Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Surface Pro 2

By comparison, Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 3 can be used for up to nine hours, which winds up somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% better than the previous Surface Pro 2.

Surface Pro 3 kickstand


Surface Pro 3 includes all of the features that made Surface Pro 2 great, including a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, headphone and Mini DisplayPort jacks, but those accustomed to using their Surface Pro on a lap will find one major change.

That change is what Microsoft calls a "continuous kickstand" designed specifically for the Surface Pro 3. The kickstand includes an adjustable friction hinge capable of taking an angle from zero to 150 degrees for what company executives call better "lapability." Needless to say, that's a huge improvement over the dual-position kickstand on the Surface Pro 2.

Audio is another area the Surface maker managed to improve upon with Pro 3. It now includes front-facing speakers with Dolby sound that are up to 48% louder than the Surface Pro 2.

Surface Pro 3 stylus pen

More than a stylus with the Surface Pro 3

Microsoft is also beefing up the included stylus pen, which promises a more natural, organic ink-to-pixel experience than the previous model. Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Surface Panos Panay demonstrated clicking the pen to wake up the Surface Pro 3 directly in note-taking mode with OneNote, for example.

Last but not least, longtime partner Adobe demonstrated a forthcoming touch-optimized version of Adobe Photoshop CC, featuring a user interface with buttons and icons that have been enlarged by 200% to make them more finger-friendly.

Surface Pro 3 Type Covers

Type colors for every Surface Pro 3 mood


Microsoft has rightfully received plenty of accolades in the past for its Type Covers, but the latest generation promises to improve on that legacy.

Available in five colors, the new "click-in" keyboards feature 63% larger trackpads, while offering greater stability than the previous generation. The Type Covers now magnetically seal themselves against the edge of the Surface Pro 3 for improved lap use in conjunction with the new kickstand.

Surface Docking Station

4K docking, y'all

For users who spent an equal amount of time at their desk and on the go, Microsoft is introducing a new Surface Docking Station. Judging from the company's demo, the dock is as easy as sliding the Surface Pro 3 into place, with support for external 4K Ultra HD displays.

Redmond played coy on exactly when the Surface Docking Station would be available beyond sometime "in the next few months."


Last but not least, Surface Pro 3 manages to best its predecessor in one final key area: Price. The latest and greatest model will start at a still hefty AU$979), although it's important to note that's for a Core i3 model.

Surface Pro 3 will begin pre-orders from tomorrow, with shipping to begin August 21.