Mi­crosoft un­veils cheaper tablet

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By An­drea Chang an­drea.chang@la­times.com

Mi­crosoft Corp. has an­nounced the Sur­face 3, a new, cheaper tablet.

Start­ing at $499 — com­pared with $799 for the flag­ship Sur­face Pro 3 — it is the thinnest and light­est Sur­face that Mi­crosoft has ever shipped. The de­vice is 8.7 mil­lime­ters thick, weighs 1.37 pound and has a 10.8inch screen, smaller than the 12-inch Sur­face Pro 3.

“As we planned the next ad­di­tion to the Sur­face fam­ily, the ques­tions to an­swer for our cus­tomers be­came sim­ple,” Panos Panay, cor­po­rate vice pres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft Sur­face, said in a blog post Tues­day. “What prod­uct would we build to be sure we could make the very best of what we built in Sur­face Pro 3 avail­able to many, many more peo­ple?”

Panay said Sur­face 3 fea­tures the “same beau­ti­ful de­sign and pre­mium ma­te­ri­als as Sur­face Pro 3 in a more com­pact and ef­fi­cient pack­age.”

The Sur­face 3 also has a 3.5-megapixel front-fac­ing cam­era and an 8-megapixel rear-fac­ing cam­era that both cap­ture 1080p video. The bat­tery will last up to 10 hours (Mi­crosoft said its test re­sults are based on video play­back).

The Red­mond, Wash., tech gi­ant has touted the Sur­face fam­ily’s ver­sa­til­ity and its abil­ity to seam­lessly turn into a lap­top re­place­ment. So the Sur­face 3, like ev­ery Sur­face, has a kick­stand. Users can click in a type cover to use a key­board in­stead of tap­ping on the screen. It runs full Win­dows, in­clud­ing desk­top apps, and in­cludes a one-year sub­scrip­tion to Of­fice 365.

Pre-or­ders are un­der­way. The de­vice will go on sale May 5.

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