Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th May 2014 17:48 UTC

Microsoft has unveiled a new Surface Pro 3 device at a press event in New York City today. Like the previous Surface tablets it still includes a kickstand, but Surface chief Panos Panay says it's designed to remove the conflict of buying a laptop or a tablet. The kickstand on the device is multi-stage, and the device is just 9.1mm thick. "This is the tablet than can replace your laptop," claims Panay. Microsoft has moved to a 12-inch screen on the Surface Pro 3 with a 3:2 aspect ratio and HD display, but the new tablet also has thin bezels with a silver and black design. Microsoft will start accepting pre-orders on the Surface Pro 3 tomorrow starting at $799.

It's an amazing piece of hardware, and Microsoft really deserves praise for the amount of power it has managed to pack in such a slim and light package, but the same could be said of the previous Surface Pro - and that one hasn't exactly taken the market by storm either. The problem, is software - something Microsoft was remarkably hush-hush about during the unveiling.

Something else Microsoft was hush-hush about: Windows RT and ARM. No new RT/ARM-based Surface device, and I have a feeling that particular experiment has met its end today.

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So, will the "laptop + tablet killer" do better? I doubt it. Compared to a real tablet, it is heavy, power hungry, big & clumsy. Compared to a real laptop it is small, cannot be used on you lap (!?), expensive, lousy keyboard.

Maybe, if your use case is "just in the middle" this is the ideal tool for you. But I think that's a small niche market. And again: would'nt an MacBook be a better choice? What does the Surface do what the MacBook (with Windows in a VM for windows-only apps) can't do?

Well said. While the idea of a device that does it all is extremely appealing, there are just too many compromises and always will be. The killer for me is that it sucks as a laptop just because of the weight balance and crappy keyboard. If I want a proper laptop, then I can get one and it will work much better for productivity than a surface. If I want a tablet then I will get a tablet that is lighter and cooler and doesn't need a fan and runs an OS that is optimized for tablets.

In reality I find I'm doing more and more with my phone and in many cases need neither a laptop nor a tablet. Last trip I was on I lugged around my laptop and an iPad (from work), but never used either. My phone was everything I needed (well ok the laptop was used as a backup battery ;)

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