May 20, 2014 Last Updated 8:12 am

Microsoft targets business users with release of Surface Pro 3

Microsoft today unveiled a new pro-level version of its Surface tablet, looking towards those power users that want a tablet, but can not afford to lose the power of their laptops.

SurfacePro3-lg“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 the tablet that can replace your laptop — packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device. You’ll love being able to carry a single device for your next class, workday or weekend getaway knowing you have all the power you need.”

Priced starting at $799, the new Surface Pro 3 is clearly not targeted at the low-end Android tablet market. Configurations go all the way up to $1,949 for a version with an Intel Core i7, 512 GB of storage room, and 8 GB of RAM. By way of comparison, a 13″ Macbook Pro similarly with similar specification comes in at $1,449 – though the comparisons only go so far when battery life and other factors are considered. (Microsoft itself compared the new tablet to the Macbook Air. The problem with this is that few who migrate from Windows to the Mac OS look to move back to Windows.)

The question most publishers and developers have is whether Microsoft will become an important player in tablet editions and this product introduction really doesn’t change things. Most readers dump their laptops after work and prefer their smartphones or tablets. The new Surface Pro 3 has excellent specs and is far lighter than previous models, but will owners want to use it after hours?

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