A new entry level device has been introduced by Microsoft Corp for refreshing its tablet lineup; the Surface 3 comprises of more software, but its price is also steeper than its software. Also, the Surface 2 was powered by an ARM-based chip, but an Intel processor has been used by the software giant for the Surface 3. This means that the device doesn’t run on the rather limited Windows RT, but includes the fully operational Windows 8 operating system. It has been suggested by experts that this move by Microsoft could replicate the success enjoyed by the higher-end Surface Pro 3.
Launched 10 months back, the bigger tablet boasts a 12 inch screen as opposed to the new Surface 3, which has a screen measuring 10.8 inch. In the last three months of 2014, there had been a rise in shipments of the Surface tablets from 1.8 million units to 2.1 million units as compared to the same time in 2013. The bulk of the demand was contributed by the Surface Pro 3 since it became available in the market. Therefore, the software company was able to benefit from a greater share in the tablet market, which went from 2.3% to 3.2%.
In contrast, even though Apple remains the best-selling brand in this market, the iPad saw a decline in its sales in the same period. The Pro 3 tablet has been marketed by the software company as a device that can replace a laptop and similar language is being used by Microsoft for marketing the newer device. However, the prime difference is that the Surface 3 is targeted to individuals on a tighter budgets such as school and college students and mobile workers who may prefer a lighter and smaller design. This device will work for those who want to work and is not designed for entertainment. It has been scheduled for release on 7th May.
Featuring 2GB RAM, 64 gigabytes of storage and an Intel Atomx7 processor, the price of the basic version of the Surface Pro is about £419. This is about one-third less than the cheapest version of the Surface Pro 3, which is priced at £639. However, it is about two-thirds greater than the price charged for the Surface 2 i.e. £259, but it had lesser storage. The keyboard cover and touchscreen pen aren’t included and the cost is increased by £155 if they are also purchased. Nonetheless, analysts did say that the device may not meet the needs of individuals looking for notebooks because it has less horsepower than the Surface Pro 3.
However, the newer tablet also has access to a lot more programs because it is based on the Windows 8 operating system rather than Windows RT. For instance, the Surface 2 was unable to run full versions of Spotify, Google Chrome, World of Warcraft, Photoshop and CorelDraw while the Surface 3 can. But, the presence of Atom-class chip means that running some programs such as CAD software and video editing programs may still be difficult.