Microsoft: No need for laptop with its new tablet

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm •  Published: May 20, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft bills its new Surface tablet computer as a laptop replacement — and it means it this time.

The Surface Pro 3 will have a screen measuring 12 inches diagonally, up from 10.6 inches in the previous model. The Pro 3 is 32 percent thinner and 12 percent lighter than October's Pro 2. The company said it customized more than 100 parts and worked closely with chipmaker Intel Corp. to maximize performance in a slim device.

Microsoft had also billed the Surface Pro 2 as a laptop replacement, but Surface executive Ben Reed said technological advances and customer feedback over the past several months led to the device unveiled Tuesday.

The Surface Pro 3 will go on sale this summer, in five configurations ranging from $799 to $1,949. Microsoft will start taking orders Wednesday. Older models will still be available. The starting price of the Pro 2 is $100 more, at $899, but it has a faster processor than the Pro 3's starting model.

A keyboard cover to make the tablet feel like a laptop costs $130 more.

The Surface is an important part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's mobile-focused strategy. The company is trying to boost sales of Windows tablets and phones to stay relevant with consumers as computing habits change.

Microsoft executives spent much of an hour-long presentation in New York comparing the Surface with Apple's iPad and MacBook Air laptop and tried to make the case for the Pro 3 to replace both.

In an interview, Reed said he believes people want to lighten their bags by carrying a single Surface instead of separate tablet and laptop computers.

Microsoft also faces competition from Samsung Electronics Co., which has a line of large-size Android tablets aimed at professionals.

The first Surface came out in late 2012 to lackluster sales. The debut of second-generation devices last October came with a greater marketing emphasis on tasks people normally tackle on laptops, such as creating documents and editing movies.

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