Microsoft’s New Surface 3 Tablet PC

Microsoft made a new announcement today, announcing the new Surface 3, a new, thinner, smaller, lighter, and slightly less powerful addition to the tablet-pc line. The idea of the device is a more economically friendly and sleeker machine for students, or the professional on the go.

The Surface 3 is more economical, with a price point starting at $499 for the 64GB model. Sporting a slightly smaller screen at 10.8 inches, and a battery life that claims 10 hours of video playback on a single charge. The tablet also runs Windows 8.1 that comes with a year subscription to Office 365 free of  charge.

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The 64 GB model comes with 2GB of RAM, but Microsoft claims you can double the RAM and HD storage for a mere $100 bucks. Another nice add-on is the 4G LTE which will cost another $100 dollars for wireless activity. Of course this doesn’t include the keyboard, which comes with a price of $129, but older keyboards for the Surface will still be useable. Experts believe this tablet is targeted towards a student audience, or the young professional on the go. The new models come in bright colors (bright tomato red, a dark burgundy, light blue, and purple). The models also come in classic slate gray and dark blue for the more serious professionals.

The Surface comes at a sizeable weight, at 1.4 lbs (.635kg) compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 which weighs 1.12lb (.510kg) and the Apple iPad Air at 1.03 and 1.05 lb for the Wi-Fi and 4G + Wi-Fi models (.469kb and .478kg) respectively. This may be a factor for people traveling with their device, but for others it won’t be an issue as the weight is relatively standard for a tablet PC of this capability.

The device is stated to have the ability to upgrade to windows 10 when it releases and also runs almost all windows programs. It also uses the same charger (a Micro USB) that every non-Apple mobile device uses. The 8-megapixel rear camera, and the 3.5 megapixel front camera are nice for capturing photos on the go, and can be shot in 1080 HD video. The trademark Surface pen is of course included and said to work on both the Surface Pro 3 and the new Surface 3. The pen can be used to write, capture screen shots, highlight text, and launch OneNote, among other applications.

Microsoft is now accepting pre-orders in a wide release. The product could help Microsoft increase unit sales in the current quarter.

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