On Tuesday Microsoft unveiled the latest version of its Surface tablet called Surface Pro 3 that the Redmond based company hopes will replace laptops and better compete with Apple’s iPad and tablets running on Google’s vast Android operating system.
“So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that serves all purposes,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface, in a statement from New York.
“Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop — packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device. You’ll love being able to carry a single device for your next class, workday or weekend getaway knowing you have all the power you need” Panay added.
Starting at $799.00 with a 12” display, Surface Pro 3 has the power of a laptop in a lightweight, thinner, and more versatile form with a multi-position kickstand.
Weighing only 1.76lbs (800 grams) the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than Apple’s 13″ MacBook Air (2.96 pounds) and has a 12-inch Clear Type Full HD display, 4th-generation Intel® Core processor with up to 8 GB of RAM operating on Windows 8.1 Pro software.
Battery life can last up to 9 hours with web browsing.
The Surface Pro 3 has a 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5.0 megapixel front-facing camera. It also has stereo microphones and stereo speakers carrying Dolby sound.
The new premium Surface Pen comes with pressure sensitivity, enabling a more natural writing experience, allowing users to mark up documents, take notes in your own handwriting, and gather electronic signatures.
The Surface Pro 3 lacks 4G connectivity. It uses Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology.
Pre-orders of the Surface Pro 3 start on May 21st at the Microsoft Store as well as select third party retailers but it won’t ship until June 20th in the U.S. and Canada.
At the end of August, Surface Pro 3 and select new accessories will become available for purchase in 26 additional markets.
Microsoft’s slow transition to the growing world of tablet computing has come at a heavy price.
Microsoft has already lost over $ 1.2 billion on its Surface tablets and took a $ 900 million write down last year, mostly from a glut of its unsold Surface RT tablets.
In terms of capturing more tablet market share, Microsoft has some catching up to do.
Gartner reported that worldwide tablet sales grew 68 percent in 2013, with Android capturing 62 percent of the market followed by Apple at 36 percent and Microsoft trailing behind at only 2 percent.