Microsoft’s Surface line—not to be mistaken for its Surface Pro family—bombed. The devices weren’t awful, but the RT approach failed, and wound up confusing more people than it did enlighten. It was ultimately a chapter in Microsoft’s history that the company would just rather forget.
Instead of continuing down the RT path, Microsoft decided to start fresh and forge a new trail. It’s just too bad this thing is $500.
The Surface 3 is a lot like Microsoft’s other Surface devices—at least in terms of design. It looks like a Surface, and feels like a Surface. Inside, however, it’s a little less Surface-y than we would have liked. Microsoft says this is a computer, sporting a full version of Windows and plenty of battery to get through a full day. But it sports an Intel Atom processor, which is even less powerful than Intel’s Core M.
We haven’t spent enough time with the Surface 3 to know whether it’s a viable laptop replacement, but we’re very curious to find out. Early impressions are positive, but after extended use, will it hold up? We’ll let you know.
The Surface 3 sports a 10.8-inch display, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera, a 3 position kickstand and an Intel Atom processor. You can configure it with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and it includes a full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, a microSD card slot and weighs just 1.37 pounds. The price starts at $500, which isn’t cheap, and goes up to $600 for the extra RAM and storage.
These prices are without the additional keyboard, which you’ll need in order to get the most out of the Surface 3. Microsoft says the Surface 3 is great for students, parents and mobile professionals, so we’ll be putting those claims to the test over the coming days and weeks. Is it better than an Atom-powered netbook that costs much less? Again, something we’ll test.
For now, check out our unboxing to see the Surface 3 in action.