The launch of the Surface Pro 3 comes less than a year after Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 2, which received positive reviews for being a powerful PC inside a tablet form factor.
“This is the tablet that can replace your laptop,” said Microsoft spokesperson Panos Panay during the event. “We designed it in thinness around every corner. This is faster than the Surface Pro 2 you’ve loved to date and is much thinner.”
The Surface Pro 3 is 12 inches, up from 10.6 inches, to increase productivity and weights 1.76 pounds, without a keyboard. It measures in at just 9.1mm and is the “thinnest Intel Core product ever made,” Microsoft says. It comes with a multi-position kickstand and a 2160×1440 screen.
It also comes with an updated trackpad: “We got no praise for our [last] trackpad. We heard you.”
In addition to an improved hinge, users can now tilt the screen to an angle of up to 150 degrees. The SP3 keyboard is different than before too, capitalizing on how it sits in your lap and cuts down on shaking that occurs when you type.
Meanwhile, Adobe’s Michael Gough gave an early look of Photoshop CC, which will be optimized for touch on the Surface Pro 3.
The company announced the news at its “small” Surface event, which will likely mark its launch into the into the small-screen tablet market with the Surface Mini.
Panay made it clear that the device aims to be both a tablet and laptop — saying it has “lap-ability” — and get rid of the confusion for consumers deciding which one to buy.
“[Tablets] are designed for you to sit back and watch movies, browsing the web and snacking on apps,” said Panay during the event. “Laptops are designed to do something … editing and making. Sometimes they come out clunky or beautiful, but that is a design point and they are made for that reason.”
“It doesn’t matter what store you walk into, the conflict exist,” he said. “What am I supposed to buy? … The response is ‘what is it you want to do?’ … You’ve been told you need a tablet, but you know you need a laptop.”
Panay noted that 96% of people who own an iPad also own a laptop, but the Surface Pro 3 promises both functions.
“Today, we are taking this conflict away from people,” he said. “It would still have to be thin and light … it would have to be sexy, feel good … all in one package … and maybe a little bigger.”