Microsoft holds just a sliver of the worldwide tablet market. The company is hoping that its new Surface 3 can make the company a major player. Here's the marketing angle: It’s not just a tablet, it can replace your laptop too.
Selling points include:
--Big screen (12 inches, compared with old Surface’s 10.6)
--More pixels (2,160 by 1,440, up 50%)
--3:2 screen ratio (Ditching the 16:9 ratio so it works better when held vertically)
--Windows 8.1 Pro (runs same programs as PC laptop and desktop peers, including Apple iTunes and Adobe Photoshop.)
--4th generation Intel Core processors (same as on desktops and laptops.)
The device also boosts battery life by 10% over the previous generation, up to nine hours. The Surface Pro 3 carries an improved kickstand, allowing stand-up angles to 150 degrees, up from the Surface 2’s 22- and 55-degree angles.
The Surface Pro 3 is a bit big for a tablet, but much smaller than most laptops. The gadget weighs in at 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thick, 30% thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air.
Available Tuesday at 9 p.m. PDT on microsoftstore.com, the device goes on sale at Microsoft and Best Buy stores on Wednesday.
Prices start at $799 for an Intel Core i3 model with 64-gigabytes of storage and 4 GB of RAM. The device tops out at $1,949 for an Intel Core i7 model with 512 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. A Surface Pen stylus comes with all models; a new Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard will be sold separately for $129.99.
Microsoft first introduced the Surface in 2012. At the end of 2013, according to technology research firm Gartner Inc., Apple iOS devices held a 52.8% share of the worldwide tablet market, Android held 45.8% and Microsoft, 1%.