If you’re thinking of buying a MacBook Air from Apple AAPL +0.05%, Microsoft MSFT -0.15% wants to stop you in your tracks. It’s gunning for the ultra-thin laptop market with a tablet that aims to replace most people’s idea of a primary computer – a tablet that unapologetically wants to replace your laptop.
The software giant has moved to fortify its struggling Surface line-up with the Surface Pro 3, a device that’s wider and thinner than its previous tablets. The key here is that Microsoft is no longer trying to challenge the iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab – with Microsoft’s 2% share of the tablet market, that ship has sailed. Instead it’s gunning for the MacBook Air and Samsung’s ultra-thin ATIV laptop, boldly declaring that it is “taking the conflict away” between laptops and tablets with its catch-all Surface Pro 3.
The tablet, unveiled at an event in New York earlier today, features a 12-inch screen, kick-stand, stylus, and a trackpad that’s 68% larger than before. The new Type Cover that Microsoft has designed for this Surface is also thinner and clicks into the screen so the tablet remains closed inside a bag.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the tablet that can replace your laptop,” said Panos Panay, the head of Microsoft’s Surface team when he demoed the device. He then showed off its sturdy casing by dropping it on a carpeted floor, to claps and cheers from Microsoft fans in the audience. “It doesn’t break,” he said.
The Surface Pro 3 has a laptop-like price tag, starting at $799 for a device with 4 GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and an Intel INTC 0% Core i3 processor. (It’s unclear if that price also includes the peripheral keyboard.) That goes up to $1,949 for the most high-end model with 512 GB of storage and an Intel Core i7 processor.
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