Microsoft Goes Big with Surface Pro 3

Microsoft on Tuesday took the veil off the Surface Pro 3, which the company is billing as a tablet and a laptop. Although it's not officially an all-in-one computer, it does pack power many expect from a laptop. Defying weeks of rumors that the company would introduce a Surface mini, the company went big -- very big, but also light and thin.

The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch full HD display, fourth-generation Intel Core processor options, click-in keyboards, and a multiposition kickstand that lets a user switch from what Microsoft calls "movie mode" to working mode to writing mode. The tablet runs on Windows 8.1 Pro, so users can run standard Microsoft desktop apps like Office.

"So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that serves all purposes," said Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Microsoft Surface. "Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop."

Turning Enterprise Heads

Microsoft hopes to turn the heads of enterprise users with the Surface Pro 3. The company is convinced commercial customers can use the tablet as a laptop replacement without sacrificing power, manageability or security. Redmond has Apple in its crosshairs, noting the Surface Pro 3 is the thinnest device ever built around Intel Core chips, 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air.

Boasting a 2160x1440-pixel screen, the Surface Pro 3 is 0.36 inches thick -- slightly thicker than the first iPad -- and weighs just 1.76 pounds. It has a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader and MiniDisplayPort. It will be available in multiple configurations, starting with an Intel i3-based model with 4 GB of RAM and a 64 GB solid-state drive for $799, up to an i7-based version with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage for $1,949.

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