Microsoft Surface 3 goes smaller, Intel and accessory-crazy


  • i hope the LTE model is compatible with T-Mobile and Wind!

    • beyond

      Yes but our polar bears more than compensate for this.

    • Telus would be nice. I would have a reason to use this “free” tablet they keep calling me about. I tell them I have a lumia why would i want an android? lol

    • MassDeduction

      The only places where LTE models have been announced are places where there’s carrier support. Maybe it’ll come later, after general availability. Though I’m inclined to just create a WiFi hotspot with my phone.

  • outburst

    Also factor in that there’s only a trial MS Office included. That might be the dealbreaker for me. A product designed for Office, but you need to buy it separately? Cmon.

    • bananagonuts

      A year-long subscription is hardly a trial. And as for needing to buy Office separately – you mean like almost every computer sold today?

    • outburst

      My point is they are pushing this as a super affordable $499US deal. But if you want a keyboard, add on $130. Mouse, stylus, MS Office, by the time you have a true PC or laptop replacement, you’re looking more like $1,000.
      You might be okay with Microsoft nickel and diming you for all the extras, which are not extras but necessities for a full-time computer but in this day and age I think they should all be included.
      Buy an Android tablet and you get free access to GoogleDocs, which a lot of people are sticking with because of the price of MS Office. Hell you can even get a mobile version of MS Word for free for your Android tablet or phone.
      When I picked up my Surface RT many years ago, Office was included…

    • bananagonuts

      They’re not saying it’s super affordable – it’s a magnesium, 10.8″ hybrid device. It’s premium – just less premium than the SP3. Also, you don’t need a mouse; the keyboard has a trackpad. And Office Online is also free, so Google Docs can’t really be seen as an advantage.

      Any premium, new laptop these days costs upwards of $600. But the S3, even at say US$750 with a keyboard and a pen has distinct advantages – size and weight (which is always expensive) plus the pen and hybrid factor. For people who want to spend a lot less, whether on an Android tablet, Chromebook, or Windows laptop/hybrid there are tonnes of options.

    • Marc Palumbo

      So I guess you prefer iWork?

    • Johnson

      Office is definitely worth the money for all of its value adds – Office on Windows/Mac/Tablet/Web, OneDrive storage, Skype minutes but iWork on the Mac pretty darn good.

    • Marc Palumbo

      not from what I hear. Makes sense why they give that for free.

    • Johnson

      We can definitely find a lot of reasons why they give 1 year of Office 365 for free – lock users into the platform, let people try something they wouldn’t buy, make the hardware purchase more palatable, etc.

      Its very much the same way Samsung bundled 2 years of 50GB of DropBox storage with the Galaxy S5 or how Apple/Google give their productivity products away.

    • Marc Palumbo

      And on Windows 10 coming, DropBox can be used in Word.This is a major difference between iWork and Office. Even Google Docs, probably the lamest excuse of a word processor there is. I would rather settle for Word Perfect.

      No but seriously, right now, Office is by far the best productivity suite there is. Having 1 year free subscription is gold. The original poster wasn’t thinking clearly before he present “Post”

    • Adding Dropbox is because Microsoft needs to work with competitors, remember antitrust in the past.

    • Philosoraptor

      I depend on collaborative writing for a living. I’ve tried pretty much every Office alternative there is and nothing compares. For me Office alone is worth the price, even without considering the add-ons.

    • Google Docs for life.

    • KiwiBri

      they used to give Office student or something away with a lot of tablets a year or two ago.. I saved my licence from a Dell venue pro 8. Last year the Dell Venues and other machines were selling with the office 365 1 year trial.

    • typical pc’s come with a 30 day trial. 365 days is way better.

  • Tony

    And the docking station prices are still stupid expensive.

    • So don’t purchase a docking station.

    • Tony

      Ok I won’t Mr. Surface crusader! I use an SP3 with dock daily already for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  • deltatux

    … That is overpriced… For a tablet like that they should keep it $599 or lower.

    • Johnson

      I don’t think its Microsoft’s fault the Canadian dollar is in the gutter. It is other wise a $499/$549 tablet but we know the drill.

    • Croc Ography

      yes but unfortunately it is too expensive because of this in Canada (also where is the new USB port on this device?)

    • what uses this “new” usb port. why would i need it if nothing i own takes it?

    • Andrew (Toronto)

      You must be joking right? This beats the new Mac by leaps and bounds for less than half the price. Windows 10 has a much smaller footprint, so the 64GB and 128 GB storage options will be largely usable. Windows 10 is also very efficient, so 2-4GB of RAM will be sufficient for most scenarios. However, with this device you get a full-size USB 3.0 port, a pressure-sensitive touchscreen, and a microSD expansion slot. When you compare this to an iPad… well there is no comparison, they’re not in the same category at all.

    • deltatux

      You have to realize that the Atom processor is a tablet-category processor right? I’ve owned a Windows tablet before, and trust me, the Atom processor can do so much. It is a tablet and thus, it needs to be treated in the same category. This tablet only comes with 2 GB of RAM which is the standard of Android tablets as well. The only thing Windows 10 has over Android is native multi-window. Other than that, you can pretty much do on Android that you can do with a Windows 10 tablet with that spec sheet and screen size. I don’t buy the “but it’s a PC” argument, not with that specs, I would agree with you on the Pro category, but not this non-Pro edition.

      I still say it should have been no more than around $500 as it competes in the same market as the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) has a much better screen too.

    • Do you have any links to benchmarks that prove your point? I read other comments on another windows site that the new processors in the Surface 3 are rated quite well. I don’t know for sure but I will wait for a review before I say its a bad cpu.

    • deltatux

      I’ll give you on the magnesium but I have tried the Surface’s pens, they work and perform exactly the same as the ones the Galaxy Note lines has.

      As for benchmarks, I’m basing on my personal experience with the current Bay Trail processors. They perform about the same as the Snapdragon 800 SoCs which pales in comparison to the slowest 2014 Pentium mobile processors.

    • IT is not a tablet it is a PC with the capabilities of a tablet and more!

    • deltatux

      Read my comment above, the Pro can be considered a laptop replacement, the non-Pro version, not so, unless all you do is web browsing and word processing, even then there are cheaper tablets that can do that and run Office beautifully.

    • MassDeduction

      Why not? This is distinctly larger than the original, has the keyboard cover, has the three position kickstand, has the docking station add-on, has a full-sized USB port, comes with Office 365, etc. How can this not be used as a laptop replacement? Just because you might want something different doesn’t mean this can’t be a laptop replacement for many others.

  • dbinott

    they should have just put one USB C port!

    • Marc Palumbo

      lol hahaha no. This isn’t the MacBook

    • If it’s meant to be a portable device, like the kind you bring to a coffee shop or use on your couch, how many peripherals are you going to plug in? Surely you won’t have a USB keyboard and mouse, external hard drive, USB flash drive, multiple phone chargers, and more. If you *do* need to connect that much stuff you probably won’t even notice the added weight/space of a USB hub.

    • Marc Palumbo

      My comment was not to have multiple ports in a laptop. I just laughed at the idea of him thinking it should be a Macbook

    • Just because the MacBook is the first doesn’t mean it’ll forever be the only one.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Ok Brad. Relax there. geez. If I ever make any little reference to a Mac, you don’t always have to jump in. I didn’t even fire any shots here.

    • mastjaso

      Yeah, that’s an incredibly stupid decision. It makes for an interesting design if you’re not actually using it. It makes for a Frankenstinian monster of adapters and cables the instant you try and do anything.

    • USB-C is brand new. At the store, i see most flash drives using regular USB ports, with only a few using microUSB (on-the-go). Mice and keyboard are mainly USB, with some Bluetooth. i like the regular USB port on the Surface RT because it’s so easy to charge phones and even tablets. Maybe with Surface 4, USB-C will be more widespread.

  • Fodder0f4

    Hmmm…the $599 model would be right up my alley for work and sounds like it would be a heck of a lot easier to lug around.

    Maybe even one for my wife so she retire her ugly old HP with a 17″ screen that I really don’t want to spend any time or money on to fix.

    Congrats microsoft, you might have two sales right there as the Surface Pro was just too much money, and didn’t want to waste time on the Surface RT.

    • Surface 1 was a good consumption device. I miss it. My screen cracked. Use to sit back on the couch and use it for what it was.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Ya I’m with you. I still use my Surface RT today. For the price I paid for that and the key cover, it was worth the money. I’m just unclear what people expect out of a tablet. Microsoft takes shots for not including desktop while any iPad or Android tablet gets used to play games. Not a fair deal at all.

    • I think people will be negative towards anything. It wont matter what it is.

    • wes

      599 is the american price. In Canada add 170$ for the exchange rate and 160$ for the keyboard. Add taxes and you are over 1000$. Ripoff if you ask me.

    • Marc Palumbo

      I blame our dollar, not Microsoft. Between Microsoft and Apple, they both raised their prices. They’re not rip offs. Our country sucks a*s

    • wes

      Not blaming Microsoft. Our dollar is weak! Sucks for us.. Less buying power.

  • Johnson

    I was thinking of consolidating my computer and tablet but waffling on whether this will be powerful enough to take both slots. Actually, this makes me a lot more excited for the Surface Pro 4 and hopefully its equipped with USB Type-C.

    • I dont own one thing that is compatible with this Type c.. Why do they call its USBTypeC? Why not just USBC?

    • John

      USB C can charge the tablet faster as it can support up to 100 watts. The USB 3 type A spec is only 10 watts. No reason not to have a Type B Micro port when it is only really good for charging, a Type C port would be much more capable.

    • So a faster charge is all it really does right now. cool.

    • Faster charging, faster data transfers, 3 video standards (DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA), and it’s reversible. What’s not to like?

  • Marc Palumbo

    The tablet looks great. I’m just not sure about the docking station though. That seems like a lot of money and probably better off waiting for it to go on sale

  • So its $499 in the US and $639 in Canada? I get that going by exchange rate, that’s what it should be, but when the iPad Air 2 is $90 cheaper, Nexus 9 is $210 cheaper & Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is $120 cheaper, it’s an issue.

    Plus I don’t want a Windows device with only 2GB of RAM so its quite expensive when decked put with the better specs. You also have a screen that’s too small for desktop Windows apps and the Windows tablet app selection is still lacking.

    I like the idea of this and would strong consider it for my next tablet but they have a few things that need addressing.

    Maybe with the Surface 4, running Windows 10 and hopefully more tablet apps will be available.

    • Marc Palumbo

      I understand what you’re saying. The Samsung tablets are of lesser quality. They are more plastic whereas the Surface has that beautiful magnesium casing. Also, another great thing is the kickstand. The kickstand is great, especially that you don’t need an extra accessory just to hold up the friggin thing.

      The part that does suck, is our exchange rate. our dollar is really keeping many people from buying this, and just going to buy something cheaper. I don’t know why Microsoft couldn’t have just included the stylus. That for me is a bit of a downer.

      Yeah, 2 GB sucks, but you know what, there will be Windows 10 phones with less memory than that, so it’s all good.

    • Yeah I agree on build materials likely being as good, maybe even better than the iPad Air 2 and no Android tablet can compare there. But for me apps is an issue. One of my most used apps is Comixology and it’s horrible on Windows compared to Android.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Ya. one thing to keep in mind though. We are 3 months from Windows 10 being RTM and mayeb 6 months before we see a premium Windows 10 tablet being released. I would say that there are Windows 10 developers that are working mostly on Windows apps for W10 then for both. I also think many devs are holding out. This sucks, but it’s kind of unfortunate for us. Most people don’t have Windows Phones (which is a shame!) and so you will either own an iPhone or an Android device, so you can use comixology on that.

      If people always want to buy a Windows machine, but say no to apps, how many people are saying that, when they should be buying what they want and having the devs realize that there are more Windows users than the numbers show.

      Take the leap of faith!

    • let people buy what they want. When windows 10 for small tablets and phones is released.. I am sure there will be “cheaper” devices out by then.

    • Laer

      I absolutely love my pro 3! The size is just right for my needs bouncing between tablet and laptop. I have only once plugged this into a monitor, via its mini displayport, as a proof of concept for display sharing between my android, to my surface to my desktop.

    • I’m glad that works for you, it’s a great device. I’m sure I’d be happy with it if I had it. But I really like the size of my current tablet, the Nexus 9 and don’t think I would want anything bigger than 10″. Personally I’d rather have a separate tablet and a 13″ laptop that offers a better keyboard and touch pad than the Surface keyboard cover can provide.

  • Jonathan Leduc

    WHAT THE F… “2GB model with 64GB of internal storage for $639 CAD, and a 4GB model with 128GB for $769 CAD”

    I saw this news on an american site first and it was like 499$. Huge gap. Why in the hell wouldn’t I not just buy a Surface Pro 2 or something.. for the same price… 😮

    • Philosoraptor

      The battery life on the Pro 2 is crap.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      Fair enough.

    • Exchange rate today. Just run the numbers the price in CND is comparable to USD.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      True. I did the maths after and it comes up to 633$.

      But at the same time, Microsoft should’ve price it more competitively.

  • beyond

    Microsoft just cut an ARM off! How brave.

    • isn’t there arm in phones or am i wrong?

    • MassDeduction

      Windows is even available on the Rasberry Pi 2, which is Arm-based. Windows will continue on Arm for the “Internet of Things” as well.

    • MassDeduction

      Nope. RT is going out to pasture because it was meant to solve a problem that no longer exists, as Atom processors are fast enough, cheap enough, and sufficiently heat-reduced that they can do everything the Arm equivalents were doing.

      Arm will continue as a part of the Windows 10 ecosystem thanks to Windows Phone, Windows for Rasberry Pi, Windows in the Internet of Things, etc.

    • beyond

      Ok then, the ARM of a technological Octopus!

  • Ragnar Dragonfyre

    Still no dedicated GPU? Fail. I had high hopes they’d take in the feedback from fence sitters. I really want a Surface as a drawing tablet but not if it’s gimped from the get go.

    If Microsoft wants this to be a laptop killer, it needs to be able to play current video games and run 3D graphical applications well.

    • TheTechSmith

      It’s not supposed to be a laptop killer. It’s supposed to be something in between a laptop and a tablet, and as @daveloft:disqus said earlier a good tablet and a bad laptop. If you were to put in a dedicated GPU, it would require far more power and cooling (size, noise, and cost increase considerably while battery life goes down considerably) making a bad tablet and even bad notebook for the target audience. Gaming class notebooks are a niche, and they are bigger and louder and more expensive with poorer battery life than the Ultrabooks the surface is trying to compete with. Buy a gaming class laptop or desktop, and if you like the Surface battery life, portability, price, stylus, and ability to use it as either a tablet or notebook buy a Surface to go with it. If you don’t care about those things, then obviously the Surface not for you. Personally If I wanted to play recent games and wanted the portability of a tablet and/or laptop I’d consider specifying and building a gaming desktop and buying this for on the road or note taking. This combination would be cheaper and give superior performance both portability and gaming wise to a gaming notebook. It would also give you the ability to keep playing recent games down the road by upgrading the video card instead of having to buy a whole new computer. There is an obvious caveat that you cannot game on your notebook away from home.

    • Ragnar Dragonfyre

      They could sell external GPUs as an add-on.

      I build my own PCS and already own a Cintiq. I don’t necessarily NEED a portable tablet display but I would absolutely buy one if it was a fully capable computer that can run the apps and games I use and play.

      As is, I’d rather invest $1000 into building a new desktop then move my current Micro-ATX PC build into a Micro-ATX case and make my current desktop “portable”.

    • Then do that. But to say a device that isn’t another device is a fail is untrue. It is not a fail. It is what it is.

  • Ulysses Grant

    It would definitely enticed people to buy this device if they include the keyboard and a lifetime Office license for free.

    • Do you get a keyboard with an ipad and free office? Maybe someone wants if for a tablet and doesn’t want a keyboard…

    • Ulysses Grant

      Hmmm.. I wouldn’t want an ipad since I am a Windows user. I like this new Surface 3 Pro since it runs in full Windows OS. I would like them to enticed new people to switch from ipad to Surface thats why I was hoping it “would be nice” if they do this.

  • danakin

    I’m impressed with the direction Microsoft is taking.

    Most of what I use a computer for is cloud based. I browse, watch Netfilx, post on message boards (keep up the good work Mr. Bader), pay bills, and generally remain connected. I’m not a gamer and, aside from MS Office, don’t run many resource intensive apps.

    I’d venture a guess that an overwhelming majority of “computer users” fall into my use case. This convergence of: mainly a tablet (in form) coupled with an above-average keyboard (for a case cover) is becoming increasingly attractive to me.

    The upcoming Surface Pro 4, will most likely be what replaces my now 4 year old VAIO. As I said, I’m impressed with the direction Microsoft is taking; this looks like the future of computing.

    • I hope the Surface Pro 4 supports Windows Hello… 😀

  • wes

    I hope it’s a flop. Too expensive!! Ridiculous. Not worth the price. I am a supporter of Microsoft and love my surface pro 1 but got mine at what at I considered as a reasonable price 675$ when they were liquidating. This on the other hand is priced about 200$ too much. Can’t imagine paying over 800$ for a atom based processor.

    • The price of the 128gb device is $769.00 Where did you see $800

    • wes

      I said I CANNOT imagine paying more than 800$ for a Surface 3. 640$ + 160$ (keyboard) + 50$ (pen) = 850$ + taxes (close to 1000$.

      The 128 gig will set you back over 1100!

      Might as well buy a surface pro 3 64 gb, it’s 764$ +tax with student discount (no keyboard). At least it’s a corei3

    • MassDeduction

      This is a new 16-execution-unit Atom, not the typical 4-execution-unit Atom you’re thinking of. No device has been released in the wild that uses it and there aren’t even any benchmark tests available yet. What do you know that we don’t?

    • wes

      I know nothing that you don’t know. I just think that the price is too high for the regular Joe.

    • wes

      I’m excited to see the performance!