Microsoft Thinks There Aren’t Enough $500 Windows 8 Tablets in the World
They must think that, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about the Surface 3 tablet which launched today.
Microsoft’s new "entry-level" Surface 3 tablet runs a full Windows 8 on an Intel Cherry Trail CPU and costs more than other device makers' premium models ().
Basically a trimmed down Surface Pro 3, the Surface 3 has a 10.8″ display (1920 x 1280 screen resolution) and ships with 2GB RAM and 64GB storage for $499. You can double the RAM and storage for an additional $100, and if you don’t mind waiting Microsoft plans to release models with LTE at some point in the future.
The Surface 3 is smaller and less powerful than the Surface Pro 3, but it has many design details in common. The new tablet has the same 3 position kickstand as on its predeccessor, and it also has the same 3:2 screen geometry which MS first tried on the Surface Pro 3.
The Surface 3 supports Microsoft’s Type Cover keyboard covers, and the Surface Pen for pressure-sensitive writing or drawing, although of course existing covers won’t work with the new screen size.
It’s only launching today, so there aren’t any detailed hands on reports, but Engadget and TechCrunch each got to spend a few minutes with the Surface 3. They sounded impressed with the design, and so am I.
This tablet isn’t a hugely better deal that, but it does have points in its favor, including an optional pressure sensitive stylus and (I’m assuming) a bloatware-free version of Windows 8.1.
This is the first Surface tablet I could imagine getting. Unlike the Surface 2, the new tablet runs both Windows 8 software and legacy software. What’s more, this tablet has all the style of the Surface 3 Pro without the ridiculously large price tag.