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Microsoft ups tablet war ante with 12-inch Surface Pro 3

Panay Panos introduces the Surface Pro 3

Many thought that Microsoft would be launching a mini version of its Surface tablet this month. The Redmond, Wash-based company went big instead with its new 12-inch Surface Pro 3, which it touts as “the tablet that can replace your laptop.” The device, which goes on sale in the United States Wednesday for a starting price of US$799 is available with a choice of Intel Core i3, or Core i5, or Core i7 processor.

The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale in Canada starting June 20. Starting price for the Surface Pro 2 was $899 when in launched in Canada October 2013.

Surface Pro 3 with Pen

Surface Pro 3 with Pen

The device still comes with a snap- on or click- on keyboard that transforms it from a tablet to a full function laptop.

New Surface Pro 3 kickstand positions

New Surface Pro 3 kickstand positions

“So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that serves all purposes,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice-president, Microsoft Surface. “Surface Pro 3 is thet ablet that can replace your laptop — packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device

Surface Pro 3 with docking station

Surface Pro 3 with docking station

The device supports up to 8 GB of RAM. It has upgraded cameras and at 0.36 inches thick it weighs just 1.7 lbs.

According to Microsoft the Surface Pro is 30 per cent thinner than the 11-inc MacBook Air from Apple.

Surface Pro 3 features a 12-inch full HD display, 4th-generation Intel Core processor options and runs Windows 8.1 Pro, including Microsoft Office. The Surface Pro 3 also delivers writing and drawing experience with Surface Pen. A new feature enabled users to launch a fresh page of OneNote with just a click of the pen.

New Surface pro 3 Type Cover

New Surface Pro 3 Type Cover

The device also features a new Type Cover and a revamped trackpad. There is also a new dock that can display out to a 4K monitor, a new kickstand that reclines further than before allowing user to watch movies from their lap. Panay said 96 per cent of people with iPads also have a laptop because people mainly use tablets for watching movies and using mobile apps while laptops are meant for getting work done. He said Surfrace Pro 3 was designed to take that “conflict away.”