Microsoft Announces 12" Surface Pro 3

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Bigger, thinner, and lighter to boot.

Today, in New York City, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his team are expected to unveil a new batch of Surface tablets, going into further detail about how the company's new "devices and services" mandate will empower users.

Nadella detailed that the company doesn't want to build hardware for hardware's sake, instead tying together the entire Microsoft ecosystem and all their devices with phones and Surface tablets. "Can we design and build a device that takes the best of the tablet and the laptop, and enables any individual to be able to read and to be able to create and write, allows you to watch a movie and make a movie, enjoy art, and create art," says Nadella.

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Surface Pro 3.

After Nadella's introduction ended, Surface head Panos Panay took the stage to talk about the new devices themselves. He detailed the conflict between laptops and tablets and why users often opt for two devices over one—the Surface Pro 3. Featuring a bigger, 3:2 aspect ratio 2160x1440 12-inch screen and a variable-angle kickstand, this device is finally designed to eliminate the line between a productivity device and a consumption device.

Based on Intel internals, it's thinner than the Surface Pro 2, at a super-svelte 9.1mm thick and a light 800 grams. Featuring a custom radial fan, The Pro 3 should run cooler and quieter than the Pro 2. Panay then performed his favorite party trick by dropping the Pro 3 onto the (carpeted) floor without so much as a scratch or a shattered screen.

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Panos Panay shows off the brand-new Surface Pro 3.

Of course, this new Surface needs new keyboard covers since the old ones were designed for the small-screened devices. These keyboards have a brand-new trackpad—68% bigger, with 78% less friction. This new keyboard should enable even better "lapability" for use in laptop-like modes while seated. Magnets in the keyboard can click the keyboard up onto the screen, which is supposed to stabilize this device better than previous Surface devices. Finally, the Surface Pro 3's screen is meant to replicate a piece of paper better, which, when paired with a new Surface Pen, enables handwritten notetaking. A dedicated button opens up OneNote almost instantaneously so you can capture a quick note.

Preorders will be taken starting May 21st, starting at $799 for a version with an Intel Core i3 processor.