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We are at the Microsoft Surface event in NYC today where Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Pro 3, a 12-inch touch computer that is powerful, much thinner than Surface Pro 2 (and Surface Pro), and the best PC device for hand-writing.

From the outside, the design change is quite obvious, the Surface Pro 3 addresses one of the biggest concern with Surface Pro 2: the thinness. At 9.1mm thick, it should truly feel like a tablet and not a tiny laptop. And with a 12” display, it’s clear that it can truly provide the readability of a small laptop. This is a big deal because Windows desktop applications were never designed to run on a 10” HD display.

surface pro 3 msAt 800g (or 1.76lbs), this is not very far from the iPad 3 (which was arguably the heaviest 10” iPad). This means that holding the Surface Pro 3 with one hand is possible and that the performance per weight of this device should be quite extreme since it can fit a Core i7 Intel processor (if you are curious, it has an active cooling).

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Panos Panay, the Surface product leader at Microsoft, showed that the Macbook Air looks a little fat next to the Surface Pro 3. He also pointed out that the screen resolution was much better than the Air.

In the back, the kickstand remains very similar to the Surface 2 with multiple rest angles (3 instead of 2 for the Surface 2), one of which is 150 degrees for easier writing. The greater flexibility should also serve the user well when it comes to using the surface as a laptop – which is what most people that I know do.

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Finally, the notes demonstration was pretty impressive and the overall pen integration with OneNote seems great. Now, it’s time for a little hands-on time, before the actual full review.

Surface Pro 3 Surface Pro 2 Macbook Air 11
Weight (lbs) 1.76 2 2.38
Resolution 2160×1440 1980×1080 1366×768
Display size 12″ 10.6″ 13.3″
Price $799+ $899+ $899+
CPU Core i3/i5/i7 Core i5/i7 Core i5
Thickness 0.35″ 0.53″ 0.68″
Storage 64-512B 128-512GB 128-256GB
RAM 4-8GB 4-8GB 4GB

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At $799+ and with three version (Core i3/i5/i7), the Surface Pro 3 covers a much larger market than its predecessors. Since you can truly replace a laptop with it, it becomes a competitor to the Macbook Air with an edge when it comes to screen resolution, touch support and pen writing. As an ultralight PC, it seems very nice too and has some real potential to take some share of the ultra-light market.

The design is impressive, and this shapes up to be a very nice computer. Today’s launch was a job well done. Don’t miss our First Impressions about the Surface Pro 3 ergonomic performance.

Filed in Breaking >Computers >Tablets . Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Surface and surface pro 3.
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