Microsoft unveils Atom-based Surface 3 tablet for £419

Microsoft Surface 3 is more affordable than the Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has added an extra model to its Surface line of Windows tablets, described as the thinnest and lightest Surface yet and coming in at a more affordable price than the existing Surface Pro 3.

Available to pre-order now, the Surface 3 is based on an Intel Atom processor and features a 10.8in Full HD touchscreen with a starting weight of just 622g. It is ideal for students, schools, mobile professionals, or anyone looking for a portable device to get things done, according to Microsoft.

The Surface 3 is effectively a slightly smaller and less powerful version of the Surface Pro 3, which launched last year. Like its bigger sibling, the Surface 3 can support an optional digital stylus for pen input or a snap-on Type Cover keyboard to enable it to be used like a laptop.

Alternatively, the device could be seen as the successor to the ill-fated Surface RT line, which was based on ARM processors and thus ran a special Windows RT version of the Windows 8 platform.

In contrast, the Surface 3 runs the standard version of Windows 8.1, and will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it ships.

The Surface 3 is based on an Atom x7-Z8700 chip, a quad-core 1.6GHz version of the Cherry Trail Atom chips announced by Intel earlier this month. It will initially be available in the UK with 2GB of memory and 64GB of storage at £419 or 4GB of memory and 128GB storage at £499.

“Surface 3 brings what customers love about Surface Pro 3 to more people, delivering the premium design and productivity of Surface in a more affordable device,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Microsoft Surface.

“We’ve taken everything we learned making Surface Pro 3 and poured that innovation into this newest Surface. It’s beautiful, versatile, powerful and productive, and our customers are going to love what it lets them do.”

However, while those prices make the Surface 3 more affordable than its larger sibling, buyers wanting extras like the keyboard and stylus will find that the cost soon adds up.

The Surface 3 comes with a full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, microSD card slot and Micro USB charging port. Buyers can also purchase a Surface 3 Docking Station which adds a Gigabit Ethernet port and four additional USB ports for connecting desktop peripherals.

The new Surface is also expected to be offered in a version with 4G LTE mobile broadband support, but Microsoft said only that it would have “more to share on availability” of this version in the coming months. The two versions available today offer 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth.

The Surface 3 will be available in the UK from retailers including Currys PCWorld, John Lewis, Argos, Staples, Very.co.uk and Littlewoods, and is available for pre-order from the online Microsoft Store.

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31 March 2015 | 2:55 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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