Tag Archives: Surface Pro

A Closer Look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a laplet – a portmanteau of, you guessed it, laptop and tablet. (It sounds almost as odious as the phablet, but that’s another thing altogether.) Anyway, what can you expect from this latest model of the Surface product line? Read on to know more about it.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Laplet - Windows 8.1 laptop and tablet PC

The Laplet: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

So what is a laplet anyway? Well, it’s defined mainly by its x86-architecture CPU, full-featured Windows 8.1 operating system, and input/output ports typically found in laptops. They’re different from your typical convertible or hybrid tablets, since they are designed as laptop or desktop replacements. Yes, the Surface Pro 3 can actually replace your current laptop and you probably won’t find it lacking.

It’s certainly not a pansy in the specs department. The entry level model boasts of a 1.5 GHz Intel Core i3 (4020Y) processor with Intel HD 4200 graphics. The other two models feature 2.9 GHz i5 (4300U) with HD 4400 and 3.3 GHz i7 (4650U) with HD 5000 Haswell CPUs and GPUs, respectively. All three sport a 12-inch ClearType Full HD Plus display with a 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution. The rest of the specs are equally impressive: 4 or 8 GB of RAM, and internal storage options of up to 512 GB. Other features include WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, a USB 3.0 port, a microSD card reader, a mini DisplayPort, and two 5 MP cameras. Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 3 ships with the Surface Pen too.

Check out Microsoft’s ad, taking a shot at a MacBook Air.

So how much?

The most basic model (i3, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage) will set you back US $799, while a midrange model (i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage) will cost you US $1299. If you want the high end model with an i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage, be prepared to shell out US $1949.

To get the full laplet experience, you may want to get the Type Cover keyboard or the recently released docking station. The Type Cover costs an additional US $130, while the docking station (featuring several additional ports and effectively turns the Surface Pro 3 into a desktop) costs $200.

What do you think? It’s a little too costly (okay, not just a little), but we hear you can totally get it for much cheaper… if you’re a student, that is.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2: Upgraded!

Microsoft’s premium Windows 8 offering is going to be refreshed soon, with the new model, the Surface Pro 2, featuring several upgrades from its predecessor. What should we expect from this tablet PC? Well, for starters, a faster processor and a longer battery life.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Windows Tablet PC

Surface Pro 2: Specs and Features

Since we’re talking about the Surface Pro here, it has better specs than its little brother the RT, eherm, the Surface 2. The Pro 2 packs a 4th generation Intel Core i5 (Haswell) processor, which is faster and more energy efficient than the Ivy Bridge CPU on the previous model. It comes in four versions: Models with 64 GB and 128 GB of storage are armed with 4 GB of RAM, while the 256 GB and 512 GB models have twice as much RAM with 8 GB. All of that is crammed behind a 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.

Other features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, 2 720p HD cameras, a microSDXC card slot, a mini DisplayPort, and a USB 3.0 port. Out of the box, the Surface 2 comes with all the necessary hardware, including a Surface Pen, and it comes loaded with Windows 8.1 Pro. According Microsoft’s website, the battery can last for up to 7 to 15 days on idle.

The Surface Pro 2 looks mostly like the Surface 2, but is a little thicker and heavier around the midsection, measuring at 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in and weighing at 2 lbs (900 grams).

Pricing and Availability

The Surface Pro 2 is now available for pre-order and is scheduled for release on October 22 for the more basic models. The other models, according to the site, will ship by October 29 and presumably arrive the next day, October 30. The most basic model, the 64 GB one, will set you back US $899, while the 128 GB model would cost you US$ 999. The higher end 256 GB and 512 GB models are priced at US $1299 and $1799, respectively.

It’s pricier than the Surface 2, that’s for sure, but considering you get more power (both performance and battery life-wise), a full version of Windows 8.1 Pro, and a digital pen, it seems like an acceptable deal. If you think the price is too steep though, you may want to look into getting the original version which was marked down some months ago.

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Surface Pro and RT to hit Europe and Asia in May and June

According to reports, Microsoft’s tablet PC will be hitting new territories in the coming months. The software giant will be expanding the Surface Pro’s availability to several countries while the Surface RT is scheduled to land on a few new markets as well.

Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 Tablet PC

Microsoft Surface Pro, RT Tablet PC

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a briefer on Microsoft’s tablet PC line. The Surface RT was first released in October last year. It packs a quad-core 1.3 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM Cortex-A9 processor and 2 GB of RAM. It’s available in two internal storage versions, 32 and 64 GB, and it comes with a microSDXC slot. As the name suggests, the Surface RT runs with a limited version of Windows 8.

The Surface Pro on the other hand, is a much more powerful device with its dual-core 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 (i5-3317U) processor and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. It was first made available in February this year, and is available in two storage versions, 64 and 128 GB. The Surface Pro runs with the full version of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Expanded Availability

Distribution issues have marred both tablet PC models’ appearance in other markets, though this time Microsoft seems intent on expanding availability. According to the Surface blog, the Surface Pro will be debuting in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom before May ends. It will hit Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand in June. At the moment, the Pro is only available in the US, Canada, and China.

As for the Surface RT’s availability, the Surface blog said:

Surface RT will launch in Malaysia on April 25th, in Mexico by the end of May and in Korea and Thailand in June.This expansion will result in Surface RT being available in 29 markets. For those that are counting, it’s already available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Is your country on the list? If so, would you buy Surface Pro or RT? Sound off in the comments below.


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