Microsoft has today announced the latest model in its Surface line of tablets, the Surface 3. The big news here is that, unlike its predecessors, which were running Windows RT, the new model comes with a full version of Windows 8.1. This means, like on the more expensive Surface Pro models, you can install and run any Windows application including Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, making the Surface 3 a real alternative to a conventional PC.

In terms of design, with its magnesium body without any cooling vents and the kickstand, the new model is close to its predecessor but inside an Intel Atom processor, similar to what you would find in Chromebooks and entry-level PCs, is powering the operating system. The Surface 2 had to make do with a lower-powered ARM processor.

Screen size and resolution have also changed. The Surface 2's 10.6-inch screen with 16:9 aspect ratio has been swapped for a 10.8-inch display with the same 3:2 aspect ratio that is used on the Surface Pro 3. Due to the changed aspect ratio resolution has changed from 1920 x 1080 to 1920 x 1280. The screen now also supports pressure-sensitive pen input via the same N-trig pen digitizer used in the Surface Pro devices.  

In the camera department the front-facing camera captures 3.5MP images while on the back the pixel count has been increased from 5 to 8MP. In contrast to many other tablets the Surface 3 offers a good range of ports including a full-size USB 3.0 connector, headphone jack, microSD slot and a Mini DisplayPort. There is also a microUSB connector for charging. 

The Surface 3 will be available from the 5th of May in two versions. Users can choose between a 64GB model with 2GB of RAM and a 128GB version with 4GB. Prices start at $499. An LTE version for $599 will be available soon as well. 

Source: Surface Blog