Surface 3: Right tablet, wrong time

Computerworld | May 5, 2015

Starting at $500 the new tablet runs full Windows 8.1 and will be upgraded to Windows 10 later this year.

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One of the best reviewed Microsoft tablets went on sale today, but it comes when the global tablet market continues to shrink.

Starting at 500 dollars the new tablet runs full Windows 8.1 and will be upgraded to Windows 10 later this year. That means you can run full desktop applications, which you couldn’t do on the company’s Surface RT and you can’t do on Apple’s iPad. The tablet comes with a one year subscription to Office 365 which includes productivity software like yWord, Excel, PowerPoint and others. After that it's 70 dollars a year.

Surface 3 has a 10.8 inch full HD display and includes a USB 3 and mini display port, a micro SD card reader, a micro USB charging port and a headphone port.

Microsoft is aiming Surface 3 at students and families. It features more functionality than Surface RT which runs a stripped down mobile OS, but it's not as powerful as the Surface Pro 3 which is aimed at professionals and starts at 800 dollars.

Surface 3 runs a quad core Intel Atom processor at 1.6 gigahertz. Microsoft said it provides 80% of the performance of a Surface Pro 3 which uses an Intel Core i3 processor.

The device comes with a stylus and a type cover with track pad is available for 130 dollars.

The tablet is available now in two different configurations at 500 and 600 dollars. Both have Wifi and Bluetooth, but versions with 4G LTE will be out soon.

Nick Barber, IDG News Service.