Microsoft is holding their press event for the Surface tablet today, and it looks like many of the rumors circulating over the past couple weeks have come true (just not the rumors about the 8" Surface Mini).
According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 has the same dual touchscreen tech found on previous models, but the high end models are around 10% faster than the Surface Pro 2, offers longer battery life, and offer 6% more screen real estate than the Macbook Air. This tablet is intended to replace your laptop, which is exactly the same goal that Microsoft had for the previous models (and look how well that turned out).
The Surface Pro 3 measures a mere 9.1mm thin and weighs in at 800 grams, making it thinner and lighter than its predecessor. The Pro 3 is even lighter than the 13" Macbook Air, as MS pointed out at the press event:
In addition to the new tablet, Microsoft is launching a new Typecover that includes a larger trackpad which is 68% larger and slicker.The new cover attach differently than the ones that came before. It still snaps into the bottom, but then it also folds up a little at the hinge.
There's also a new desktop docking station which offers 4k video output as well as a plethora of ports.
All in all, Microsoft has made a number of changes that improve the tablet and bring it closer to being a true laptop replacement; if only they had stopped there.
Microsoft is so eager to pitch the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop replacement that they went a step too far and tried to convince us that it could be used on our laps. This strikes me as a recipe for disaster:
If you use your Surface Pro 3 like this, don't be surprised if it falls and breaks. Unlike a laptop, which has most of its weight in the base, the Surface pro 3 has all of its weight behind the screen. The mildest bump could send it sliding to the floor, resulting in a loud and expensive crunchy noise.
There's also a chance that the tablet will jump to its death willingly, just to escape the ignominy of having a kickstand and a typecover.
According to Sunday's rumors, the more expensive models will retail for $1,549 (Core-i7 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage) and $1,949 Core-i7 chip, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage).
And according to what Microsoft is saying at the press event, the cheapest model will sport a Core-i3 chip and cost $800 when it goes on sale tomorrow. This tablet is suppressed to be up for pre-order now, but I can't see any sign of it on the Microsoft website (yet).