Microsoft replaces laptops with new Surface tablet

By , on May 22, 2014

Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 3. Photo courtesy of Microsoft.
Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 3. Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

Aiming to replace laptops with slimmer and more powerful tablets, Microsoft on Tuesday, introduced a new Surface Pro tablet to challenge the functions of a laptop computer.

“I am sure that this is the tablet that can replace the laptop,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay said while introducing the tablet in an event.

With a high-resolution screen that is 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) measured diagonally, weighs approximately 28 ounces (800 grams) and is slightly more than a third an inch (0.9 centimeters) deep, Surface Pro 3 best replaces the functions of large and bulky laptop computers.

The tablet comes with a “pen” that can remotely activate Pro 3 and a modified Surface trademark keyboard cover to let users enjoy its tilt function and securely provide support while used in a person’s lap.

“We want products and technologies that enable people to dream and get stuff done,” Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said at a press event in New York.

Gartner analyst Mike Silver said that Microsoft is being innovative and counterintuitive with the Pro 3, as it features a large-screen tablet while rivals fronts smaller, pocket-sized devices.

“There is a lot of elegance in the device, but they have to prove they can communicate that,” Silver said at the unveiling event adding that “if everything works as good as it looks; you are getting pretty close to a device that can replace a notebook computer for a high percentage of people.”

While Microsoft has not yet made a name in the tablet market dominated by Apple and others using Google Android, Nadella stressed that the empire wants to focus on pioneering a “merging of laptops and tablets” rather than competing with device manufacturers.

“We clearly are not interested in building refrigerators or toasters; we are not building hardware for hardware’s sake,” Nadella said.

“The motivation is to create new categories; we want to build productivity experiences.”

Analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates also said that the Microsoft’s Pro 3 is a sign that the company has decided to venture into its strengths in business software avoiding head-on clash with bargain-priced tablets powered by Google’s free Android software.

“Further, Microsoft finally seems to understand it can not go head to head with Apple’s iPad,” Gold added in a research note, saying the Pro 3 is a “superior business device” for work.

The product will be available for pre-order on Wednesday with a starting price of $799.

Meanwhile, other models including a top-end Pro 3 with an Intel Core i7 chip, will hit US market and 26 other countries including France, China, Australia and Germany by the end of August, according to Microsoft.

With reports from Sophie Estienne, AFP