Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet aims to replace your laptop

Published on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 16:27 - Written by

(MCT) -- Microsoft holds but a tiny sliver of the worldwide tablet market. It’s hoping its new Surface 3 can make the company a major player. The marketing angle: It’s not just a tablet, it can replace your laptop too.

Selling points include:

—Big screen (12 inches, compared with old Surface’s 10.6)

—More pixels (2,160 by 1,440, up 50 percent)

—3:2 screen ratio (Ditching the 16:9 ratio so it works better when held vertically)

—Windows 8.1 Pro (runs same programs as PC laptop and desktop peers, including Apple iTunes and Adobe Photoshop.)

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—4th generation Intel Core processors (same as on desktops and laptops.)

The device also boosts battery life by 10 percent over the previous generation, up to nine hours. The SurfacePro 3 carries an improved kickstand, allowing stand-up angles to 150 degrees, up from the Surface 2’s 22- and 55-degree angles.

The Surface Pro 3 is a bit big for a tablet, but much smaller than most laptops. The gadget weighs in at 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thick, 30 percent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air.

Available Tuesday at 9 p.m. PDT on microsoftstore.com, the device goes on sale at Microsoft and Best Buy stores on Wednesday.

Prices start at $799 for an Intel Core i3 model with 64-gigabytes of storage and 4 GB of RAM. The device tops out at $1,949 for an Intel Core i7 model with 512 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. A Surface Pen stylus comes with all models; a new Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard will be sold separately for $129.99.

Microsoft first introduced the Surface in 2012. At the end of 2013, according to technology research firm Gartner Inc., Apple iOS devices held a 52.8 percent share of the worldwide tablet market, Android held 45.8 percent andMicrosoft, 1 percent.