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Microsoft's latest laptop hybrid is smaller, lighter and cheaper

Could it be third time lucky with the Surface 3, which runs the full version of Windows.

Image: Surface/YouTube

MICROSOFT IS HOPING it is third time’s a charm as it announced the latest addition to its Surface range.

The Surface 3 (not to be confused with the Surface Pro 3 which was released back in June) will be available in both a standard version and a 4G-ready model.

The 10.8-inch tablet/laptop hybrid is 8.7mm thick and weighs 622 grams. The basic model comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but this can be increased to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage respectively.

It comes with two 1080p HD cameras – an 8MP rear camera and a 3.5MP front-facing camera – and it claims to last 10 hours of video-playback, somewhat longer than what the Surface Pro 3 can offer.

More importantly, it runs full Windows instead of the mobile-focused Windows RT, which seriously limited its use as a laptop. One of the problems with the Surface range was it felt more like a tablet than a laptop so the ability to run any desktop apps like Chrome, Photoshop, and Steam helps matters.

The device can also be upgraded to Windows 10 when it arrives in the summertime.

Kickstand Source: Surface/YouTube

One feature that wasn’t quite carried over from the Surface Pro 3 was the adjustable kickstand. It’s there, but there are only three positions to adjust it instead of choosing the angle you want.

Microsoft say that this is to deal with three main situations – working at a desk, having the Surface on your lap and holding it like a tablet –  but one of the nice parts about the Pro 3 was getting the kickstand just right when on your lap. Whether these pre-determined angles manage to get both the comfort and display right remains to be seen.

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The device is lower-priced than the Pro version and Microsoft appear to be aiming the Surface 3 at students – those who would benefit from having a laptop and tablet but don’t need the same processing power as higher-end laptops – but also businesses who might not need everything the Surface Pro 3 provides.

The price of a Surface 3 will begin at €609.99 and pre-ordering begins today. The device will be officially released on 7th May.

Source: Surface/YouTube

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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