Microsoft Now Selling Surface Pro 3 with i3, i7 Processors

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Surface Computing, Panos Panay, announced on Friday that the Core i3 and Core i7 versions of the Surface Pro 3 are now available in the United States and Canada. These two configurations join the Core i5 model, which can be purchased at Microsoft Stores, Best Buy and other retailers and resellers.

"Surface Pro 3 is the first generation of Surface Pro for which we've offered this range of configurations," Panay said. "This is the tablet that can replace your laptop, and we know that laptops and tablets are used differently by different people. The new range of products accommodates this with a different processor, memory and storage of options and price points."

The Surface Pro 3 tablets include a 12-inch ClearType display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. Depending on the configuration, the tablet will have 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM, 64 GB to 512 GB of internal storage, Wireless AC or Wireless N connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and a microSD card slot for additional storage. The specifications also reveal a 5MP camera on the front and a 5MP camera on the back, USB 3.0 connectivity, DisplayPort, and support for a stylus.

Panay adds that the Core i3 version is perfect for students who take notes and do research on the Internet and won't necessarily be running demanding applications. However, he uses the Core i5 variant as his "daily machine," which has been on the market since May. He even states that the Surface Pro 3 outperformed the laptops he has used in the past, but doesn't provide any hardware details. As for the Surface with the zippy Core i7, he says it's the fastest Surface Pro 3 tablet to date.

"If you are the person who uses your device for complex tasks such as photo, video, or music editing, then a Core i7 Surface Pro 3 will be brilliant for you," he said. "It will keep up with you when you're working your hardest, whether that's in the office connected to multiple monitors and peripherals or traveling. It will save you the trouble of carrying a separate tablet when you want to read a magazine, watch a movie, or play a game."

The Core i3 model with 64 GB costs $799, the Core i5 with 128 GB is $999, the Core i5 with 256 GB costs $1,299, the Core i7 with 256 GB will run you $1,549, and the Core i7 with 512 GB is $1,949.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • pjmelect
    For the price I would expect an i7
  • hoofhearted
    Can't you get a Razer Edge with an i7 for about $900 with an nVidia GPU?
  • anthony8989
    You're essentially paying a little more than twice the price of a laptop with equal specs plus a dedicated GPU. A %200+ increase of price because it's easier to carry around ? I can't wrap my head around these units.

    Effectively losing serviceability and a dedicated GPU and incurring a higher cost .