It wasn’t even one week ago when we heard that Microsoft could have a new Surface tablet just around the corner, one that would be a follow-up to the Windows-RT-running Surface 2 while moving to a full version of Windows, just like on the Surface Pro 3. Rumor was that this new Surface might launch at Build in late April, if not slightly before, but we had no idea just how soon this new tablet would really be making its debut, as this morning Microsoft introduces the Surface 3.
The 10.8-inch tablet has a 3:2 1920 x 1280 display, measures 8.7mm thick, and weighs just 1.37 lbs, making it the thinnest and lightest such model to date. As rumored, the tablet runs the full version of Windows 8.1, powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x7 SoC.
Like the Surface Pro 3, there’s native stylus support, but this time the stylus isn’t included, so you’ll have to pick one up as an accessory. The Surface 3 also picks up a full-sized USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort interface, and supports a docking station. On the camera front, you’ll find an 8MP rear sensor, paired with a 3.5MP front-facer.
Configuration options include a 2GB RAM model with 64GB storage, and a 4GB RAM version with 128GB storage – both offering microSD expansion. You’ll pay just about $500 for the former, or $600 for the latter. Pre-orders are open now, with full sales beginning on May 5. Demo units will hit Microsoft retail stores tomorrow.
Further out, in late June, this WiFi-only Surface 3 will be joined by an LTE-connected cousin. Pricing for those LTE editions isn’t yet available.