Surface Pro 3

Microsoft today unveiled not a smaller Surface Mini, but a larger Surface Pro 3 Windows 8 tablet. It has a 12in screen to match the latest Samsung Galaxy Pro tablets, and comes in a thinner, lighter chassis that makes it more easily portable than a MacBook Air. According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Here we look at new features in the Surface Pro 3. Also see: Surface Pro 3 review and Microsoft Surface Pro live launch: as it happened 

New features in Surface Pro 3: UK availability 

The new Surface Pro 3 will be available to pre-order from tomorrow (21 May), with the device expected to ship in Canada and the US from 20 June. For the first time the Pro 3 will come in Intel Haswell Core i3, i5 and i7 variants paired with up to 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, with prices starting at £639 for the 64GB Core i3 model with 4GB of RAM. The top Core i7 model comes with 512GB of storage and costs £1,649. A microSD card slot is included to expand storage. Also see: Surface Pro 3: release date, price and specs 

New features in Surface Pro 3: Performance 

Microsoft claims its Surface Pro 3 now has the "power, performance and mobility of a laptop in an incredibly lightweight, versatile form". With a fourth-generation Intel Core Haswell processor and up to 8GB of RAM inside, the new Surface Pro 3 is able to run even intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Microsoft says it's now 10 percent faster than the Surface Pro 2.

New features in Surface Pro 3: Screen 

Microsoft has increased the size of the Surface Pro 3's multitouch screen. Previously a 10.6in (1920x1080) ClearType panel, it now measures 12in with a resolution of 2160x1440 pixels. Despite this, the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than its predecessor - 800g vs 1kg - and has gone down from 10.6- to 9.1mm in thickness. Indeed, the Surface Pro 3 is the thinnest Core PC ever made, according to the company. 

New features in Surface Pro 3: Surface Pen 

Surface Pen

A redesigned pressure-sensitive Surface Pen lets you draw, write and generally get creative. Now clickable, a single click of the Surface Pen opens OneNote and lets you begin writing even while the Surface Pro 3 is asleep. A double-click takes a screenshot and uploads it to OneNote. 

New features in Surface Pro 3: Kickstand and Type Cover 

Surface Pro 3 Kickstand

There have been updates to the Surface Pro 3's kickstand and optional £109 Type cover, too. The kickstand is now able to be fixed in any position, and with improved 'lapability' a double-fold hinge lets you lock it to the display's lower bezel for easier working with the Surface Pro 3 on your lap.

The optional Type Cover is thinner; combined with a 68 percent larger trackpad, typing on a tablet is for the first time an enjoyable experience. New Palm Rest tech means you can even rest your hand while you write without it moving the cursor elsewhere on the screen. 

Surface Pro 3 Type Cover

New features in Surface Pro 3: Other specs 

The Surface Pro 3 supports the latest 802.11ac wireless standard, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort. It has built-in front- and rear-facing mics, 45 percent louder stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound, and two 5Mp cameras (front and rear) that can capture full-HD video.

A redesigned fan is 30 percent more efficient than any other. It's apparently silent, with no airflow obvious through the perimeter vent.  

New features in Surface Pro 3: Windows 8.1 Pro 

Running Windows 8.1 Pro, you can install any Windows program on the Surface Pro 3 - not just apps from the Windows Store. This means it'll do everything your Windows laptop can, and in a smaller, lighter, equally powerful shell. With battery life said to last up to nine hours (web browsing), that's not at all bad for a workhorse laptop.