Surface Pro 3 price and spec leak

Surface Pro 3 price and spec leak

Summary: A new leak suggests that the Surface Pro 3 will span prices ranging from $799 to a whopping $1,949.

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

Ahead of a Microsoft press event related to its Surface tablets, the basic spec and pricing of a rumored Surface 3 Pro tablet line has been leaked.

(Source: Microsoft)

According to WPCentral, Microsoft will offer the Surface Pro 3, which is believed to be a larger device with a 12-inch screen, in the following configurations:

  • Core i3, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage - $799
  • Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage - $999
  • Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,299
  • Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,549
  • Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage - $1,949

The new tablet will also purportedly come with a new Type cover, which makes sense if this is a new class of device with a larger form factor.

This leak fits in with supply chain rumors I've been privy to over recent weeks.

Some thoughts on these details:

  • Those numbers are painful to look at; it's like being hit around the head with dollar signs. The cheapest Surface Pro 3 at these prices will be $300 dearer than the cheapest iPad Air, and $170 more expensive than the cheapest with cellular.
  • The spec range is impressive, ranging from entry-level to high-end processors, RAM, and storage, but no other player in the tablet market breaks up the product line based on spec. This is how PCs were sold in the 90s. It doesn't work any more.
  • Paying almost $2,000 for a tablet. Nope. Just nope. Even at the lower end of +$1,000 the market is going to be small. At the high-end it is going to be almost non-existent. Sure, a $2,000 Core i7 tablet with 8GB of RAM and 52GB of storage is going to be a beast, but it's also a massive gamble.
  • Why is the high end a gamble?
  • - Will a Windows-based tablet app ecosystem flourish to make this investment worthwhile?
  • - What is its expected lifespan? Will it run the next version of Windows due out next year? How long will Microsoft support it with drivers?
  • - Will Microsoft include future OS updates in that price? If Microsoft is indeed playing the long game with Surface, then longevity of the hardware would build trust among buyers.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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  • Can't wait...

    "Those numbers are painful to look at; it's like being hit around the head with dollar signsThe cheapest Surface Pro 3 at these prices will be $300 dearer than the cheapest iPad Air"

    - iPAD Air is pretty useless compared to Surface Pro, so there is no point comparing Surface PRO with ipads...

    Comparing Surface 2 (ARM version) with iPAd would make sense.

    Now stop spreading FUD about Surface.
    • Agreed, for once

      How much does an iPad + MacBook Air cost? That is a better comparison; or a MacBook Air with touchscreen...

      Also the "will it run the next Windows?" Considering that MS have been ensuring that it runs on Intel Atom based tablets, I can't see it turning a Core i7 with 8GB RAM into an unusable brick...
      • High End Worth It

        If it is a 4 core I7 then the prices are worth it. If it is only a 2 core version then it is not so great. For 90% plus of users an i7 is overkill, even a 2 core. Maybe even 99% of users. I have done a real time application and pushed a four core i7 to 80% on all 4 cores. I had 5 Ethernet ports pushing in data to be analyzed. 3 ports I loaded to 60%. I could not run a simulation from a high speed hard drive because it could not deliver data fast enough. Even high end 3D applications like Solid works will not load a CPU as much. They load the graphics processor instead.

        I am not sure what you need an i7 for but if you are one of the few that can use it then the cost of the computer is irrelevant. If all you want to do is keep up with your neighbors then you do not care about price either.
        • "I am not sure what you need an i7 for"

          two things come to mind
          - a better GPU
          - better performance while docked
          • Can You Read?

            I have done studies and found that the processor makes little difference to the GPU. The GPU with its multiple cores does all the work.

            Is a docking station going to come close to having the data threw put of a computer with 5 Ethernet ports? It took 3 Ethernet lines with a high resolution, high speed camera on each running at 60% to load all 4 cores analyzing the images. 60% is massive load. Seldom does an Ethernet cable run above 1% and at the most 3%. Please explain an application that a docking station could come close to providing that much data.
          • you mean, can I read your mind?

            Judging by your comments I am not sure I would have wanted to even if I could.

            Since I have to rely solely on what you write and after rereading your original comment the second time I still fail to see any mentioning of the GPU in it.

            As for explaining anything to you, sorry but I don't see the point. Clearly you are not here to listen. So keep doing your "studies". Let me just suggest a new subject for you -- Intel CPU catalog. In there you should be able to discover that some processors are equipped with better GPU than others.
          • Studies

            "I have done studies and found that the processor makes little difference to the GPU. The GPU with its multiple cores does all the work"

            I don't need a study to tell you that if you have 2 processors with built-in GPUs and one of them (i7) has a faster built-in GPU, the one with the faster GPU will have a faster GPU.
          • Graphics Processor

            In the original post I wrote out "graphics processor" and did not use the initials GPU (graphics processor unit). The GPU in the case I studied was on a separate card with 20 plus cores. I forget the count now. This is not to be confused with a CPU (central processing unit).

            I wonder do any of you know the difference between a i5 and i7. Perhaps a little simplified but an i7 has two preprocessors for every core. An i5 has one per core. The i7 can load two paths and then throw the one not used away. With the i5 it is a gamble on which path the preprocessor follows. Some times branches have more then 2 possibilities so even the i7 often has to throw everything away and start over. I have read studies done by others that show that for common programs the gain of an i7 though measureable is much smaller than expected. Most of the time the process idle exceeds 95% which is part of the reason that an i7 gains so little. Very, very, very few users need an i7. Again, if you have an application that really needs the extra performance of an i7 then cost is irrelevant.
          • I wonder if *you* know the difference between an i5 and i7

            @MichaelInMA, in the Haswell generation, there are significant differences in the functionality and performance of the built-in graphics of the various Intel chip models, separate from differences in the CPU cores. I suggest you do some reading...
          • Over Simplified

            I said that description was over simplified. There are also differences in L1 and L2 caches that add to performance. The point I am driving at is that an i7 is overkill for most users. For those that really need that level of performance the price is not a consideration.
          • I agree

            To many other bottlenecks though the SSD should help. I use a 384 cuda core GPU to transcode HD video and the best I can do is 50% utilization on my quad core PC. Even my lowly Atom 2760 dual core tablet does fine for all tablet tasks. MS has played games in Windows 8 so that only IE has low level access in streaming media but the power is down there.
        • Maxing out CPU

          Seriously, it's not hard to max out all cores on a CPU.
          Just do something as simple as video conversion using de-shake filter.
          Hard disk can't keep up?
          Use a RAM disk.
          • Other ways

            There are many ways especially with video to load all the cores. Getting the data to the processor is the bottle neck. In my recent class on computer graphics the professor showed an example of a filter on a 10 minute video. I forget the filter and most of the numbers except for the final result. With a hard drive it took 6 hours to run. On a SSD drive it took 1 hour. With a large RAID of SSDs it took 5 minutes.

            The trick was getting data to the processor. If you can afford the RAID then the cost of the i7 is not a consideration. On a tablet you could never get the data there that fast.
          • The answer is

            RAM DISK
    • Agreed

      Plus say what you will about Microsoft but they support and update their products for many many years. Those specs will surely run Windows 9 and 10 and driver support will be there. Look, they JUST eol'd XP after how many years? This is no gamble, if you want it and have the scratch get it. You won't be disappointed
      • You mean

        constantly patch the patches they patches yesterday? Yes, that's Microsoft.
        • Actually...yes

          And that's not a bad thing considering the alternative would slow or no support. Will there be exploits of vulnerability for an OS that command's the lion's share of the desktop market? Of course, but can you truly say Microsoft doesn't address such issues quickly?
          • Yup.

            No problem.
          • Really?

            What planet are you from?
        • I like patches

          It might take a while to get through them on a new OS install (depending on how old that OS is) but they are all enhancements either to function or security and MS has does a great job of providing firmware updates to their Surface line to make the tablets faster and more stable.

          Note that the reason you have a LOT of MS patches is that MS takes a more granular POV with updates, allow you to choose which to install and which not to instead of rolling those up in a take it or leave it until there is a SP release. They also tend to quickly release updates on all of their products as soon as that update is available unlike a vendor like Apple that tends to sit on their issues for months, sometimes years, and rolls those updates together. I see as many updates on Windows as I do on Linux (as they tend to have about the same approach to updating).
          Rann Xeroxx