Microsoft’s low cost new tablet Surface 3 has been announced today for a price of $499 and it can also be used a laptop.

Microsoft announced the Surface 3 which is a new edition to the Surface series which falls between a tablet and laptop. The new Surface 3 is ready for pre order from today and it will be shipped from 5th May 2015 in U.S. and Canada and internationally it will be available since 7th May.

Quick features and technical specs of the new Surface 3:

  • In comparison to the Surface Pro 3 the new Surface 3 is thinner with 8.7 mm thickness, smaller, lighter weighing 622 grams and less-powerful and available in the same silver magnesium casing.
  • Price of Surface 3 is also less and it is available for $499 which includes Surface 3 with 64GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM however this does not include the accessories. Users will have to pay additional $129 for Surface 3-designed Type Cover and Microsoft has a variety of colors for the covers which includes blue, red, silver and black. Also by paying an additional $100 users can double the storage capacity and the RAM.
  • At a glance the Surface series look alike however the display screen is now 10.8 inches giving a 3:2 ratio. In addition the Surface 3’s Type Cover lacks the bezel and its more narrower now also the keys have been stretched to the end of the hardware just like the new Macbook keyboard.
  • Microsoft has added a three stage adjustable kick stand to its screen however this stand does not help if user wants to adjust the screen in case there is the glare issue or if users wants to set the screen at some comfortable level.
  • Microsoft will also provide Stylus which is its selling point and it was available in the Surface Pro 3 as well. The Stylus is a pen which activates OneNote just by a click and it is available in a variety of colors blue, red, silver and black. Users would need to churn out additional  $49.99 to avail this pen.
  • USB port: The Surface 3 has a Micro USB charging port hence users can use their Android or Windows Phone chargers to charge their Surface 3. Microsoft has not yet opted for USB Type-C.
  • Connectivity: In addition  Microsoft is also providing a full-size USB port, microSD reader and a mini DisplayPort. Microsoft is also planning to ship its LTE version which will be available at a price of $599 with additional support for the nano SIM cards.
  • Microsoft will provide the Surface 3 as well as its Surface 3 LTE versions with Windows 8.1 which can be upgraded to the Windows 10 when it will be available. Also it will be pre loaded with one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal that would include full Office apps and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
  • It seems Microsoft has designed the new Surface 3 with the students in their mind because with its 2GB base it will not be possible to play the Steam games on this tablet also editing work would be a bit difficult on this tablet as in Photoshop or any video editing apps. Basically the Surface 3 is good for tasks like surfing the web and document edition.
  • Surface 3 has the Intel’s Atom as its processor instead of earlier Nvidia’s Tegra processor
  • Camera: Surface 3 has a front 3.5 MP and rear facing 8 MP camera and that both capture 1080p video. Surface 3 has the auto focus feature and it can be used for capturing images of documents, barcodes etc.

With all the accessories the total cost of the Surface 3 would be somewhere $680 hence when compared to the 64GB iPad Air 2, that’s only an extra $80 so it has been priced competitively. With all its features seems good buy for the students who can afford a low cost and a much sleek designed tablet Surface 3 that can be used as a laptop.

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