Specifications and pricing for Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 Windows-based tablets have leaked ahead of its expected unveiling at a press conference tomorrow, seemingly confirming the company's plans to extend the Surface family considerably.
Available in ARM-based Windows RT variants dubbed Surface - originally Surface RT - and more powerful Intel models running a full-fat Windows 8 install called Surface Pro, Microsoft's latest attempt at breaking into the tablet market hasn't been an unalloyed success. The company took a near-$1 billion write-down
for unsold stock of the original Surface RT family, and while sales picked up
following a major price cut they never reached the levels for which the company was hoping. The successor tablets
showed that the company had listened to criticism, and initial indications were that sales were good
. Sadly, its most recent earnings call revealed a nose-dive in sales
for the Surface line - leaving some to wonder if Microsoft was going to abandon the effort altogether.
The answer, it would appear, is no. The company has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at which it is expected to unveil third-generation Surface and Surface Pro tablets - and a leak has unveiled specifications for the latter. According to an unnamed source speaking to WPCentral
on the matter, the new Surface Pro 3 will include a larger display behind which the buyer will be given the choice of an Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, a Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, a Core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage or a Core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
Pricing for the new models begins, the site's source claims, at $799 for the entry-level Core i3 and rises to $999 for the 128GB i5. Those looking for 256GB of storage will be asked to pay $1,299 for the i5 or $1,549 for the i7, while the range-topping 512GB model hits $1,949. The range of processor types and wide pricing is a change for the Surface family, and an indication perhaps that the one-size-fits-all approach of most tablet manufacturers is being brought into question.
Microsoft, naturally, has neither confirmed nor denied the leak, nor comments from the same source that the design of the Surface Pro 3 includes a smaller bezel alongside a larger screen - which means no compatibility with existing Surface Covers - and the shifting of the Windows button to the vertical side. With the press conference due to take place tomorrow night, however, fans shouldn't have long to wait to see what Microsoft has up its sleeve.