*This is sponsored post by Microsoft Malaysia*
Microsoft Surface 3 was announced globally in US end of March 2015 at an event in NYC. Not long after this, Microsoft Malaysia held a media event to announce it for the local Malaysian market last Monday, on 13 April 2015.
Touted as “the tablet that can truly replace your laptop”, the Surface 3 combines the best of a tablet’s portability (it’s the thinnest and lightest Surface yet) yet runs on full Windows app including full MS Office. The best of both worlds, really.
See Also : Microsoft Surface Pro User Review
I was unfortunately away in Australia (as you can see from my Instagram pics), so I missed the opportunity to touch and feel and get my hands-0n time with the device. 🙁
Considering I’ve been reviewing the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (and typing this post using it), I’m genuinely excited to see how they can make this any thinner and lighter than it already is.
About Microsoft Surface 3
First up, here’s a quick specs overview of the Microsoft Surface 3 :-
- 10.8″ ClearType Full HD Plus touchscreen display (1920 x 1280)(235 ppi)
- 1.6 GHz Quad Core Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700 processor (2 MB Cache, up to 2.4 GHz)
- 2 GB RAM with 64 GB storage -OR- 4 GB RAM with 128 GB storage
- Powered by Windows 8.1 OS (FREE upgrade to Windows 10, when available)
- 8.7 mm thin, weighing from 622 g
- Non-removable Battery (up to 10 hours video playback)
- Ports : 1 x USB 3.0, 1 X mini DisplayPort, 1 x microSD card reader, 1 x microUSB charging port, 1 x mic/headphone jack
- 8 megapixel rear camera (with autofocus); 3.5 megapixel front camera
- Connectivity : WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
For more information and specifications, check out the Microsoft Surface 3 Malaysian product page at https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-my/products/surface-3
There is a lot to like about the newly announced Surface 3.
Microsoft wouldn’t exactly label this as a successor to the previous Surface RT (that’s no longer listed on the website). That’s because, the Surface RT was built more as a tablet that you can use as a semi-laptop. Why “semi-laptop”? Because it doesn’t exactly run full Windows desktop softwares like Photoshop, MS Office, etc that you’re familiar with in a full blown laptop.
And now, we have this newly improved Surface 3. It’s NOT an upgraded RT.
According to Microsoft, the Surface 3 is the best of a tablet that works like a laptop; targeted to students, parents and mobile professionals.
Personally, I’d call it a Surface Pro “Lite”. A tablet / laptop hybrid that’s not quite as high spec as the “Pro” series, but is still a very good device perfect for the less hard-core, everyday users.
Thinner and Lighter
At 8.7 mm thin, you’d think I’m referring to a flagship smartphone. Even for a tablet, this is some seriously slim profile. For a laptop, this is almost unheard of!!! All this beauty at 622 grams, way way under 1 kg for serious portability.
The Surface 3 now comes with a 3-position kickstand, which is much welcomed compared to single fixed position in its predecessor. Still not as good as Surface Pro 3 though, that has a flexible kickstand for any angle.
Runs Full Desktop Software
The Surface 3 is now a truly worthy device if you’re looking for a tablet that’s also a portable laptop that can handle actual work. You can install and run full MS Office in Surface 3 – which means you can edit docs with MS Word, create spreadsheets with Excel, jazz up presentations slides with PowerPoint, work emails with Outlook, and more.
You’re not limited to Microsoft softwares, you can install Photoshop, Spotify desktop, Tweetdeck and everything else as you would on a normal laptop!
Improved Pen Experience
I have friends who still use a pen and paper notebook to scribble and doodle diagrams, designs, ideas, mind maps, and more. I do that sometimes, too, and love stylus support on my tablets. One of the things I really love about my last review of the Surface Pro is the Pen.
Pen experience with the Surface 3 is improved with better palm block technology that only recognises the pen input (not your palm when you rest it on the screen as you write), click the top of the pen as a shortcut to immediately launch OneNote and is more responsive than before. A real point stylus like a pen for better accuracy, none of those rubbery capacitive stylus crap.
If you know me, you know I love accessories with all my gadgets.
Good to know that Microsoft has good accessories you can purchase to complement your Surface 3 – like 4 different colours of Surface Pen (silver, blue, red and black) to match the different colours of Surface 3 Type Cover (that comes with backlit keys). Click on the Type Cover and turn the Surface 3 into a full blown laptop. I love the Type Covers in the Surface Pro 3, by the way. But I shall reserve judgement for Surface 3 for later.
It’s unfortunate that the Type Cover is not, by default, bundled into the Surface 3 though. But there are bundle promotions in some retailers for this. So, all’s not lost.
There’s also a docking station, which is new. It turns the Surface 3 into a powerful desktop PC – from plugging in your Ethernet LAN cable for wired internet connection, to more USB ports and more.
The pricing and availability of the Microsoft Surface 3 is up on the Microsoft Malaysia website HERE.
The Surface 3 will be made available in retail stores in Malaysia, from 5 May 2015 onwards, at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) starting from RM 1,989 (2GB RAM, 64 GB storage version) and RM 2,389 (4GB RAM, 128 GB storage version).
Compared to the Surface Pro 3 priced at RM 2,899 onwards, this is indeed a much more affordable version for the average user. In fact, I find this to be priced just right, at the sweet spot of a decent, mid-range laptop – but what you get is a hybrid device that’s a portable laptop and a tablet at the same time.
Pre-Order for Surface 3 is AVAILABLE NOW
You can now pre-order yourself the Surface 3 from any of Microsoft Malaysia’s authorised retailers at http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-my/buy (Consumer) or https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-my/business/order-now (Business).