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Microsoft announces 12-inch Surface Pro 3, 'The tablet that can replace your laptop'

Brad Chacos | May 21, 2014
The 12-inch Surface Pro 3 embraces the Surface line's Ultrabook-esque roots more than ever before.

Clicking a button on the top of the Surface Pro 3 pen opens OneNote at once, even if the device is powered off. And as you jot down your notes, clicking the button again instantaneously saves your note to the cloud, where it will show up on all your devices with OneNote installed-yes, even Apple devices

If your camera is open, double-clicking on the pen's button will capture the image in OneNote, where you can mark it up and save it to the cloud. 


Microsoft also announced new accessories for the Surface Pro 3, including a docking station and redesigned Type Covers. The new Surface Pro 3 Type Cover includes a redesigned trackpad that's 68 percent larger with 70 percent reduced friction-Panay admitted the Surface Pro 2's wasn't very well-received-and a new hinged cover that magnetically seals to the screen, to allow the cover to adjust to whatever angle you position the tablet using the full friction kickstand.

new cover hinge

Sure, 12-inches is kind of an awkward size for a tablet ostensibly designed for portability, but Panay emphasized that the Surface Pro 3 was designed to bring you tablet portability and laptop-like productivity, all in one device, citing a statistic that claims 96 percent of all iPad users also own a laptop. 

Introducing a larger Surface makes sense given the Surface lineup's penchant for productivity, as it gives Windows desktop programs and Snapped Windows Store apps room to breathe. Paired with a Touch Cover, the original Surface Pro tablets already mimed a miniature Ultrabook-the Surface Pro 3 just embraces the heritage all the more, while still staying slim and allowing for keyboardless use.

"Can we design and build a device that enables any individual to be able to read and to be able to create and write?" Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pondered during the event's introduction. "Allows you to watch a movie and make a movie; enjoy art and create art? That was the motivation for the Surface line."

That guiding vision, one that Microsoft's tablets have strived for from their very introduction, looks like it's starting to pay dividends. The Surface Pro 3 is a pretty damned appealing piece of hardware at first glance.

Prices start at $799, with pre-orders opening tomorrow, May 21. The Surface Pro 3 will hit the streets on on June 20.


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