Microsoft is expected to release several new Surface tablets on Tuesday, including an 8" Surface Mini and at least one new Surface Pro. A new leak today suggests that we will see not one but 3 new Surface Pro models later this week.
WPCentral is reporting this morning that they have an inside source which says that Microsoft will be unveiling at least three new Surface Pro 3 tablets at 5 different price points.. In addition to a model based on a Core-i3 chip, there will also be models based on the i5 and i7 chips.
- i3-4GB RAM-64GB - $799
- i5-4GB RAM-128GB - $999
- i5-8GB RAM-256GB - $1299
- i7-8GB RAM-256GB - $1549
- i7-8GB RAM-512GB - $1949
There is also some speculation that the Surface Pro 3 is going to be larger, possibly with a 12" screen. This would not be a bad idea; these tablets are explicitly intended as desktop replacements so it would make sense to give them something larger than a netbook-sized screen.
The Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8 on a Core-i5 chip and has a 10.6" screen. It is offered at four price points ranging from $899 to $1,799 depending on the amount of RAM (4GB or 8GB) and internal storage (64GB/128GB/256GB/512GB).
In a way, the new models (assuming this leak isn't fake) are only a slight differentiation from the Surface Pro 2; in addition to the new and slightly cheaper model, Microsoft is also unveiling a couple models with considerably more oomph (and rather high prices).
Is anyone planning to buy one?
I'm not; I would not buy a Windows 8 device if you put a gun to my head, so I was never in the market for one of these. But if I were in the market for a Win8 device I would definitely get one of the Surface Pro tablets over the many cheaper Win8 tablets on the market.
If you have been following my coverage of the Surface Pro rumors over the past few weeks (or my previous coverage of Microsoft's flagship tablet) you might recall that I recommended against buying a Surface pro tablet and wonder at my about face. But if you had read the past coverage, you would also have read the comments which changed my mind.
Over the past few weeks the Surface Pro tablets have been vigorously defended by their proponents. While they have not convinced me to get one myself, they have explained why they purchased one.
When i buy a tablet I look for an ancillary device to complement my laptop, but many of them bought a Windows 8 device as their main computer. In that situation it made more sense to get a tablet that is as powerful as a laptop.
A few minutes spent searching Amazon has shown me that most Win8 tablets are based on one of Intel's Atom CPUs. Those are decent-quality chips, but they are not powerful enough to meet my requirements for a work laptop. And that means that if I were getting a tablet as my main work machine I would not buy one which came with an Atom CPU.
By that standard there aren't many tablets which could completely replace a laptop. Sure, most of the tablet makers has one or more models, and for the most part they cost about as much as one of the Surface Pro tablets.
Which just goes to show that when it comes to price, performance, and mobility, you can have only two out of the three.