A Close Look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3, which they are describing as the “tablet that can replace your laptop.” Today, MacMall is taking a closer look at it.

While previous versions of the Surface were notably clunkier than competition tablets, the Surface Pro 3 weights in at only 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thick. For Microsoft, this is quite a notable improvement in form, which is starting to get the attention of more aesthetically minded iPad users. As Apple Insider noted, this sleek form factor makes the “Surface Pro 3 the thinnest Intel Core product ever made.”


The Kickstand
To ensure that all users are comfortable, the device features a continuous, “full-friction” kickstand, meaning that you’re able to prop it up at the angle that’s most comfortable for you. As the owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet whose kickstand comes in “too low” and “unstable” settings, this feature is quite exciting.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Side View

The Keyboard
Of course, the kickstand of any given tablet is historically only as stable as the surface it is resting on. For the Surface Pro 3 to truly succeed as a laptop replacement, it needed to be stable when setting on a lap. Aware that previous renditions of the Surface fell short in the “lapability” department, Microsoft also redesigned the magnetic keyboard cover to be more stable on softer surfaces and laps. The Surface keyboard is also touted as being more responsive, which could be a contributing factor to its improved rigidity.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Keyboard

The Pen
Moving away from the keyboard, Microsoft also seems to have taken notes from competitors on the stylus, as it now allows you to hold the tablet in hand (without sending your cursor into convulsions) while writing, much like you would with normal pen and paper. Microsoft refers to this as “palm block technology.” Also much like a regular pen, the Surface Pen features a click top. Clicked once, the pen will launch Microsoft One Note. Clicked twice, and you’re the proud owner of a screenshot that is automatically opened in OneNote, as well.

Microsoft Surface Pro Pen

Surface Pro 3 Models
Available for pre-order today and shipping in June, the Surface Pro 3 is available in several models, starting at $799.

Specs Price
Intel® Core™ i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM $799
Intel® Core™ i5, 128 GB and 4 GB of RAM $999
Intel® Core™ i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM $1,299
Intel® Core™ i7, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM $1,549
Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB and 8 GB of RAM $1,949


Designing on the Surface Pro 3
Yes, having Photoshop Elements or another dumbed down photo editor on the typical tablet can be nice. Being limited can also be infuriating. To enable designers to truly replace their laptops with a Surface Pro 3 when designing on the go, the new tablet/laptop hybrid packs enough punch with its Intel Core processors to run Adobe Creative Suite. (You can also expect doodling while pretending to take notes in a meeting to attain all-new heights. . . not that you would ever do such a thing.)


Surface Pro 3 Accessories
With any new device, there are always a plethora of accessories to consider. If you are planning your Surface Pro 3 as a true replacement for your laptop, the Surface Pro Type Cover and Docking Station will be essential accessories for you.

If you have a bin (or two) for all the tablet, DS, Wacom, or Livescribe stylus pens you’ve found six months after they were lost and you bought a replacement, you may want to order an Additional Surface Pen or Pen Loop. (It’s okay. We’ve lost countless stylus pens and won’t judge you if you need a few to get through the year.)

Accessories & Replacement Parts MSRP MacMall Price
Surface Pro Type Cover $129.99 $114.99
Additional Surface Pen $49 $49
Additional 36W Power Supply $79.99 $63.99
Additional Pen Loop $4.99 $4.99
Docking Station $199.99 $199.99
Ethernet Adapter $39.99 $39.99

Surface Pro 3 Specs

Operating System windows 8.1 Pro
Exterior Dimensions Dimensions:
7.93in x 11.5in x 0.36inWeight:
SilverPhysical Buttons:
Volume, Power, Home
Storage 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
Display Screen:
12 inch ClearType Full HD displayResolution:
2160 x 1440Aspect Ratio:
Multi-touch input
Pen Input Pen input and pen (included with purchase)Pen features 256 levels of pressure sensitivity
CPU 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM — dual-channel LPDDR3TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module — for BitLocker encryption)4th-generation Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7 ProcessorSystem memory: 4GB or 8GB memory optionsTPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security
Wireless Wireless:
Wi-Fi 802.11ac/802.11 a/b/g/nBluetooth 4.0 low energy technology
Battery Up to nine hours of Web-browsing battery life
Cameras and A/V 5MP and 1080p HD front- and rear-facing camerasBuilt-in front- and rear-facing microphonesStereo speakers with Dolby® Audio-enhanced sound
Ports Full-size USB 3.0microSD card readerHeadset jackMini DisplayPortCover portCharging port
Sensors Ambient light sensorAccelerometerGyroscopeMagnetometer
Power 36W power supply
(including 5W USB for accessory charging)

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