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Surface 3 Pro Hits Retail Availability in USA, Canada

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Microsoft in May introduced us to a brand new version of its Surface Pro convertible. Though the Surface Pro 2 is not even a year old (it came out in October), Microsoft’s newest model features several significant upgrades over the last generation of Surface Pro and today, the company is celebrating the official launch of the Surface Pro 3.

Starting Friday, June 20, the Surface Pro 3 is available at brick and mortar retailers and online across the United States and Canada. While Microsoft has several configurations of the Surface Pro 3, only the Core i5 version is actually shipping right away. When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3, it said that the Core i3 and Core i7 versions would come in Augsut. Redmond confirmed today that these versions would ship August 1 in the US and Canada, though it's worth noting that Best Buy's US and Canadian sites have the Core i7 and Core i3 versions down for an August 31 ship date. The docking station is set to come out out on August 15. All three models and select related accessories will be available in 26 more markets by the end of the year.

 

If you’ve already pre-ordered the Surface Pro 3 or plan on picking one up today, you’ll also need to know that Microsoft has just released the first firmware updates for the device. Users can manually install the tablet update via the Settings menu (accessed by a swipe in from the right). The Surface Pen got an upgrade on June 10 which enables the double click for instant screen grabs feature. You’ll need to install the June 10 Windows Update and install OneNote (from the Windows Store) to enable this new feature.

 

The model shipping today packs Intel’s Core i5-4300U CPU (3 MB cache, up to 2.9 GHz) and is available with either 128 GB or 256 GB of storage. The former packs 4 GB of RAM while the latter squeezes in 8 GB of RAM. Usable storage is 96 GB on the 128 GB model and 211 GB on the 256 GB. As with all models of Surface Pro 3, the Core i5 version boasts a 12-inch ClearType Full HD Plus display with a 2160 x 1440 resolution (3:2 aspect ratio) and 10-point multi-touch. The device thinner than ever, weighs less than a MacBook Air, and features an improved kickstand with a wider range of motion. The redesigned TypeCover features an improved clickable trackpad that’s 68 percent larger and comes with improved precision, and reduced drag.

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  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , June 20, 2014 10:21 AM
    My pre-order is out for delivery. I'm looking forward to it. Now that my computer habits aren't very demanding (don't really play games anymore, rarely transcode movies etc.), all of my uses are easily satisfied by the SP3. The portability is a great plus, I'm really looking forward to a lower power consumption device, and a cleaner-looking desk space. :) 
  • 7 Hide
    kawininjazx , June 20, 2014 12:09 PM
    Quote:
    It hard to see this being anything but another disappointment. It is saddled with one huge handicap successful tablets don't have, namely Windows 8.1 O/S. Now if the tablet ran iO/S or android it will be much much more successful.


    This is the best deal out there, it's an awesome portable laptop and tablet in one. It has the full desktop to run all your windows programs and the start screen to act as your tablet. This is a great device.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    teh_chem , June 20, 2014 1:24 PM
    Quote:
    It hard to see this being anything but another disappointment. It is saddled with one huge handicap successful tablets don't have, namely Windows 8.1 O/S. Now if the tablet ran iO/S or android it will be much much more successful.


    Curious; what's the handicap issue with Windows 8.1?
  • 5 Hide
    deftonian , June 20, 2014 1:47 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    It hard to see this being anything but another disappointment. It is saddled with one huge handicap successful tablets don't have, namely Windows 8.1 O/S. Now if the tablet ran iO/S or android it will be much much more successful.


    Curious; what's the handicap issue with Windows 8.1?

    I think the handicap he is referring to is his brain. Obviously he's not intuitive enough to learn the simplistic use of Win 8.1 on a touch screen.
  • 1 Hide
    mitchellvii , June 20, 2014 2:29 PM
    Let me make this simple for everyone. If what this hybrid does is what you need done, you are going to love it. Comparing this to an iPad which has a completely different purpose is just silly. Comparing it to a MacBook Air is just as silly as the Air has NO PEN, NO DETACHABLE KEYBOARD AND TERRIBLE RESOLUTION.

    What the SP3 offers is ultimate flexibility for power users at a pretty fair ultrabook price. IMHO, Corporate Clients will eat this up. I can see entire hospitals buying 100's each for their staff.

    SP3 is going to be a major win for MS despite the protestations of a bunch of lib journalists who can't get their heads out of Steve Jobs backside. Owning Apple doesn't make you cool, it just makes you limited.
  • 0 Hide
    littleleo , June 20, 2014 3:53 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    It hard to see this being anything but another disappointment. It is saddled with one huge handicap successful tablets don't have, namely Windows 8.1 O/S. Now if the tablet ran iO/S or android it will be much much more successful.


    Curious; what's the handicap issue with Windows 8.1?


    Customers hate it, I sell Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and 98% of all OS sales are Windows 7, the rest are for Windows 8 & 8.1. I'm talking about since the release of Windows 8. Windows 8.1 sells for the same price as Windows 7 so it's not a price issue. Even resellers that like Windows 8.1 won't order the O/S or because they don't think it will sell with their clients. The only luck has been with notebooks offering huge rebates and then the moment the rebate ends so does the sales on the units. Windows 8, 8.1 is still not moving and since this tablet is a windows tablet using Windows 8.1 it is most likely doomed to poor sales like the last 2 models. Unfortunately after the 3 to 5 of you get yours the rest will likely pass on it and get android models or iPads. Of course MS mainly selling this out of their own stores instead of the channel, so they have a lot less reps pushing it to resellers but from what I've seen with their programs and their new software like office 365 they want to cut out the resellers and sell direct to the public anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , June 20, 2014 4:24 PM
    Quote:


    Customers hate it, I sell Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and 98% of all OS sales are Windows 7, the rest are for Windows 8 & 8.1. I'm talking about since the release of Windows 8. Windows 8.1 sells for the same price as Windows 7 so it's not a price issue. Even resellers that like Windows 8.1 won't order the O/S or because they don't think it will sell with their clients. The only luck has been with notebooks offering huge rebates and then the moment the rebate ends so does the sales on the units. Windows 8, 8.1 is still not moving and since this tablet is a windows tablet using Windows 8.1 it is most likely doomed to poor sales like the last 2 models. Unfortunately after the 3 to 5 of you get yours the rest will likely pass on it and get android models or iPads. Of course MS mainly selling this out of their own stores instead of the channel, so they have a lot less reps pushing it to resellers but from what I've seen with their programs and their new software like office 365 they want to cut out the resellers and sell direct to the public anyway.


    Android tablets and iPads are completely different devices with completely different consumer audiences than the surface pro devices. If an android tablet or iPad suits someone's purpose, then they are not the target audience of a surface pro.

    When you say that you sell windows, in what way does that materialize? In the sale of windows installation media, or the sale of computers with the OS installed? If it's devices, are they touchscreen and/or tablets? Or traditional desktops and laptops?

    Windows 8 is not going to be the the reason the surface pro series sells well or doesn't sell well. The only problem with windows 8 at its onset was that the user was thrown into a tiles interface designed for a touch-oriented input style--which was a very dumb move by MS, and that they didn't have the traditional desktop and start menu--which, frankly, I see no reason why MS went to such lengths to exclude them if users so desired. Well, the desktop is there, and the start menu can be easily added with many 3rd party add-ons in one step. So those objections are really very flimsy at best.

    Is windows 8 UI a good UI for non-touch interfaces? Not really. But that doesn't matter; tablets are touch devices with touch interfaces, and windows 8 works far better with them, so I don't understand how you make the connection between people hating windows 8 and the surface pro series doing poorly. Luddites are probably not going to be buying these devices in the first place, so their hatred of windows 8 doesn't make a difference. Likewise, the target audience of these devices aren't the average consumer either. So you can't make a logical argument saying that the average consumer won't want to buy one--of course they won't. But it doesn't mean that they can't see some amount of success.

    The surface pro 3 is not an ipad or android tablet competitor. In a similar way that it shouldn't be seen as a macbook air competitor. It does have one thing that very few offerings do--delivering both a tablet and a laptop in a single package, so people who would normally be traveling around with both have an all-in-one should they desire. The poster above you said it quite well.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , June 20, 2014 8:37 PM
    But, can it play Crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    flemeister , June 21, 2014 4:54 AM
    Quote:
    But, can it play Crysis?

    Yes, well Crysis Warhead at least. Plays on the SP2 at 1920x1080 with minimum settings with 20 to 30FPS. =)
  • 0 Hide
    Steve Simons , June 21, 2014 5:45 AM
    I love my SP2 and am only disappointed that I bought mine just before the SP3 announcement (I would have waited to buy the new one). I'm a teacher, and unlike other tablets, I'm not beholden to running everything as an app. I can run full versions of office, comic life (for which there is no app equivalent), and our interactive white board software. It runs java and flash and is completely compatible with our grading system because it's not running some pared down OS. So, in short, it does everything that a full laptop or desktop does for me but at less than 2 pounds. Add to that a start up time of less than 8 seconds and a shut down time of less than 5 seconds, and you've got a winner in my book.

    I own 2 iPads, a macbook pro, a desktop, a netbook (which collects dust), an iphone, and my wife also has a work laptop and an android phone. For what we need the SP2 is the best out of all of them, and the iphone is #2.
  • 0 Hide
    urbanman2004 , June 23, 2014 3:38 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    But, can it play Crysis?

    Yes, well Crysis Warhead at least. Plays on the SP2 at 1920x1080 with minimum settings with 20 to 30FPS. =)

    I think he was joking. Of course it can play Crysis. I have laptop w/ a GTS350M which played Crysis/WARHEAD no problem. Now Crysis 2 or 3 would be a different story
  • 0 Hide
    Phillip Wager , June 24, 2014 1:45 AM
    with the limited functionality of the tablet why would you purchase the core i5 or i7 version over the core i3 version? what does the more processor muscle let you do faster that you would use this thing for?
  • 0 Hide
    MartinCook , June 24, 2014 5:41 AM
    thanks for the review. i think i might purchase this item and i got the information i need.
  • 0 Hide
    littleleo , June 30, 2014 4:50 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:


    Customers hate it, I sell Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and 98% of all OS sales are Windows 7, the rest are for Windows 8 & 8.1. I'm talking about since the release of Windows 8. Windows 8.1 sells for the same price as Windows 7 so it's not a price issue. Even resellers that like Windows 8.1 won't order the O/S or because they don't think it will sell with their clients. The only luck has been with notebooks offering huge rebates and then the moment the rebate ends so does the sales on the units. Windows 8, 8.1 is still not moving and since this tablet is a windows tablet using Windows 8.1 it is most likely doomed to poor sales like the last 2 models. Unfortunately after the 3 to 5 of you get yours the rest will likely pass on it and get android models or iPads. Of course MS mainly selling this out of their own stores instead of the channel, so they have a lot less reps pushing it to resellers but from what I've seen with their programs and their new software like office 365 they want to cut out the resellers and sell direct to the public anyway.


    Android tablets and iPads are completely different devices with completely different consumer audiences than the surface pro devices. If an android tablet or iPad suits someone's purpose, then they are not the target audience of a surface pro.

    When you say that you sell windows, in what way does that materialize? In the sale of windows installation media, or the sale of computers with the OS installed? If it's devices, are they touchscreen and/or tablets? Or traditional desktops and laptops?

    Windows 8 is not going to be the the reason the surface pro series sells well or doesn't sell well. The only problem with windows 8 at its onset was that the user was thrown into a tiles interface designed for a touch-oriented input style--which was a very dumb move by MS, and that they didn't have the traditional desktop and start menu--which, frankly, I see no reason why MS went to such lengths to exclude them if users so desired. Well, the desktop is there, and the start menu can be easily added with many 3rd party add-ons in one step. So those objections are really very flimsy at best.

    Is windows 8 UI a good UI for non-touch interfaces? Not really. But that doesn't matter; tablets are touch devices with touch interfaces, and windows 8 works far better with them, so I don't understand how you make the connection between people hating windows 8 and the surface pro series doing poorly. Luddites are probably not going to be buying these devices in the first place, so their hatred of windows 8 doesn't make a difference. Likewise, the target audience of these devices aren't the average consumer either. So you can't make a logical argument saying that the average consumer won't want to buy one--of course they won't. But it doesn't mean that they can't see some amount of success.

    The surface pro 3 is not an ipad or android tablet competitor. In a similar way that it shouldn't be seen as a macbook air competitor. It does have one thing that very few offerings do--delivering both a tablet and a laptop in a single package, so people who would normally be traveling around with both have an all-in-one should they desire. The poster above you said it quite well.



    I offer Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 just the O/S as well as notebooks desktops and tablets with all different O/S including all of the MS versions. So, I see 1st hand and I talk daily to computer resellers, consultants, and retail stores all over the country. So when they all tell me they don't want to stock Windows 8.1 devices like Notebooks and tablets & desktops or the Windows 8.1 O/S because they don't think they will sell. That tells me the Windows 8-8.1 is a complete buzz kill. There are some that will like it but the ratio is over 90% prefer Windows 7 and maybe 5% like Windows 8.1 the rest are now trying other options because of how much they hate Windows 8-8.1.

    So I disagree with your assessment Windows 8.1 can definitely cause this device to fail. Plus the device is poorly defined its not really a tablet and its not really a notebook. It is more then what people need in a Tablet and not as comfortable to notebooks users. Instead selling it through the channel and have distys educate and help push the product through their resellers they are trying to have it sold directly to the public by sales people without training who are making minimum wage, yeah I think this is going to fail. MS is making every possible mistake to ensure it fails.

    I have several customers right now getting ready to purchase tablets and notebooks and none, not 1 would even consider the Surface Pro 3. I've asked them what they have heard about it and how they feel about it. Since it is a Tablet is is measured against other tablets 1st before its compared against the notebooks. None were interested in offering it to their clients as a option. I'm sure there are some that are looking forward to trying it unfortunately the vast majority in the market for a tablet or notebook will have to decide it it is worth taking the plunge and so far I'm not optimistic.

    Today most computer resellers are dealing with an older customer base they want something easy to learn and use and that is not what Windows 8-8.1 devices offer. Some may welcome a computer hybrids but most of those are mainly college kids who are still looking for jobs and can't afford it. Most are already using more popular tablets and notebooks anyway.