Microsoft targets MacBook Air audience with Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has unveiled its latest Surface Pro, targeting MacBook Air users and people who want a full-function tablet

Microsoft has unveiled its latest Surface Pro, which it is targeting at MacBook Air users and people who want a tablet that is equivalent to a full-blown laptop.

The Surface Pro 3 tablet weighs just under 800 grams and is equipped with a 12in ClearType, colour-calibrated, high-definition (HD) screen, with a resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels.

The tablet is powered by fourth-generation Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, with between 4GB and 8GB of RAM. Solid-state disk (SSD) storage options range from 64GB to 512GB.

In terms of expansion, the Surface Pro 3 includes a USB 3 port, SD card slot and DisplayPort for video. Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 3 can run for nine hours on one battery charge.

So far, Microsoft's newly instated CEO, Satya Nadella, has focused on presenting the company's drive to deliver software across  multiple platforms, such as making Office 365 available on iPads

Surface Pro 3 is a big part of Microsoft's hardware strategy, which has been driven by the acquisition of Nokia's mobile devices division.

Nadella said the question that needs to be asked and answered is: Why hardware? 

"We clearly are not interested in building refrigerators or toasters. We are not building hardware for hardware's sake. We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company, from our cloud infrastructure to our application services to our hardware capabilities, to build these mobile-first productivity experiences. That's the mission," he said. 

"We're building new strength and capability around that alchemy of being able to bring hardware and software together. And the Nokia deal really gives us the extra strength to be able to do that," Nadella added.

Panos Panay, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Surface, said the Surface was designed to combine the benefits of tablets and PCs.

“We wanted to design a device that can marry the power of the full PC without compromising the sleek finish, elegant look and feel, light weight, thinness and great battery life that we expect from a tablet."

He said businesses interested in the new device include BMW Group, The Coca-Cola Company and LVMH (Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton).

The device has been priced at $799 and is expected to ship in the UK in August.

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