Microsoft adds cheaper Core i7 tablet to Surface Pro 3 lineup

The new $1,299 configuration keeps the price lower by featuring only 128GB of storage.

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Earlier this year, Microsoft attempted to goose sales of its Surface Pro 3 tablets with a series of price cuts that wound up going on longer than originally promised. Now the company is trying a different tactic to spur demand on the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

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Microsoft has quietly added a new configuration for its higher-end Surface slate, which ZDNet's own Matthew Miller has called "the best computer I have ever owned." Rather than cannibalize sales of its lowest-priced model, however, the latest edition becomes the cheapest one using an Intel Core i7 processor.

The new $1,299 edition comes with the same Core i7-4650U processor as its pricier siblings, as well as possessing the same 8GB of RAM. The $250 difference in price between it and the next Core i7 Surface Pro 3 configuration owes itself primarily to a smaller 128GB solid-state drive in the new model. The price tag of the newest i7 tablet matches that of the higher-end Core i5 variant, which comes with a 256GB SSD.

While hardly as earth-shattering as any kind of official word from Microsoft about a Surface Pro 4 launch, the stealth addition to the Surface Pro 3 family offers a new option for those who want the most processing power but don't mind giving up some storage capacity in order to save some money. Is the new configuration interesting enough to get you to buy a Surface Pro 3? Let us know in the discussion section below.

[Via WinBeta]