This was a great week for many Microsoft enthusiasts as the company revealed to the world Surface Pro 3, a new 12-inch tablet with portrait orientation that aims to kill the laptop and bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. It’s a do-it-all machine.
The Surface event was held on May 20th in New York City, in a small venue, but the Microsoft announcement was pretty big. However the company didn’t unveil what many of us were expecting: Surface mini. According to many reliable people, Microsoft was planning to release a mini version of the tablet, but changed its mind at the last-minute — that being said, Surface mini isn’t dead, you’ll only have to wait a little longer.
During the event and before the big unveiling, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, on an expected appearance, took the stage to talk about “mobile first, cloud first” and how everything comes together with Surface. Then Panos Panay, in charge of Surface, introduced Surface Pro 3 to the world.
He presented the new 12-inch tablet, which according to the company is the “thinnest Intel Core product ever created”. Microsoft also compared the Surface Pro 3 to the MacBook 13-inch, because the tablet is being market as a laptop replacement and with Surface Pro 3 you’ll get 6% more content on the screen than the MacBook, because of the 3:2 aspect ratio.
The new quiet fan was also mentioned, which is “30% more efficient that any product today” and how consumers won’t feel the air flow from the new vents technology.
Panos also showed the new kickstand, which features a completely redesigned hinge that bend itself to stretch from 0 to 150 degrees or to what Microsoft calls it: “canvas mode”. The new kickstand really improves “lapability”. And that takes us to the new Type Cover, which has a new magnetic strip above the functions keys that allows to attach the keyboard firmly to the device and altogether with the new kickstand makes the tablet very stable when typing on your lap.
Also the new Type Cover trackpad is 68% larger than previous version and reduces friction by 78%.
The Surface Pen received a lot of attention too, as it is a full size pen, built with high-quality materials, and connects via Bluetooth to the device. When you grab this pen it feels just right, and writing is the best you’ll experience using a tablet, as Microsoft has practically removed all the parallax effect, as a result you’ll get the lowest latency while writing.
The pen even offers 256 different points of pressure, and when Surface Pro 3 is locked and sleeping, the button at the top of pen serves as a way to wake up the tablet and start writing in OneNote even with the device locked. Clicking the button twice will sync the content right into the cloud too. If you are in the Camera app, clicking twice will take a picture and sync the image to OneNote for later editing — but this is a feature that will be included with a later update.
After the presentation, Microsoft also had set up a reception with many Surface Pro 3 to demos, and there was even an open model to look inside the device and how the components fit together. There was also a docking station, which unlike the one for Surface Pro 2, the new one attaches to the Surface power port that also serves as high-data port to connect peripherals via the docking to the tablet. (The docking supports 4K resolution monitors too.)
Even Satya Nadella stayed for a few minutes after the announcement. I had the privilege to meet him and I have to say that he is an extraordinary individual, which I also believe will keep the company in the right direction. The Surface team was also around answering every question and demoing the device.
No doubt about it, it was a great event, for those wanting to get a Surface Pro 3, the device is already available for pre-order at the Microsoft Store website and orders will start shipping on June 20th.
The box includes: a Surface Pro 3, Surface Pen, power cables, manual, and warranty information. The Type Cover, you’ll have to buy it separately for $129.99.
Finally the party continued, but in a different place. After the event I attended the Tweetup at a bar nearby in New York City, where I got together once again with Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, Ed Bott, Brad Sams, and many other bloggers and Microsoft fans. We had a few drinks and we demoed the Surface Pro 3 to everyone that showed up — I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Below I leave you with all the images from another great day covering a Microsoft event: