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article imageMicrosoft unveils the Surface 3 — A low-cost Windows tablet

By James Walker     Mar 31, 2015 in Technology
As previously rumoured, Microsoft has today launched the Surface 3 as a low-cost addition to its line-up of Windows tablets. Sporting a 10.8-inch display and Intel Atom processing power, the new Surface is tasked with bringing entry-level consumers in.
The new Surface is a replacement for the Surface 2 that was discontinued several months ago. Whereas that device ran Windows RT and suffered because of it, the Surface 3 is running a full version of Windows 8.1. Moreover, it will be upgraded to Windows 10 later this year so purchasers will have nothing to worry about there and will be able to run any Windows desktop application on the Surface, like the Surface Pro 3.
The tablet has a 10.8-inch display with a 1920x1280 resolution giving it a 3:2 aspect ratio. The Surface 3 introduces a new three-stage kickstand instead of the adjustable kickstand of the Surface Pro 3, a sacrifice presumably made to save a bit on costs. It is still made from an attractive magnesium body though so should continue to feel like the premium product that other Surfaces have become renowned for.
The Surface 3 is compatible with the pen from the Surface Pro 3 but it doesn't come with one out of the box. Instead, this is a $49 accessory. The Type cover with a built-in keyboard has also been updated and released in new colours. This will be a $129 accessory.
Four models of the Surface 3 will be available. Starting at $499 for 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the top model costs $699 for 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and LTE.
The device is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor which Microsoft claims is the first usage of the processor. It is rated at 1.6GHz but can use Intel's Burst technology to turbo to 2.4GHz when temperatures allow. The Surface 3 has no fans though so it will be interesting to see how hot it gets.
By pricing the tablet lower, Microsoft is hoping to draw entry-level consumers to the Surface line who have been previously priced-out of the range by the premium Surface Pro 3 and its extortionate price tag. It will be available in 26 different countries from May with pre-orders starting from today.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Surface, surface pro
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