Microsoft’s ‘iPad killer’ is enormous Surface Pro 3

surface-03

Instead of taking on the iPad Air’s 9.7-inch display, Microsoft is thinking even bigger with a 12-inch Surface Pro 3 that could make it the perfect competitor for Apple’s long-rumored 13-inch iPad Pro.

Like Microsoft’s other’s tablets, the Surface Pro 3, which the company revealed Tuesday morning, comes with a kickstand and a collapsible keyboard that Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay says will remove all the conflicts you’ve had about buying a laptop or tablet, plus they’ve added a Surface Pen for seamless digital writing.

At 9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air, even though its the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made. It sports a 12-inch HD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, carries between 64GB and 512GB of storage, and comes with three CPU variants, including Intel’s latest Core i7 processor.

Starting at $799, Surface Pro 3 launches Wednesday and while its 800 grams of weight is nearly double the iPad Air, Microsoft boasted that it’s 279 grams lighter than the 11-inch MacBook Air – the device Microsoft considers Surface’s No. 1 enemy, even though it’s still a pain in the ass to use in your lap.

Apple’s own answer for a productivity-oriented iPad is rumored to be coming in the form of the 13-inch iPad Pro that may feature a 2K display and eye-tracking. An allegedly dummy rear-shell for the iPad Pro was spotted last week but recent reports have claimed Apple has tabled the project until 2015.

Getting a six-month or longer head start on Apple to make the best big-ass tablet on the market could be the boost Surface needs to gain traction among consumers and professionals alike, but judging from the crowd at the event, and the latest Surface usage numbers, Redmond is going to need more than just a big screen and fancy new stylus to dethrone the tablet king.

Microsoft’s ‘iPad killer’ is enormous Surface Pro 3

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    I love how you are the only claiming it as an “iPad Killer”, when no one else has ever said such a thing. The Surface Pro is designed to replace both a tablet and an ultrabook, not to replace just an iPad.

  • Martin Blase

    With specs STARTING at 64GB storage and 4 GB of RAM — and priced at $800 for that — this is clearly intended as a laptop replacement, not an iPad replacement.

    • Shameer Mulji

      It’s intended as both an iPad and laptop replacement.

  • DS

    here we go again ….

  • Peter

    Am i the onely one like: I WANT THIS. But very expensive though.

    • digitaldumdum

      Yeah, I think you’re the only one who, like… wants this.

    • BusterH

      it’s more expensive than a MacBook Air with the same specs

      • JD

        yeah but a macbook air doesn’t double as a tablet and doesn’t have built in stylus capabilities. a macbook air starts at $899 and a ipad air at $499 and those are only the entry level versions.

      • PMB01

        But each of those is exceptional in its own market (MBA for a laptop, iPad for a tablet). The Surface Pro is exceptional at neither.

    • ds2000

      Not at all, I think its a brilliant product, I need to have a hands on with it as its very much in the MBP range which will be better built…… however the MBP is a heavy beast. Get OSX hacked onto this and its a winner!

      • bigjohn11

        Wow.. you think they MBP Retina is a heavy beast. Lug my Dell Latitude around for a while.

      • ds2000

        Haha, very valid point, those things are monsters :)

      • PMB01

        A MBP absolutely destroys this. Beefier processor, graphics and storage. No one is going to choose this over a MBP.

      • ds2000

        Sorry I meant in terms of pricing, certainly not performance.

        I can spec an Macbook air up to the same internals as a surface and still be £200 better off…. its sadly too expensive imho

      • Aaron m

        Try being a digital artist and then make that same comment. Apple has left us in the dust when it comes to a good stylus option.

      • PMB01

        Try making that comment when you’ve spoken to every digital artist on the planet. I have friends who are, a few who made a career out of it. They use a MBP just fine.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    It seems like nice hardware but we need to see if consumers are even interested in it. If given a choice, I’d take an ultrabook over this Surface Pro and get longer battery life. I have my doubts about Microsoft being able to build worthwhile refrigerator/toasters but maybe I’m wrong. I’d rather buy a tablet and a laptop rather than trying to combine the two. That’s just my opinion. Maybe others see it differently. Obviously Microsoft thinks Windows 8.1 is good for every device but I have my doubts. I can’t quite grasp an Intel i7 processor being used for a tablet and getting good battery life.

    • Joe_HTH

      The SP3 has 9 hours of battery life. Most Ultrabooks don’t get that.

      ” I have my doubts about Microsoft being able to build worthwhile refrigerator/toasters but maybe I’m wrong.”

      If you were capable of removing Apple’s took from your mouth, you might be taken seriously. As it is, you’re just a blind Apple fanboy with no credibility. In other words, you’re an idiot.

      • godofbiscuits

        You’re the one that sounds like a fanboi.

        And if missing facts makes one an idiot, then:

        – the 9-hour battery life is for the i3 model, not an i7 model.
        – the MacBook Air 11″ gets 9 hours of battery life, and that’s the model that MS kept having envy over all during the presentation.

        I’m not saying you’re an idiot, just that you missed some facts.

        You call the guy above a “blind Apple fanboy” when he says reasonable things with modest speculation and includes the disclaimer “but maybe I’m wrong”?

        That’s not blind fanboi-ism. Attacking others for having an opinion that’s not perfectly aligned with your own opinion? That’s extreme.

      • bigjohn11

        Joe.. Chill man.. Let’s let the reviews happen. You know that the “9 hours” will be for the i3 chip.. All manufacturers seem to “S T R E T C H” the hours, so lets let the tech writers tell us what the real deal is. Even with the i7 it shouldn’t be all that bad.. I’m guessing 9ish for i3, 8 for i5, and 7 for i7. Then MS will come out with the battery keyboard which will bump it up again.

  • Bob Townsend

    I think it will cannibalize the laptop/ultrabook market and not the iPad line.

  • Joe_HTH

    Why am I not surprised that an Apple shill on an Apple site writes a disingenuous article full of BS. Let’s get a few things straight.

    First of all, nobody called this an iPad killer, except you.

    “At 9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air, even though it’s the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made?”

    Ignorance! The thinnest would be the Surface 2 at 8.8mm. Let’s understand something. The iPad Air is a child’s plaything compared to the Surface Pro 3, running a real OS and real PC hardware, not weak ARM hardware. The cheapest Surface Pro 3 also has 4 times the RAM of the iPad Air and far faster and more powerful processors and graphics.

    As for weight, it’s far lighter than an 11 inch Macbook Air, which is what it competes against. Again, the iPad Air is purely a comsumption device, or a toy. The SP3 is a full on ultrabook in the thinnest and lightest Intel Core product ever made, by a substantial margin.

    As for the rest of your article, it’s the typical BS you would hear from an ignorant and blind Apple shill.

    Starting
    at $799, Surface Pro 3 launches tomorrow and while its 800 grams of
    weight is nearly double the iPad Air, Microsoft boasted that it’s 279
    grams lighter than the 11-inch MacBook Air – the device Microsoft considers Surface’s number 1 enemy, even though it’s still a pain in the ass to use in your lap.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99
    Starting
    at $799, Surface Pro 3 launches tomorrow and while its 800 grams of
    weight is nearly double the iPad Air, Microsoft boasted that it’s 279
    grams lighter than the 11-inch MacBook Air – the device Microsoft considers Surface’s number 1 enemy, even though it’s still a pain in the ass to use in your lap.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99
    At
    9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air,
    even though its the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99
    At
    9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air,
    even though its the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99
    At
    9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air,
    even though its the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99
    At
    9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air,
    even though its the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/279871/microsofts-ipad-killer-enormous-surface-pro-3/#4q8ERFTUpe97lzo7.99

  • Joe_HTH

    Why am I not surprised that an Apple shill on an Apple site writes a disingenuous article full of nonsense. Let’s get a few things straight.

    First of all, nobody called this an iPad killer, except you.

    “At 9.1mm thick the Surface Pro 3 is nearly 2mm beefier than the iPad Air, even though it’s the thinnest tablet Microsoft has ever made?”

    Ignorance! The thinnest would be the Surface 2 at 8.8mm. Let’s understand something. The iPad Air is a child’s plaything compared to the Surface Pro 3, running a real OS and real PC hardware, not weak ARM hardware. The cheapest Surface Pro 3 also has 4 times the RAM of the iPad Air and far faster and more powerful processors and graphics.

    As for weight, it’s far lighter than an 11 inch Macbook Air, which is what it competes against. Again, the iPad Air is purely a comsumption device, or a toy. The SP3 is a full on ultrabook in the thinnest and lightest Intel Core product ever made, by a substantial margin.

    As for the rest of your article, it’s the typical BS you would hear from an ignorant and blind Apple shill.

    • godofbiscuits

      Then why did microsoft keep bringing up iPad over and over and over and over again?

      Do they expect people to use Surface 3 — sorry, “Surface Pro 3″, I wouldn’t want you to jump down my throat about not catching the difference — as a tablet AT ALL?

      Microsoft spent a lot of energy telling people why they didn’t need iPads anymore. Clearly they’re gunning for iPad.

      Until it comes time for specs, then they bring out a Mac.

      Here’s a spec for you: The SP3 weighs TWICE what an iPad Air weighs.

      • Aaron m

        Are you serious!!!!! I’m a mac fan that is losing interest in apple because of the fact that you are paying for name????? Specs my butt!!! Apple has never ever been the leader in the most powerful machines for a fair price. Quality yes, user friendly yes, but powerful. Admit it they charge a lot more You could build a PC with more power rather than buying an apple product.

    • Anthony Velazquez

      So for $800 you get a tablet, but then have to fork out another $130 for a keyboard. I noticed from a photo when they weighed the MacBook air vs the surface the surface didn’t include the keyboard in the weight. lol…..typical SPIN….now throw in the fact their app selection is horrible and what can this thing do? Do they give you MS Office with your purchase or is that yet another add-on price? You are easily paying over $1,000 for this device to use it to it’s full potential….
      MacBook air with 128GB for $899 free office and free backlit keyboard…i’ll take the MacBook air….
      128GB ipad air with free iWork suite and way more portable for $799 i’ll take the ipad air.

      • Daniel

        Regarding the weight: In the presentation they did add the keyboard to the scales and it still weighed considerably less than the MacBook Air.

        Regarding the pricing: I kind of agree with you on this but I suppose they would say that you should measure their pricing/value against the combined cost of the iPad and MacBook because they are trying to prevent you needing two devices.

        Regarding the software: You don’t get Office included which is a shame considering that it’s included in the ARM devices. Having said that I don’t think anyone would seriously consider iWork as being a comparable replacement. Elsewhere I don’t see how you can say the app selection is horrible, it runs the entire Windows x86 software catalogue. The Windows Store Modern App selection is mediocre but now that devs are able to write code once and use it on Xbox, PC, Phone and Tablet I think this will start to improve.

        If nothing else it will be interesting to see how much thinner/lighter Apple will be able to make the MacBook Air in response to this. The engineering in this shows that it must be possible.

      • the_professer

        Anthony – you forgot the needed extra memory the base priced $800 Surface Pro 3 needs to have any room for applications, better throw another $100 bill on that bonfire as long as a person is burning through money.

        When it’s all said and done, what has a person got? Something that lacks the ability to sit on a lap (poor laptop) and something that lacks the light weight and battery life of a tablet. (poor tablet).

        I give Microsoft one more try at making a silk purse out of this pig’s ear before letting it quietly die like the Zune before it.

      • Phillip

        Oh god, this idiot.. Its not even worth replying to this kind of stupidity.

      • the_professer

        Ah, Phillip, I shall reply to you in spite of your self hatred.

        My wish for you is that you retain memory of such self-righteously defense the MS Surface in spite of its inevitable death spiral…

      • Phillip

        App selection is terrible? Yeah because with a full version of windows every application in the world is terrible. So much retarded apple fanboyism on this page. I’m glad at least I’ve seen a few apple fans not getting all insecure about a competitor.

        The surface Pro 3 is a great alternative for people who don’t want to be part of the herd and buy a ultrabook/tablet just because their friends have the same one irrespective of the specs.

  • Adrayven

    battery… life… if it’s not at least 10 hours of moderate usage.. fail. seriously.. MBA 13″ gets 12+ hours, iPad Mini and Air gets at least 10+

    EDIT: Reading now they are saying 9 hours of light use.. umm light? whats moderate? 6 hours? 5 hours?

    • Daniel

      The product page says that you will get 9 hours of video playback. Traditionally I would consider that to be heavy use.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Microsoft’s ‘iPad killer’ is enormous Surface Pro 3″

    I’m excited by this news. Another totally crappy device from the company who keeps trying to ape Apple, and never, ever gets it right. From so-called “Windows”, the lousy response to Apple’s venerable interface, to the wildly unsuccessful iPod imitation called Zune, to the awful iPad wannabe called Surface, Microsoft just can’t help but come out with •horrible• stuff. This “new” one is sure to make my Apple stock even more valuable.

    • Phillip

      Sounds like the typical apple sheep that one would expect on here. “Hurr Hurr I’m insecure about my choices so I insecurely laugh at anyone who creates a product that rivals my devices. I can’t even afford the latest apple device, but I’ll pretend like I do” This is why people think us apple users are all idiots. Stop embarrassing everyone.

      • PMB01

        You’re the only one embarrassing everyone. Quit acting like an asshole and making retarded comments.

      • Sergei

        AMEN !!! LOL

  • the_professer

    Hmm… a laptop replacement that doesn’t fit on your lap… yeah, got it!

    For $800 you get a computer who’s memory is nearly full of OS. Better spend another $100 and get space for those programs. At nearly twice the weight of an iPad no way would you want to be holding this for any length of time… I can see why they wouldn’t want to compare it to a tablet.

    So, it’s not competition to an iPad due to price, weight, and battery life, and it doesn’t compare well to a MBA for fitting on a lap, price, batter life or quality keyboard. Obviously it’s meant to sit on a surface and plugged into an outlet and not moved around as easily as a laptop or tablet…

    It’s an expensive under-powered desk top computer… yeah, got it!

  • JD

    Ipad air + Macbook Air + Galaxy Note 12.1 = Surface Pro 3

    This is an insanely great Product and Value, your essentially getting 3 products in one. Yes the App Store is not as Robust as ios or android, but it can run Full Blown Desktop apps in which case most people would run the full blow desktop version anyways.

    • mahadragon

      When they start clearing these out early 2015 at $349 a piece then it will be an insanely great value. And mark my word, they will be discounting these ‘tablets’ the exact same way the previous Surface tablets have been getting discounted lately. MS tablets don’t have the same demand or cache as Apple’s products, that’s a fact. You don’t see iPads heavily discounted anywhere.

      • Phillip

        No they just disappear from shelves so their gullible consumers always pay top dollar for the device that they perceive are worth what they are paying for them.

        Classic apples gullible target audience

      • PMB01

        Classic asshole comment from Phillip.

  • bigjohn11

    I find the whole product interesting. It totally hits a small blind spot in Apples lineup. It’s actually only a fraction of a inch bigger then MBAir 11. But they compare the weight of it against the MBAir 13. Then it seems most people are comparing the weight without the keyboard, which is interesting but it’s still lighter. Then they also compare it to the iPad, where they can talk about it being bigger multi-tasking, etc.
    Personally without a Dock I would still call this a “Pro” tablet. The reason? I think 13ish inches is about the absolute minimum you can go without sacrificing usability for a lot of corporate style applications. I run into it all the time on my Dell Latitude with a 13″ screen. Will people buy it?? Most certainly, but I do wish that they would come out with a true laptop version of it. I can’t imagine the being on your lap experience being all that great when trying to use it as a pc versus a tablet.
    Also I find the pricing interesting. It gets very pricy very quick when you start looking at 8 x 256(or 512)ssd, with a i7. You are approaching 2k, which puts you in workstation laptop space. So I think the upper area probably will not see that much sales because there are some really good computers up in that range.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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