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A first look at Microsoft's smaller, lighter Surface 3, now with full Windows


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Ed Bott is one of my favorite Tech writers along with Mary Jo Foley, who also is in on the leaks from Redmond. Ed got a sample of the new Surface tablet and reviews it here.

Microsoft's newest tablet/PC hybrid is aimed at would-be PC buyers for whom the Surface Pro 3 is too big, too expensive, or both. So what do you get for a starting price of $499?


"I've just unboxed one of the first shipping units of Microsoft's Surface 3. Like every previous member of its family, it's solidly built and physically attractive, with first-rate retail packaging.

After I've had a few days to put Microsoft's newest tablet/PC hybrid through its paces, I'll have more to share on what the experience is like, especially how well it does on battery life (Microsoft claims 10 hours). For now, here are some first impressions of the Surface 3.

This is, for all practical purposes, a scaled-down version of the successful Surface Pro 3. And when I say "scaled down," I mean that in every sense.

At 10.8 inches (measured diagonally), the Surface 3 is noticeably smaller than the 12-inch Pro 3 model. Both models have high-DPI displays, with the Surface 3's display resolution of 1920 x 1280 matching the unique 3:2 aspect ratio of the Pro 3.

The Surface 3 is the lightest Surface device Microsoft has ever offered for sale. As a tablet, the Surface 3 weighs 622 g (1.37 lb); with the optional Type Cover, which turns it into a PC, it weighs 904 g (just a feather under 2 lbs). That's a half-pound less than the Pro 3.

Computing power is scaled down as well. To fit in the slim (8.7 mm, or 0.34 in.), fanless enclosure, the Surface 3 uses an Atom x7-Z8700 processor (it's the first device to ship with a CPU from Intel's new Cherry Trail series). That's significantly less processing power than the Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs in the Pro 3. The two standard configurations also offer half the RAM of the Pro 3 model, with storage maxing out at 128 GB.

The Surface 3 has a microSD slot, a single USB 3 port, and a mini-DisplayPort adapter, just like its larger sibling. It also has front and rear webcams. The biggest hardware difference is a three-position kickstand instead of the continuously"

The full article is here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-first-look-at-microsofts-scaled-down-surface-3-now-with-full-windows/?tag=nl.e589&s_cid=e589&ttag=e589&ftag=TREc64629f

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