Microsoft is rethinking its tablet strategy with the Surface 3. The company has just unveiled its newest tablet, which targets consumers who are looking for less expensive tablets. Previous Surface tablets have been very expensive.
As expected, Microsoft is also dumping Windows RT.
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Details on the Surface 3
Mashable‘s Lance Ulanoff reports that the Surface 3 starts out at $499 and the first non-Pro tablet to run on an Intel processor. This marks an end to Microsoft’s experiment with ARM chips and Windows RT, which was essentially an obnoxious watered-down version of the Windows mobile operating system.
The Surface Pro targets consumers and actually shares some similarities with the Surface 2 even though it runs on Intel chips. It is slightly thinner and smaller than the Surface 2, coming in at 10.51 x 7.36 inches and 0.34 inches thick. The Surface 3 is also the lightest tablet sold by Microsoft at 1.37 pounds.
The tablet doesn’t have a fan and runs on Intel’s quad-core Atom X7 CPU, which is able to clock up to 2.4 GHz. It also targets consumers who are more cost-conscious and don’t mind giving up a bit of performance to be able to afford a tablet.
The Surface 3 also features an 8-megapixel camera, becoming the first tablet from Microsoft to offer a camera with that many pixels. There’s also a front-facing camera that’s 3.5 megapixels. In terms of battery life, it offers 10 hours of video playback.
The tablet will be available for purchase on May 5.
Details on the Surface Pro 3
Microsoft has been marketing the Surface as a replacement for laptops, but that strategy has ultimately failed. The company hopes this will change with the Surface Pro 3, the Surface 3’s big brother, however. Ulanoff describes the Surface Pro 3 as a “laptop in tablet’s clothing,” as it runs on Intel’s Core i5 or i7 chips and comes with the option of a keyboard.
The Surface Pro 3 is able to run Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop CS 5 just as well as a PC can. Microsoft management described the tablet as a “premium product at a premium price.” The Surface Pro 3 is priced at $928 for the entry level Core i3 model package. There’s also a Type Cover keyboard priced at $129.
Thus far, businesses have been more likely to pick up the Surface Pro 3 rather than consumers because it does everything a laptop can do but is more portable.