Smaller, lower-priced Microsoft Surface 3 tablet coming in May

The new tablet has a 10.8in screen and runs the latest Intel Atom CPU

Microsoft has announced that its Surface 3 tablet will be available to purchase in stores from 5 May 2015 and on pre-order from today. Its price tag is $699 for the entry level model, and it’s a tablet that’s designed to appeal to those of you who want a smaller (and of course, cheaper) alternative to the Surface Pro. It runs a full, 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.

The Surface 3 has a screen size of 10.8-inches and features a thickness just shy of 9mm. On the inside, it includes an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor (the fastest Atom of the moment), rather than the more powerful Core i series CPU that can be found in the Pro.

While the Atom CPU has four cores and provides enough grunt for typical Web and office document tasks, the Surface Pro 3 is still the one to go for if image editing and extensive pen input tasks need to be perform. The main benefit of the Atom CPU is that it extends the life of the battery, with Microsoft claiming a life of 10 hours with this model. Of course, that will depend on an individual user’s habits and system settings. Microsoft’s claim is for video playback.

While the focus of the product is firmly tablet, like the Pro version of the Surface, this also has a keyboard Type Cover option available that will allow it to be used as a laptop replacement for long sessions of typing. It’s a keyboard cover that comes in six colours, which is important considering Microsoft’s target for this product is largely the younger generation of users, in addition to businesses after inexpensive tablet-capable systems or companion devices.

The Type Cover has the extra fold in it that allows it to offer an angled typing experience. Meanwhile, the tablet’s kickstand has three pre-set positions that offer narrow, intermediate, and wide positions. Users wanting to use the Surface 3 in an office can opt for the Docking Station, which allows the tablet to be used as a workstation of sorts.

A resolution of 1920x1080 gives the Surface 3 plenty of screen real estate for apps and photos, and makes it a suitable product for kicking back to watch a video now and then. Pen input is supported on the touchscreen, with 256 levels of sensitivity. The pen is an optional accessory available in three colours: blue, red, and silver.

Internal storage is 64GB or 128GB, with 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and there is an assortment of ports readily available along the sides: full-sized USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, headset, micro-USB (for charging and data), and a microSD card reader. Wireless networking is taken care of by an 802.11ac module, there is Bluetooth 4.0, and Microsoft said that a 4G-ready Surface 3 with a nano-SIM slot will be available later in the year.

Stereo speakers, a built-in microphone, and front and rear cameras are also installed (3.5-megapixel for the front and 8-megapixel with auto-focus for the rear).

It will be equipped with a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote), and 1TB worth of OneDrive storage. The Surface 3 will also get a free upgrade to Windows 10 once that operating system is released.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosofttabletsintelWindows 8.1

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?