Microsoft announced the Surface 3 – a lighter and cheaper counterpart of its Surface pro 3 on Tuesday. Unlike other non-pro Surface variants, this one will be running full blown version of Windows 8.1 not a trimmed down one. Starting at $499 price point, Microsoft has put the device squarely in competition with Apple’s iPad Air 2 that also starts at $499.
Microsoft Surface 3 comes packed with Intel Atom X7 quad-core 1.6Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, 1080P HD display, USB 3.0 port, Mini Display Port, MicroSD card slot, cover port, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB port. With $499 you can get the 2GB RAM, and 64GB storage model, and additional $100 can buy you Surface 3 with 4GB of RAM and 128 storage capacity.
The device also comes with a three-position kickstand that allows users to use it either on a desk and even on the lap. A full blown Windows 8.1 means that users will be able to use desktop application on Surface 3 tablet without a problem.
Microsoft touts the 10 hours of battery life, kickstand, Surface Pen, bright detachable keyboard and full blown Windows 8.1 as a reason to use Surface three as both a tablet and laptop. The device also comes with one year subscription of Office 365, giving users access to online storage, Skype calls, and programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Users wll also get free Windows 10 upgrade once it’s released.
While the Surface 3 is heavier and thicker than the iPad Air 2, a full blown version of Windows is going to be more useful to users. With iPad sales slowing down, now is a good time for companies like Microsoft to take some of the tablet market share with Surface 3.
You can pre-order Surface 3 now and it’s shipment begin May 5th in the United States.