Microsoft Surface 3: Slimmest and Lightest Surface Yet

Microsoft announced today the Surface 3. Like the Surface Pro 3, it’s a tablet that can double up as a full-fledged laptop. Microsoft is bringing a full version of Windows 8.1 to its new Surface 3. It starts at a retail price of $748 and pre-orders would commence from 1 April.

The ability to run Windows apps and the versatile pen experience — great for taking notes or marking documents — make Surface 3 ideal for students, schools and anyone looking for a portable device to get things done. Coupled with the educational/academic discount, the Surface 3 might be a worthy laptop to consider for students and educators alike.

Hardware Bits

With a thickness of only 8.7mm, the Surface 3 is essentially a smaller, thinner, more affordable, lower-spec version of the Surface Pro 3. While it is the lightest Surface yet (at 620g), the iPad Air despite the smaller screen is a significant 30% lighter. The new tablet features a 10.8-inch 1920 x 1080 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. A 3:2 aspect ratio is more appropriate for document viewing, editing, a similar tablet experience to that of the iPad. Powered by the new quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor (Cherryview), Surface 3 is quick and responsive but designed to maximise efficiency with up to 10 hours of video-playback battery life. Geekbench scores are around 961 (single core) and 3271 (multi core). The i3 Surface Pro 3 is approximately double the single core performance. Stick to the i5 / i7 Surface Pro 3 if you need it to run computationally intensive applications such as for video editing.

The other hardware bits are stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound, as well as a magnesium design finish. The Surface 3 now sports a three-position kickstand, which allows it flexibility in using the Surface 3 on a desk, sitting on a couch or just holding it in your hands. This is a different implementation as compared to the adjustable kickstand from the Surface Pro 3.

Surface 3 - kickstand positions (Large)

Free upgrade to Windows 10

The Surface 3 ships with full Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when available. They also come complete with a one-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneDrive cloud storage.

Surface 3 Accessories

In Singapore, the Surface 3 Type Cover is available in bright blue, red and black, and features an improved trackpad and keyset for fast, accurate typing, alongside four Surface Pen colors — silver, black, blue and red. It’s the same pen / stylus found on the Surface Pro 3, and while that comes packaged with the Surface Pro 3. It is an additional accessory for the Surface 3.

The Surface 3 Docking Station lets people easily connect to an external monitor and all their desktop devices, and Surface 3’s full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, microSD™ card reader and Micro USB charging port make it compatible with the Surface Pro line of adapters and ready for quick and easy connections to a variety of accessories.

Pre-order and availability

Surface 3 and accessories will be available for pre-order starting April 1 through Microsoft Online Store. Select retailers including Challenger, Harvey Norman and Newstead will also begin pre-orders in April. Commercial customers should contact their authorised reseller for pre-order information.

The actual units would be available from May 5. Starting then, customers can begin purchasing Surface 3, Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector.

Surface 3 will be available in 25 additional markets at launch, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

More information on Surface can be found at http://surface.com/sg

Local pricing, availability and promotions for Surface 3

Pre-order availability Available for pre-order at Microsoft Online Store from 1 April 2015.

Pre-order at authorized retailers Challenger, Newstead, and Harvey Norman begins in April 2015.

Retail availability 5 May 2015
Surface 3 SRP with GST
2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage $748.00
4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage $898.00
Accessories SRP with GST
Surface Pen $73.00
Surface 3 Type Cover $199.00
Surface 3 Screen Protector $73.00
Surface 3 Docking Station $288.00
Surface 3 Power Supply $59.00
Education offer Eligible students, faculty and staff from certified MOE institutions will receive a 10% discount on Surface devices and accessories through the Microsoft Online Store (http://www.microsoftstore.com/mssg/en-sg/store/student).

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.51 x 7.36 x 0.34 inches (267 x 187 x 8.7 millimeters)
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds (622 grams)
  • 64 GB, 128 GB8
  • Quad-core Intel Atom Z8700 Processor (2MB Cache, 1.6 GHz with Intel Burst technology up to 2.4 GHz)
  • Full-size USB 3.0
  • Mini Display Port
  • MicroSD Reader
  • Micro USB port (charging and USB 2.0 data)
  • 3.5mm Headset
  • Cover Port
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer
  • Digital compass

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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