Microsoft ditches ARM for Intel with new $499 Surface 3, its latest iPad competitor

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2015
After two generations of ARM-based tablets that ran a limited version of Windows, Microsoft has finally abandoned the low-power processors for Intel's latest Atom chips, allowing the third-generation Surface to run full-fledged Windows 8.1.




Tuesday's announcement of the $499 Surface 3 marks the end of Windows RT, a confusing creation by the Redmond, Wash., software giant. By embracing Intel's chip architecture, the new Surface 3 has become more of a laptop-style device capable of running traditional Windows applications.

Priced the same as the iPad Air 2, the Surface 3 is still positioned as a competitor to Apple's market leading tablet. But with the latest revision, the company hopes that bringing in legacy Windows app support will help the device find traction.

It also brings the Surface 3 in step with the Surface Pro series, which starts at $799 and has run Intel processors and full Windows since it first debuted. Microsoft has positioned its Surface Pro lineup, including the latest third-generation model, as a competitor to Apple's MacBook Air.

The Surface 3 features a 10.8-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It also has an improved three-stage kickstand, but lacks the adjustable kickstand introduced on the Surface Pro 3.




Microsoft says the new Atom processor provides users with 10 hours of video playback.

The Surface's Type Covers have also been updated, including the magnetic snap feature found on the Pro 3 that helps make the device more sturdy when used on a lap.

It also continues to offer a dedicated USB port for connecting accessories. And Microsoft is including a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription.

The Surface 3 also supports the same Microsoft-built Pen introduced with the Pro 3 model, allowing users to quickly take notes and gain additional features with the tablet-laptop hybrid.

The base $499 model will come with 64 gigabytes of storage when it launches on May 5, but the Type Cover and Pen are sold separately, priced at $130 and $50 respectively.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 111
    Microsoft doesn't get tablets and they never will.
  • Reply 2 of 111
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member

    A fucking ATOM running Windows, with only 64GB storage and 2GB RAM? Sounds like a fucking nightmare. Good to know Microsoft has learned nothing. 

  • Reply 3 of 111
    Like the Windows 7 phone, buyers of MS hardware are once again orphaned abruptly, even if they recently purchased their crapo. It's enough to make one break out in frantic dancing for no apparent reason.

    As they say in Redmond, "Rinse and repeat. Our customers are born every minute."
  • Reply 4 of 111
    Beautiful machine, looks like now we are ready for fanless intel chips. I would take 2 but for $399 :/ the keyboard and pen are indispensable but they add up to the cost.. I will wait for a review though
  • Reply 5 of 111

    Windows 10 is very lightweight, and it's compatible with low power smartphones even IoT devices, so this atom chip should be no problem, also the OS uses something like 15GB and we have 40GB free

  • Reply 6 of 111
    I may be in the minority here, but it's actually a pretty compelling device. I'd spring for the $599 model with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, but the Surface tablets are built pretty darn well, so hopefully this continues the trend.

    Still don't like the Windows key being on the side of the display though.

    It's also the newest high end quad core Cherry Trail x7 chip with Broadwell graphics, it's not the low end Atom of yesteryear.
  • Reply 7 of 111

    I think I've seen maybe a handful of these in the wild, mainly because I live in Bellevue, about 5 minutes from the Microsoft campus but that's about it. They look....interesting but more often than not I'm struck by the design differences between the iPad and Surface.

  • Reply 8 of 111
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    I may be in the minority here, but it's actually a pretty compelling device. I'd spring for the $599 model with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, but the Surface tablets are built pretty darn well, so hopefully this continues the trend.

    Still don't like the Windows key being on the side of the display though.

    It's also the newest high end quad core Cherry Trail x7 chip with Broadwell graphics, it's not the low end Atom of yesteryear.

    But that kickstand. Yuck!
  • Reply 9 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     

    I think I've seen maybe a handful of these in the wild, mainly because I live in Bellevue, about 5 minutes from the Microsoft campus but that's about it. They look....interesting but more often than not I'm struck by the design differences between the iPad and Surface.


     

    Isn't that funny? I used to take the 253 to work (back when my office was in Redmond) and I saw all sorts of minions with their Zunes. I never once saw one in the wild, other than on that bus.

  • Reply 10 of 111
    I think I've seen maybe a handful of these in the wild, mainly because I live in Bellevue, about 5 minutes from the Microsoft campus but that's about it. They look....interesting but more often than not I'm struck by the design differences between the iPad and Surface.

    Top computing devices I see around campus, more or less in order:
    1. MBP
    2. MBA
    3. random crap, usually Dell or HP.
    4. SP3.

    And I see a good deal of SP3's. Maybe about 10% of total devices, which isn't bad.
  • Reply 11 of 111
    But that kickstand. Yuck!

    Kickstand works well lol. I had a Surface 2 prior to my Air and only sent it back due to a screen design flaw, they needed to work on their finger rejection around the bezels.
  • Reply 12 of 111

    I'm on Microsoft's side on this. I see this way appealing to students than the iPad. The Surface's pen capability is the selling point for me. It doesn't have to be one's main computer though it could be. Windows now isn't actually that bad as it used to be, too, though still behind my personal list of OS X's little things.

  • Reply 13 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

     

     

    Isn't that funny? I used to take the 253 to work (back when my office was in Redmond) and I saw all sorts of minions with their Zunes. I never once saw one in the wild, other than on that bus.




    I saw a few people with their Zunes but more often than not I'd see Microsoft employees with iPods. The Zune always seemed to be a problem in search of a solution.

  • Reply 14 of 111
    I'm on Microsoft's side on this. I see this way appealing to students than the iPad. The Surface's pen capability is the selling point for me. It doesn't have to be one's main computer though it could be. Windows now isn't actually that bad as it used to be, too, though still behind my personal list of OS X's little things. 

    Pretty much. Windows 10 is pretty darn good, but there's just a few tiny things that make OS X my preferred daily driver OS.
  • Reply 15 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Top computing devices I see around campus, more or less in order:

    1. MBP

    2. MBA

    3. random crap, usually Dell or HP.

    4. SP3.



    And I see a good deal of SP3's. Maybe about 10% of total devices, which isn't bad.



    I see a lot more MBA's than I do MBP's but the point still stands - Apple laptops (whichever one you choose) are the Gold Standard for laptop design today and one I would expect to continue with the new MacBook

  • Reply 16 of 111
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    I may be in the minority here, but it's actually a pretty compelling device. I'd spring for the $599 model with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, but the Surface tablets are built pretty darn well, so hopefully this continues the trend.



    Still don't like the Windows key being on the side of the display though.



    It's also the newest high end quad core Cherry Trail x7 chip with Broadwell graphics, it's not the low end Atom of yesteryear.

    We have a Surface Pro at work, and they are nice.  The hardware seems solid and it's the perfect device if you have occasional need for both a laptop and a tablet.

  • Reply 17 of 111
    So long as MS continue to treat portrait mode as a red-headed stepchild, I won't be able to take any of their "tablet" offerings seriously.
  • Reply 18 of 111
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Pretty much. Windows 10 is pretty darn good, but there's just a few tiny things that make OS X my preferred daily driver OS.



    I have to say Win10 looks pretty good actually. I'm certainly not going to jump ship to Windows (although I do dual-boot to Win7 for playing games and some light school work with Word) but this looks YARDS better than Sinofsky's disaster of Win8

  • Reply 19 of 111
    It's not bad for an acceptable Ubuntu tablet (laptop).
  • Reply 20 of 111
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Surface 3 marks the end of Windows RT ...

     

    Step 2: kill off Windows Phone.

Sign In or Register to comment.