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.