In a blog post this morning, Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President — Microsoft Surface has announced the new Surface 3 starting at only $499 with pen and type cover sold separately.
Scheduled to ship May 5, the Surface 3 marks the end of the line for Windows RT, the ill-fated OS in the first two original Surfaces.
The Surface 3 claims up to 10 hours of battery life and features a 10.8" 3:2 display, 1920x1280 "Full HD Plus" resolution, Quad Core Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700 processor, and two configurations: 2GB RAM with 64GB storage or 4GB RAM with 128GB storage for $599.
Additional models with 4G LTE are scheduled to be available in late June, but prices were not yet available.
The Surface 3 dimensions are 10.52" x 7.36" x 0.34" (267mm x 187mm x 8.7mm) and weight is 1.37 lbs (622g). Other features include:
- Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Full-size USB 3.0
- Mini DisplayPort
- microSD™ card reader
- Micro USB charging port
- Headset jack
- Cover port
- Windows 8.1
- 1-year of Office 365 Personal6 with OneDrive cloud storage7
- 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera
- 8.0 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus
- Stereo speakers with Dolby® audio
While extolling the significance of the Surface Pen, Panay's post announced the release of a new Windows App called StaffPad that recognizes handwritten music. "Since we first launched the pen, we’ve also seen some amazing app experiences created specifically for the pen that let you go far beyond the capabilities of a mouse and keyboard or touchscreen," Panay wrote. "Today we’re excited by the arrival of StaffPad in the Windows store — a music composition app designed specifically for Surface because of the power of the Surface Pen. It recognizes your handwritten music, and converts it into a beautifully typeset score and even lets you play it back, drawing from a full orchestral sample library. It’s an amazing use of the pen."
The Surface 3 will be available to check out in Microsoft Stores April 1.