Microsoft launches affordable Surface 3 convertible, new pens, keyboards

Microsoft has surprised everyone with a fresh new addition to their Surface convertible line-up: the affordable Surface 3 convertible. Most of you are probably most familiar with the Surface Pro 3, which is an expensive, but powerful convertible device from the Redmond giant. Microsoft decided to go the affordable way this time, and launched the new, super-cheap Surface 3, a good alternative to the high-powered machine.

The Microsoft Surface 3 was launched alongside a revamped keyboard dock and three different styli, although the difference between them is minimal, namely: their color. Still, the launch is pretty comprehensive and can be considered to foreshadow features and customization options that we might see in the next Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 4.

The new Surface 3 from the company isn’t the cheapest ever convertible, as the Asus Transformer Book Chi is cheaper at $400, but it can still be considered an affordable device to have as a netbook or even notebook replacement for a certain segment of the population. The Surface 3 emphasizes, as usual, portability and style with an easy magnetic dock, better battery life and a powerful processor.

Let’s get into what Surface 3 specs have been revealed today. Before doing so, you should know that you can already go ahead and preorder the Surface 3 from Microsoft, starting at $499. It should arrive on store shelves on May 5. Now for the gist of it. Surface 3 specs include a 10.8 inch display with a reasonable 1920*1280 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. Microsoft goes for the trophy with a fanless design, using the Atom Core M processors, backed by 2 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage, or alternatively by 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage.

Although the new Surface 3 is attractive, offering 10 hours of battery life, standard charging port, full Windows 8.1 OS and more of Surface Pro 3 experience, it has some issues. First off, it doesn’t come with a keyboard or a stylus. If this would be your first Surface device from Microsoft, you might be in trouble. The new Type Cover keyboards will set you back $129. while the red, blue or black stylus will cost you another $50. That totals for $680 for the cheapest configuration, which is not that affordable. The good news is that if you’re a Surface user, you can use your old Type Cover or Touch Cover keyboards, although they won’t line up perfectly.

All that being said, the new Surface 3 price with accessories will probably not influence too many new customers into buying the convertible, but for those that already own such Microsoft products, it might be the perfect new gadget to have in the office. Although the total price is a bit high, the Surface 3 comes as an improvement over previous Surface versions and most fans are extremely glad that they’ve the opportunity of such a machine with a full Windows 8.1 OS on top, to be updated to Windows 10 soon enough.