluminum Bluetooth pen designed to feel like a real writing instrument, can be used for note-taking, signing electronic documents, doodling, drawing and the like.  According to the company, Surface Pro 3 has the Palm Block technology that let users rest their hand on the unit without leaving marks or traces.

Because of the relatively big screen and the stereo speakers with Dolby sound, users can use their machine for watching movies, listening to music and playing games.  The front- and rear-facing cameras, both at 5.0 megapixels, are great features for video calls on Skype or for taking photos and home movies.

Pre-orders for the Surface Pro 3 are now being accepted and its price tag starts at $979.

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