Microsoft Bills Surface Pro 3 as Business Laptop Replacement

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2014-05-20

NEWS ANALYSIS: On May 20, Microsoft surprised tech watchers by announcing the business-friendly Surface Pro 3—and little else. The rumored "Surface mini" failed to materialize. Instead, Microsoft went even bigger with a slate that the company is billing as a laptop replacement. The Surface Pro 3 sports a 12-inch screen, a noticeable step up from its predecessors' 10.6-inch displays. At a resolution of 2,160 by 1,440 pixels, and an aspect ratio of 3:2, it provides a generous canvas for business apps, Web browsing and videos, although users will now have to become accustomed to more prominent letterboxing. Under the hood, it packs a fourth-generation Intel Core processor (code-named "Haswell"). The company plans to further blur the lines between tablets and notebook PCs by offering the Surface Pro 3 with a choice of three processors (Core i3, i5 and i7), built-in storage capacity of up to 512GB and two RAM options, 4GB or 8GB. Although compact, it won't slip into a gadget bag unnoticed at 1.76 pounds. However, at 0.36 inches thick, the Surface Pro 3 is noticeably thinner than the Ultrabook used to write up this piece (a Dell XPS 13). Will business users bite? Read on for some first impressions.


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