Today Microsoft has officially announced the Surface 3. Not the Surface Pro 3, but the Surface 3. This was a surprise to many of us. This is a “non-Pro” version of Microsoft’s tablet which is geared toward families and consumers. However given the improvements over even the Surface Pro 3 (except for the limited kickstand positions), some businesses might actually consider adopting this new fanless device.
Surfacing Against the iPad Tide
There is little doubt that this is Microsoft’s attempt to nudge into the iPad market. The pricing is aggressive and compared very favorably with the iPad line.
The price: 64GB / 2GB RAM / Wi-Fi = $499, 128GB / 4GB RAM / Wi-Fi = $599.
An unlike the Pro version there is going to be a LTE version here. Pricing for the 4G LTE models have not been set yet, but expect it to be at least $100 more. Microsoft has suggested that these models will be available through T-Mobile and Verizon later in the year.
You can pre-order today and through Microsoft Stores, microsoftstore.com and select retailers, and it wll be on sale beginning May 5, with availability in 26 markets by May 7. Display units will be on-hand in Microsoft Stores starting April 1 so you can get a demo.
Just like the Pro the Surface 3 will require new keyboard covers and accessories, which will be available when the new Surface 3 ships. A new Type Cover ($129), a Surface 3-specific docking station, a Surface 3 Screen Protector, and the Surface Pen ($49) sporting new colors (silver, black, blue and red) will be available. Unlike the Surface Pro 3, the pen is a separate purchase.