Today we can add one more prestigious accolade to the growing list as the Surface Pro 3 has just been named this year’s winner of the “Best Mobile Tablet” category at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The 20th Global Mobile Awards judges were very impressed with the device, saying:
“Its very carefully engineered design bridges the worlds of consumption and creation like no other. Users can embrace the tablet form factor leaving their PC behind with no regrets.”
It’s great to see that Microsoft’s hard push into the consumer market is being recognized on the world stage, especially with stiff competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung.
The Surface Pro 3 was a major upgrade over the previous models, but many people who purchased the Surface Pro 2 were very disappointed to see that Microsoft launched its successor much sooner than expected. Microsoft is now running a new promotion offering the trade-in value for their used Surface devices for a gift card of up to $650 towards a Surface Pro 3.
Before you get excited though, it’s not as exciting as it seems. The only way to get the full $650 is to actually trade in a Surface Pro 3, which some may want to do if they’re looking to get a more powerful version. However, a 128GB Surface Pro 2 which was the most popular configuration of the model, would only get you $221. Don’t even bother with the original Surface RT because that would only get you a measly $84.
To see how much your device is worth, head over to this website to get it appraised. This promotion runs from February 15th to the 8th of March and is only available in the US and Canada. You’ll then receive a trade-in voucher if you proceed and it must be used before April 8th of 2015.
Overall, if you’re someone who doesn’t prefer to sell their electronics privately and appreciate the convenience of dealing with Microsoft, then this is a pretty good way to save some money off of a brand new Surface Pro 3. However, if you have the time and willingness to sell your device privately, it’s definitely a way to make more money off of the sale.
Microsoft has been on a shopping spree lately with some pretty big purchases taking place in the last little while. In the last month alone, the software giant has acquired the popular email company Accompli for over $200 million and has turned it into a world-class Outlook email app which is currently only available on iOS for now.
Just yesterday Microsoft officially confirmed that they’ve purchased popular calendar app Sunrise for over $100 million, and earlier today it was reported that Microsoft has acquired Israeli digital pen maker N-trig for more than $200 million.
N-trig is the company behind the digital Pen technology in the Surface Pro 3 which has received high praise from customers. It looks like Microsoft has been very happy with the switch to N-trig from their offerings on previous Surface Pro models which used Wacom technology.
The software giant is aiming to bring digital inking experiences to more of their products and really pioneering these capabilities. In a recent interview with ABC news, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said something rather interesting. When asked “what he thinks that we rely on, and won’t be around a decade from now” his answer was the fountain pen. This is pretty interesting as we have known for some time that Microsoft has been investing heavily in this type of technology and acquiring N-trig is a confirmation of that.
Microsoft views digital inking as a very important input method for computing, and just recently, Panos Panay had some pretty interesting things to say to the Wall Street Journal regarding this technology. He also talked about the company’s plans to further enhance this technology and the goal of making the Pen feel as close to writing on paper as possible.
Pianos says “We are 100 percent committed to removing the paradigm that feels like you are writing on glass. We have a lot of technology right now, not only in our labs but also in future generations of development in products that start bringing that pen to life more and more. Getting the pen perfect on the Surface has got a little bit of a ways to go. And we will get there”.
Windows 10 is shaping up to be a hit, and Microsoft seems to be racing towards its release at blistering speed with the help of over 2 million Windows Insiders. Additionally, Windows 10 may be released sooner than we initially thought as the possibility of the OS hitting RTM (release to manufacturers) this June is very plausible with the way it’s been progressing.
This is not a confirmed timeline and things may change going forward, but getting to RTM in June is important for two reasons, the first reason is to have Windows 10 PCs ready in time for back to school. OEMs need time to prepare Windows 10 on their PCs, and a June release from Microsoft would provide them with adequate time to ready their product and have it on store shelves before September.
The second reason would be the Surface Pro line, as this June would mark the one year anniversary of the Surface Pro 3, and Microsoft doesn’t intend to release a new model without it running Windows 10.
Many things must align with Windows 10, as Microsoft will not only be releasing their flagship OS on PCs, but also on tablets, phones, Xbox , Pixel Sense displays and IOT devices. This is not an easy task, as a project of this enormous scale takes careful planning and requires the company to be completely aligned. The pay-off can be of significant benefit if Windows 10 is a success as it graces every device type, but it could be catastrophic if it’s not.
Microsoft has just released a new commercial for the Surface Pro 3. This new 30-second ad is well produced and gets straight to the point – the Surface Pro 3 is the ultimate tablet that can replace your laptop.
The popular laptop-hybrid’s key features that differentiate it from the competition are highlighted as Microsoft shows off the device’s unique adjustable kick-stand, the fact that it can run full version of Office and the usefulness of the Surface Pen. Additionally, Microsoft points out that the Surface Pro 3 is 0.36 inches thin, weighs 1.76 pounds, and is available with up to 512GB of on-board storage. The commercial also shows how easy it is to transform from laptop to tablet as the keyboard can easily snap off.
The video ad is well produced and features “Something’s Happening to Me” song by Arum Rae.
Unlike previous commercials, this one doesn’t take jabs at Apple’s Macbooks. Could there be a change in Microsoft’s marketing strategy now that the Surface Pro 3 sales are starting to pick up? Recent tablet market share figured reveal that while tablet shipments overall world-wide in Q4 2014 have dropped as Apple and Samsung saw major declines in year-over-year comparison, sales of Windows tablets including the hybrid Surface Pro 3 have picked up. Click here to read more on this.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is a bone-a-fide hit. The combination Laptop/Tablet form factor, combined with its excellent screen, impressive hardware, solid build quality and outstanding pen input has made this the most popular Surface Pro to date, with over a billion in sales last year quarter.
If you’ve managed to resist this gem, Microsoft is making it a bit harder to hold off with a great set of deals available both on-line and in it’s physical stores. From Jan 30 to April 5th, a brand new Surface Pro will set you back up to $100 less than normal, plus Microsoft will throw in a free sleeve to boot.
Of course, this deal may be limited by availability of stock. It’s quite possible that Microsoft is selling off excess inventory from the holiday sales season, so its probably wise to grab one while you can!
You can hop on down to your local Microsoft Store, or click on the links below to the online store.
Surface Pro 3 Model. Suggested Retail price (USD)
Intel® Core™ i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM. $799
Intel® Core™ i5, 128 GB and 4 GB of RAM. $899
Intel® Core™ i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM. $1,199
Intel® Core™ i7, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM. $1,449
Intel® Core™ i7, 512 GB and 8 GB of RAM. $1,849
These are great prices for a great combination device. Don’t forget to add in the price for a type cover to your budget. The result is an irresistible combination at a great price. I’ve been running the Windows 10 Preview on my “old” Surface Pro and I have to say I’m really excited about this new version of Windows in combination with the Surface’s form factor. Your new Surface Pro 3 will be receiving a free upgrade to Windows 10 later this year, so there’s no reason to wait!
If you’re on the fence about the Surface Pro 3, take a look at our full blown review as it may help you decide.
Microsoft has announced its earnings for its second fiscal quarter of 2015 ending on December 31 just recently, and one particular area has sparked our interest as it has now officially become one of the many billion dollar businesses Microsoft has. This business that we’re talking about pertains to the Surface line of devices as it has generated $1.1 billion in revenue for the quarter largely driven by strong demand of Surface Pro 3 and its accessories.
This $1.1 billion the Surface line generated is up 24% compared to the previous quarter where revenue was just north of $900 million, and although the software giant didn’t disclose sales numbers, the fact that sales are increasing is an important achievement for the company.
The Surface has achieved it’s goal
Microsoft’s decision to get into the hardware space with Surface devices was a bold move for the company, and was done largely due to the fact that PC OEMs were creating lackluster hardware and Microsoft was not able to convince them to change and make devices that pushed the boundaries in hardware design. Microsoft’s shareholders were not supportive of this decision early on, especially as Microsoft took a $900 million write-down early on in the life cycle of the original Surface RT.
Microsoft’s goal with the Surface line was to create an aspirational device giving OEMs a reference point in hardware design and offer a clean Windows user experience. This decision was met with a lot of backlash from some OEMs which have since started and continually support the Chromebook.
However, when we fast forward to today and look at the devices available in the market and ones that will make their way soon, shows us that Microsoft did in fact inspire OEMs to create bold designs and push into the frontier of hybrid PCs. There are now plenty of form factors to choose from, with new thin and light Ultrabook form factors, PCs that have rotating screens, screens that detach, and even ones that bend all the way back.
OEMs have embraced the change, and Surface is leading the way, and the fact that it’s generating more revenue for Microsoft and proving to be a successful viable business model is a sign of good things to come, especially as Windows 10 is set to arrive.
Microsoft is starting the new year with a bang for Surface Pro 3 owners as the popular productivity device is slated to receive a pretty significant update.
This update, which is throttled (or delivered in stages) to all users, contains enhancements to the HD Graphics driver, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity improvements and updates for the Surface Home Button and Docking Station audio drivers.
Remember, if you didn’t get this update for your Surface pro 3 yet, you can always manually check by swiping in from the right edge of your screen, then go to Settings, tap Change PC setting and then tap Update and recovery. From here you can verify if you have the latest update available to install by tapping on Check now.
Here is the full list of updates:
• Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.450.0) adds support for updated HD Graphics Family driver.
• HD Graphics Family driver update (v10.18.14.4029) enhances display stability and performance, improves user experience when using Miracast adapters. Improves compatibility with DisplayPort monitors and daisy chaining.
• Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3073.151) addresses connectivity issues while Hyper-V is enabled. Adds an advanced feature to control the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band preference.
• Surface Home Button driver update (v2.0.1179.0) ensures compatibility with the Surface Hub app.
• Microsoft Docking Station Audio Device driver update (v220.127.116.11) improves the user experience while using the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station so that sound is available when a speaker is not connected to the docking station.
The laptop-tablet hybrid is very versatile and it’s the perfect size for productivity as well as leisure. But for those of you, power-users who want to connect the Surface Pro 3 to a larger monitor with the ability to plug in an external keyboard and a mouse for example, Microsoft has just the right accessory for you – the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station. It’s equipped with three USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, mini DisplayPort and Gigabit Ethernet Port. Also your Surface will charge while it’s plugged in.
The going price for the Docking Station is $199 at the Microsoft Store but for a limited time it’s available for $163.99 through Amazon.
Now you can turn your Surface Pro 3 into Instant desktop for less. Click here for more on this offer.
Microsoft has hit a home run with the Surface Pro 3 with its design and functionality. The Surface Pro line, and especially the newest Pro 3 model is literally responsible for creating a new category of hybrid devices which are both tablets and PCs.