Microsoft Announces the non-Pro Surface 3

Microsoft Announces the non-Pro Surface 3

Just a few days ago I asked: Would You Buy a non-Pro Surface Tablet? Many of you said you would, if the specs were there and the price was right.

Today Microsoft has officially announced the Surface 3. This non-Pro version of Microsoft's tablet is geared toward families and consumers, but given the improvements over even the Surface Pro 3 (except for the limited kickstand positions), some businesses might consider adopting this fanless device.

The specs:

  • Quad-core Intel Atom x7 (2MB Cache, 1.6GHz with Intel Burst technology up to 2.4GHz)

  • Full 64-bit Windows 8.1 (upgradeable to Windows 10 for free)

  • Thin (just 8.7 mm) and light (1.37 pounds or 622 grams)

  • 10.8-inch screen (3:2 aspect ratio)

  • Front- (3.5MP) and rear-facing (8MP) cameras (1080p video)

  • Battery life: 10 hours

  • Micro USB charging port (charge with the included lighter, thinner 13W Power Supply adapter, or using your smartphone's charger)

  • Kickstand (only 3 preset positions)

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)

  • Bluetooth 4.0

  • Full-size USB 3.0 port

  • Mini DisplayPort

  • microSD card reader

  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Magnetometer

  • Surface Pen with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity

  • One-year subscription to Office 365 Personal (including 1 TB OneDrive storage)

  • Option: mobile-broadband (4G LTE)

The price: 64GB / 2GB RAM / Wi-Fi = $499, 128GB / 4GB RAM / Wi-Fi = $599. Pricing for the 4G LTE models have not been set yet, but expect it to be at least $100 more. Microsoft has suggested that these models will be available through T-Mobile and Verizon later in the year.

You can pre-order today and through Microsoft Stores, microsoftstore.com and select retailers, and it will be on sale beginning May 5, with availability in 26 markets by May 7. Display units will be on-hand in Microsoft Stores starting April 1 so you can get a demo.

The Surface 3 will require new keyboard covers and accessories, which will be available when the new Surface 3 ships. A new Type Cover ($129), a Surface 3-specific docking station, a Surface 3 Screen Protector, and the Surface Pen ($49) sporting new colors (silver, black, blue and red) will be available. Unlike the Surface Pro 3, the pen is a separate purchase.

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