surface pro

Just seven months after the Surface Pro 2 was released, Microsoft has officially announced the Surface Pro 3. The company is taking an aggressive stance against critics who have slammed the device for not being comparable to a traditional laptop with a new slogan: “Meet the tablet that can replace your laptop.”

The new Surface Pro 3 is a totally new design from its predecessors. Most notably, the 10-inch, 1080p panel has been upgraded to a 12-inch, 1440p screen. That works out to a PPI of 216, versus the 1080p panel’s 220, but it’s still impressive, nonetheless.

Another radical – and much needed – design change is in the kickstand, which now adjusts to more than three settings. One of the biggest complaints against earlier Surface Pros was its predetermined kickstand angles that didn’t work for everyone. Microsoft has fixed that problem with the new multi-position kickstand.

Battery life has also been upgraded to nine hours on a single charge.

Interestingly, Microsoft has chosen to forego Intel’s upcoming Broadwell chips: the Surface Pro 3 is powered by i3, i5, or i7 Haswell chips, depending on which model you choose. You can also customize the Surface Pro 3’s storage, starting at 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM and going all the way up to 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

I’m slightly surprised that Microsoft has released the Surface Pro 2’s successor so early, especially considering that Broadwell is shooting for a release around the holiday season. Still, newly-appointed CEO Satya Nadella and his team have addressed the most pressing issues that have kept consumers away from the Surface Pro. It’ll be interesting to see if a bigger screen, longer battery life, and cheaper starting price of $799 can draw customers in.

What do you think of the new Surface Pro?

[Microsoft via PCMag]