Is there still no clear purpose for Microsoft’s Surface 3?

In rolling out its thinnest and lightest Surface tablet yet, Microsoft has improved upon a lot of elements found in previous models.

For one thing, Microsoft has cast aside ARM-based chips and the Windows RT operating system. The Surface 3, with a starting price of $639, is now powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 and comes with a full version of Windows 8.1. Users are afforded a free upgrade to Windows 10.

The Surface 3 has a 10.8” full-HD screen. Its dimensions are: 267 x 187 x 8.7 mm. It weighs only 622 grams. Users have a choice of 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

Microsoft Surface 3 pen

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The tablet`s rear-facing camera has an eight megapixel sensor as opposed to the five megapixel rear-facing camera found on the larger and pricier Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft has also opted to forego custom connectors for the interoperability of a micro-USB port which can be used for charging.

Microsoft Surface 3 USB ports

Changes to the Type Cover now makes hitting the keys a bit more quiet. But the cover still costs an extra $180.

The Surface 3 also comes with a new kickstand that has three pre-set angles. The Pro 3 came with a resistance-based kickstand that allows the tablet to be adjusted at almost any angle.

Microsoft Surface 3 Kickstand

Microsoft is touting the Surface 3 as the “tablet that replaces your laptop.” But at least one analysts believes, there is still no clear designation for the tablet.

The problem, according to Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, is that Microsoft keep on “having to reposition” the Surface.

“What it stands for isn’t really clear because last time you looked it was something else,” Kay said in an interview with

The Surface appears to be stuck between the two worlds of work and play.

This is something that could touch on the very reason for being of most tablet devices. Five years after the release of Apple’s original iPad, worldwide tablet sales have slowed. Global tablet shipments are projected to fall to eight per cent this year.

Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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