Surface 3

If you’re looking for a tablet computer with more functionality than Apple’s iPad range Microsoft may have just the thing for you.

The latest edition to Microsoft’s Surface family of tablet computers is the Surface 3 which will become available in New Zealand in May.

Like the various versions of the Microsoft Surface computing device Microsoft has been releasing over the last few years, the Surface 3 works like a laptop computer because it can run just about any desktop software you choose to install. But it also plays like a tablet computer because it has a touchscreen and comes preloaded with apps such as Music and Video.

Microsoft New Zealand Marketing and Operations Director Frazer Scott described the Surface 3, a home version of the much punchier and more expensive Surface Pro 3, as a tablet computer that could replace a laptop but was thinner, lighter and even more affordable that such a personal computer.

“Powerful and efficient, Surface 3 is optimised to run full Windows and Office and features long battery life. Starting at just $NZ799, it packs performance and value into an elegant, lightweight design,” Scott said in a press release.

The software giant is pitching the Surface 3 to students, schools and anyone looking for a portable computing device to get things done. It said the ability to run Microsoft Windows applications such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop was one of the Surface 3′s strengths over the more limited tablet computers running either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android mobile operating systems.

Microsoft Surface Corporate Vice President Panos Panay said the Surface 3 brought the core functionality of the corporate focussed Surface Pro 3 in a more affordable device. The top model of the flashier device is more than twice the price of the best Surface Pro. “We’ve taken everything we learned making Surface Pro 3 and poured that innovation into this newest Surface. It’s beautiful, versatile, powerful and productive, and our customers are going to love what it lets them do.”

It’s powered by the new quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor, instead of the uber powerful Intel Core series, which has been designed to maximise efficiency with up to 10 hours of video-playback battery life.

Like the Surface Pro 3 the cheaper device has a range of storage and memory configurations.

There’s a 10.8-inch ClearType HD multi-touch display and audio-enhanced sound.

It comes full Windows 8.1 but will be upgraded to Windows 10 for free whenever that becomes available.

As well as a one-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneDrive cloud storage, there are also a series of accessories available with the Surface 3. The Surface 3 Type Cover is offered in a variety of colours, the Surface 3 Docking Station lets people easily connect to an external monitor.

The 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage model is expected to sell for NZ$799 and the 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage model for NZ$959.

You can check out the options and accessories at Microsoft’s online store, and pre-order today if you wish.