Microsoft: $799 Surface Pro 3 will render your laptop obsolete

Gunning for the ultraportables

Microsoft: $799 Surface Pro 3 will render your laptop obsolete

Microsoft has unveiled the third iteration of its Surface line of tablets at a press event in New York City.

Described by Surface VP Panos Panay as "the tablet that can replace your laptop", the new slate starts at $799 ( around £475) and weighs just under two pounds, or 800g, without an optional keyboard.

The Surface Pro 3 boasts a 12-inch screen and sports an upgraded kickstand that supports a 150 degree viewing angle. More impressively, it'll be powered by the "latest" Intel Core i7 processors.

Unfortunately, these processors still require a fan to cool them - but Microsoft's tweaked the Surface Pro 3's chassis to remove the ridge this necessitated in earlier models.

Aiming for the apple

While Panay said the Surface "can replace your laptop", an undercurrent of expected anti-Apple saber-rattling ran throughout the presentation.

In revealing the Surface Pro 3's weight, for example, Panay used the MacBook Air as a frame of consumer reference and weighed the two devices on a scale.

Surface Pro 3

The juxtaposition of the Surface Pro 3 against ultraportable laptops like the Air could help it find a market in the months ahead as the tablet has historically struggled against Apple's cheaper iPad and a fleet of inexpensive Android tablets.

The Intel Core i3 Surface Pro 3 starts at $799, while the Core i5 version starts at $999. The flagship Core i7 model starts at $1,549.

Pre-orders for the Surface Pro 3 begin on Wednesday 21 May and Surface Pro 3 Core i5 models will be available starting 20 June in the US and Canada.

Additional configurations should launch during the month of August, when Microsoft also plans to make the Surface Pro 3 available to 26 countries outside of the US.

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.