The third generation of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Surface 3 tablet, unveiled today by the company, may be its best as the slate finally ships with a full version of Windows.
Instead of shipping with a Windows RT like its predecessors, the Surface 3 ships with Windows 8.1. The base model of the Surface 3 is powered by an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Atom x7 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a front-facing 3.5-megapixel camera, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera, and a micro USB charger. Microsoft says that the battery will last 10 hours under normal conditions.
“Surface 3 brings what customers love about Surface Pro 3 to more people, delivering the premium design and productivity of Surface in a more affordable device,” Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Surface, said in a blog post. “We’ve taken everything we learned making Surface Pro 3 and poured that innovation into this newest Surface.
The Surface 3 will also have a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it becomes available.
Each Surface 3 will come with a one year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which includes full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote as well as 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
The Surface 3 is available for pre-order today via the Microsoft store and select Microsoft retail outlets. The tablet will ship on May 7.
Pricing for the Surface 3 starts at $499 with the LTE version costing $100 more.
Microsoft finally gets it right
Microsoft’s first Surface tablet was an unmitigated disaster. Microsoft ended up taking a $900 million writedown on the first tablet, as it couldn’t convince consumers to purchase them. Consumers were skeptical of the device, as Windows RT wasn’t compatible with most regular Windows apps. In addition, Windows on tablets wasn’t just as competitive as Android and iOS. It lacked the intuitive interface both of the other platforms have.
Progressively the Surface tablets have been getting better. The Surface 2 righted many of the wrongs of the first Surface, and the third Surface looks as if it will continue this trend.