Surface Pro

Surface Pro 3? Intel-based Surface announcement looking more likely for next week

We know Microsoft is holding a Surface media event on May 20 in New York, but we're not entirely sure what will be announced. We're set to see the company's first Surface 'Mini' tablet, but more evidence has surfaced, leading to believe that a new Intel-based Surface Pro will be unveiled as well. Microsoft may have inadvertently confirmed this in a support article published yesterday on the company website.

While CNET reported that plans are in place for Intel to be more involved with Microsoft's Surface, the support article in question states that a fresh update for Windows 8.1 "adds support to the Surface Pro 3 camera." Now this could be a minor error on Microsoft's part for releasing this information and we could be seeing a new Intel-based tablet next week, or it could be a simple typo. Either way, we're set to see some Surface action in due course.

We'll have more details next week at the event, but would you be interested in a Surface Pro 3, should one be unveiled?

Source: Microsoft, via: The Verge (Thanks, @NotCassim, for the screenshot)


Reader comments

Surface Pro 3? Intel-based Surface announcement looking more likely for next week


Meh, not sure I'm interested in a Surface Pro 3. My Surface Pro 2 doesn't even feel slightly old yet... Of course, if the SP3 were to have an NVIDIA graphics chip instead of the cheesy little Intel HD chip, I'd change my tune...
For now though, I'm more interested in seeing if they're really crazy enough to put Windows RT in the Surface Mini when we have the Venue 8 Pro around. If they have the sense to ditch ARM for Bay Trail and put "big boy" Windows 8 on the Surface Mini, that's where my money will go.

I think Pro on a Surface Mini would be too complex, especially with everything that small... Sure you could connect a display, but the point would be to have it small, light, portable, and easy to use...

and how often do you go to the desktop on that DV8p to use that power? How well do legacy apps work on a screen that size? Do you attach a mouse to it since touch would be completely worthless on the desktop whne the UI elements are that small? On my SP2, using touch on the desktop is difficult. On an 8" device, it will be nearly impossible.

Hmmm, I actually use desktop mode more than metro on my Dell Venue 8 pro.  I was editing my website last night on it.  Using Textpad to edit the php and css files, FileZilla to transfer the updates to my server, IE desktop to view changes, while receiving all my emails through Thunderbird.  All without a keyboard or mouse attached. 

When I go into Metro mode, I'm usually playing a quick game, watching a movie (either on Plex or Netflix), doing a quick email check, or looking something up. 

I think it's fantastic that I can do both of these tasks on this one device. 


So I would go nuts over a Surface Pro mini. 

I use the desktop nearly every day. That's how I plan flights. That's how I edit maps. That's how I type up documents (which would admittedly work better once the new version of Office is released). I study on the desktop version of Anki, which is the only version, by the way.
As far as attaching a mouse, yes, kind of. I use a little program called TouchMousePounter, which makes the entire screen into a touchpad, which actually works really well, believe it or not. Because I agree with you, most desktop programs weren't designed with touch in mind.

With Baytrail you are making compomises in performance, you are making compomises in standby-time, you are making compromises in security.

So stop this bullshit about no compromise. If you do want to make these compromises, buy a DVP8 and be done.

Surface Mini is for people, who do not want to make above mentioned compromises. Of course they trade-off the ability to run x86 apps. But that is the point of the Surface Mini, widening the market and giving more options.

Basically what theefman said. No compromise.

RT does have significantly better battery life, but from firsthand experience with the DV8P battery life can be spectacular without having a compromised Windows experience... and working with full-fledged legacy software isn't bad even on a smaller screen.

LOL, no. I'd rather it run Windows RT. Many of the desktop x86 apps that I use on a regular basis dont even scale properly on the SP2, how will they fare on an even smaller high-res display?

I want a mini Surface that will serve as a MEDIA COMPANION DEVICE with maximum battery life, for when i want to watch YouTube videos, listen to music, or read a book while im in bed. Not one with full fledged Windows.

Even if it did run Windows 8, I wouldnt even bother trying to get any serious work done on a 7" tablet.

The beauty of Windows 8 is that you can do all those things, but others who want to do real work still can, all on the same device.

The beauty of Windows RT is that it gives you more battery life (yes, even more than those low-powered Intel chips), and produces less heat (yes, even less than those low-powered Intel chips), and you dont have to worry about viruses. And they're cheaper.

If people want small and productive, i have a feeling Microsoft is going to cater to them by introducing a Pro model that is in the Surface 2 form factor with that low-powered Intel chip. What I like to call the SP2-L (Surface Pro 2 Light). :P

Otherwise, Windows RT provides more than enough low-level productivity benefits for a 7" device.

See, people say this and it sounds great, but its not true. At all. I've linked to Anandtech's review plenty of times. Bay trail draws less power than tegra 4. The SP2 post firmware update actually got better battery life than the S2 in web browsing. But everybody still pretends that ARM has some magical power savings just because its ARM.

The Mini is reportedly going to run on a Qualcomm chip though. Even so, Windows RT is relatively lightweight compared to Windows 8, even after use. It doesn't get bogged down by background processes of the x86 apps people install. So it ends up performing better than its low-powered Intel counterpart in the long run. More fitting for a 7" companion device.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

This is another silly argument. You can't blame regular windows for being bogged down by x86 apps if RT doesn't even have that option. If you use it exactly like a WinRT tablet, then you wouldn't have any of those "extra" processes. But you still have the option.

Don't the x86 processes run in the background in win 8 even if there are no x86 apps open and you are just using the modern apps. When I open taks manager, there are many processes running even when no apps are open. Wouldn't RT have less of those processes running?

In general Windows RT is the very same as Windows 8 just compiled for another (CPU) architecture. It also matches Windows 8 (not Pro) feature by feature.

Talking about opening the task manager in Windows RT, you will usually see a few less services running. The reason is not that those services are not available in Windows RT but are not started per default.

An example of this would be the file and printer services, where you allow other devices access the locally shared folders.

And still thats not true. I have both a Dell Venue 11 Pro and a Surface 2. Surface 2 has significantly more duration in particular in standby.

On top of this Surface 2 is the faster device. Baytrails GPU just gives underwhelming performance.

If you want to do " realwork" on an 8 inch device , then get something from Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba or Asus

Scaling might be easier. If a high-res screen is used, straight up linear doubling can be used for applications that misbehave/don't support scaling. Kinda like OSX's solution (this is obviously already an option, but it's overkill on a 10" screen, so the default is much lower).

Key concept here is that they don't scale well when pairing a 1080p res with 10in screen. We can't jump the gun and make such an assumption that Surface Mini will have the same end reult.

The Dell Venue 8 Pro pairs a 8in screen with a 1200x800 res and applications of both legacy and metro environments scale perfectly... there's nothing stopping Microsoft from doing the same. They could even take it a step further and use the Surface Mini to resolve issues of the past 8in Windows tablets (proprietary stylus on DV8P and "too" high res on the ThinkPad 8).

You are making zero sense, you said it yourself .. we already  have Dell Venue 8 Pro, why should they make another tablet that runs full Windows 8 when they can do something different ? Why not make something different to give people choice? If you want full windows on something as small as an 8 inch tablet  . you can get one from Dell , Lenovo, Toshiba, Asus, or Acer. .. If you want a simple 8/7 inch tablet that runs Windows RT , you get Surface mini. More choices for the consumer, not more of the same thing. 

Personally, I would love to see both a Surface Mini and a Surface Pro Mini.  I would go for the Pro Mini myself, but I think the RT version would be best for most small tablet users. 


Makes no sense in making a Dell Venue Pro 8 copy. Those who want more performance than Baytrail delivers and do not care for x86 apps currently have no choice besides getting an Apple or Android device.

agree 100% on the graphics part. intel graphics drivers are a POS. I mean this is a 1K device capable of running photoshop (and not the cheap ipad thing), yet you cannot do a clone to an external screen w/o having display tear on your tablet....WTF! intel drivers = trash.

Currently I'm more interested in cherry trail based surface within 12 month from now. Surface pros are just too heavy and bulky for me

They can with the 11w Y series i3 & i5. Intel did not have enough of them ready when the surface pro 2 launched.

The bulk and the fan, somehow, needs to go. Only then it could be a "tablet". For now, it is a notebook/laptop replacement.

Maybe they could build a surface mini with Atom Bay Trail :D These would be thinner, less power hungry and could sport full Win 8.1 x64.

I want to see a 9 inch 16:10/15:9, super slim, Intel cherry trail based surface. That will be my dream device THIS year

It's coming. Form factors will be a bit more sleek with each iteration. FWIW, I had a Surface and have a Surface Pro - hard to tell the difference size wise.

I'm looking forward to cherry trail too. My bay trail powered DV8P works great until I hook it up to my three-monitor dock and try to watch high definition videos with 5.1 surround sound. That's when I start noticing a little bit of slowdown and the de-syncing of the audio stream.
Here's to hoping cherry trail will provide that tiny bit of extra oomph.

ah yes. I'm kind of upset about it however. MSFT always releases BEFORE intel or ARM ups their generation which means they are step behind all the time. this happened with the surface RT where soon after we had more powerful arm chips, and it also happened with surface 2 where the nokia went with the qualcomm chip that came out just after. On both ocassions, if they had just planned the release a few months after, they would have had access to the new chips.

I'm hoping this won't be one of those situations where MSFT releases surface and then intel releases cherry trail which will be on every competitor's tablet causing the surface to make little purchase sense. I fact, if they want to blow the doors off everybody, come out with the 14nm intel chip on their new tablet...then we're talking. Otherwise we won't see it until know just as intel is ready to release the next big thing....

you'd think MSFT has inside knowledge of intel's roadmap which could allwow them to be on the favorable side of the cadence instead of on the trailing end.


Isn't it too soon to move to a Surface Pro 3 already? Unless it's significantly cheaper than the Pro 2, I don't see the logic in releasing one under that brand so soon.

Also, one would guess a Pro 3 would come at the same time as a Surface 3.

There is no Haswell refresh Surface Pro and Broadwell isn't coming until 2015 so it's not really to soon.

No he means Haswell refresh. Intel released a refreshed line of Haswell chips that are more power efficient than the Haswell chips that came out last year.

Don't forget that the average consumer doesn't know not care about the kind I'd chip in the computer. To them what they'll see is the name in it.

Correct, I sell second hand laptop for a living (among other products) and the vast amount of hair pulling that is required to explain why this i5 laptop is cheaper than THIS i5 laptop (unless we are talking Apple, no one cares about the price of an Apple laptop so long as it is cheaper than new) really grinds my gears. People need to learn at least a little about computers before trying to buy one.

It ends up being a case of me asking "what is the purpose for the laptop? Using Facebook and listening to music, got it, $200 i3 for you."

"but its not an i7!"

"would you buy a million dollar helicopter to go to the corner shop? No? Then why buy an $800 laptop to do basic tasks."

Without fail, 90% of my conversations go like that. Frustrating.

Yeah it happens the same to me when friends ask me for help to get a phone or a computer. Though I've been able to prevent 99% of them to buy Apple. But they do think about Apple first. Which goes to show how much the Microsoft brand has lost touch with the consumers that actually grew up with it.

I still recommend apple phones to customers who want something incredibly basic that just works. The problem is that you can say the app gap is closing until you are blue in the face bit whenever you walk around and see signs pointing out the "app" for whatever institution you happen to be walking past, 90% of the time WP is missing still. That doesn't denote a simple, casual experience. Maybe this is more of an issue in Australia though.

That being said I have been able to sell wp devices when needed, but honestly we don't actually get very many in the store.

Well to be honest when I prevent friends from getting an iPhone I seldom turn them to WP. Mainly because I know they just care about the apps. So I generally send them to Sony's Android offerings. I don't think the App gap isn't really closing. The "hip app gap" sure but the rest not so much. From banking to TVs etc, WP is also missing around here.

Yeah fuck Microsoft for not releasing SP2 in Malaysia. Now I've to wait for the 3rd Gen Surface Pro. God this endless wait never stops!

Wow! the world really has become and global village, Malaysians used to be very nice and cursing was not part of their language. I'm not judging, just sayng:xD

Yeah sorry about that. I'm not the kind of person who curse on every opportunity I get. It's not in our culture. But I hope you guys understand... I just couldn't stand it.

I'd be interested in a pro 3 with begged up internals and greater battery longevity.

Can't wait to see what's in store.

And perhaps a power cover with BACKLIGHTING and a better glide passed would be nice!!!!!!

That's all I wanted, but got sick of waiting and bought a MacBook Pro instead, threw Windows 8.1 Pro on it and haven't looked back. No touch screen, but its about as close as I think we're going to get to a Surface Ultrabook...

Oh give me a break. Sony is not in PC business anymore? If so, that means no further support (drivers, etc.)?

Yes, if it arrives to India. I will be waiting. And I don't have tablet. When traveling and on long hauls, tabs are always a better choise of entertainment and portablity.

How come they keep saying Intel based Surface as if this would be the first ever Intel based Surface? Why not just say Surface Pro 3? 

Maybe because it's not impossible for them to have a mini with full windows, running on Intel Atom...

Maybe they give up on Windows RT and release an Atom Surface. Microsoft is now the only company selling RT tablets, and not many buy them.

After they retract from Metro on Windows more and more and sell the Xbox without Kinect after stating for months that wouldn't happen, such a step wouldn't be surprising to me.

Hey, there are a lot of RT tablets. Such as Lumia 2520 Dell XPS and I think there's Acer RT tablet

What do you mean retract from metro? I can see it and use it well on my laptop. Microsoft listens to costumers in things like "give us a cheaper Xbox" or "we want a more mouse friendly interface", but I don't think that they would listen to "kill your products because I don't like them".

@Chregu. Yeah but that's The Verge. You can't take a thing they say about MS or any of their products seriously because they have a pretty nasty bias against them. Even without the Kinect, I think the One stands out because it benefits from the MS ecosystem. Also, people still have the option to add one later.

Oh come on. When Engadget writes something critical towards Microsoft they are biased and everybody tells me I should read The Verge, and now it is the other way around. And every tech blog is always totally against Microsoft anyway. Good recent ratings for devices are all forgotten, also positive news, if it wasn't that funny it would annoy me.

And yes, I read multiple sources including Engadget, The Verge and this page here ;-)

Actually I avoid both as I've head some pretty phenomenal amounts of ignorance out of the writers there. I don't expect only good news about MS all the time but I do expect a person writing about them to have some sort of knowledge and prefer they leave out the snark. As you say though positive things are always forgotten. Human nature and the internet I guess.

Do yourself the favor of not going to either Engadget or The Verve. They are pretty much the same thing, biased blog writers. If they hired a real journalist I would be surprised.

You can say this about pretty much every provider of news out there. Nothing is neutral. Or did you ever wonder why newspapers are usually divided into right winged and left winged?

I enjoy the Engadget articels, and they are often much faster than WPC with news. I also have never detected any strong bias against Microsoft, and I use only Windows computers and a Windows Phone.

And WPC is much more biased in every way as they focus on Microsoft products.

Also, I don't really care about your bias against blog writers either.

I think it would be a strange move from Microsoft to stop developing Windows RT (ARM). At the very least, to have a bigger installed/test base for Windows server editions if ARM becomes a bigger player in that field. The more obvious reason is that tablets and other smaller types of PC are growing like mad, and even with Google and Apple being the big winners in this generation of computing, it does not mean there's no space for a Microsoft product/service out there.

I will be using a Surface Pro this week as part of a demo and I find it chunky and heavy compared to normal tablets and new laptops. I think there's little point in trying to have all legacy code ready at the same time new form factors and new ways of using PCs become more relevant. It would be great for Microsoft if everyone buying tablets and other new computers decided they MUST have Windows or old X86 application on it, but it's clear this is not happening. Microsoft is late to this game but will have to fight for their market share using RT.

RT is basically Windows 8, compiled for ARM. Aside the architecture-specific code which they have been implementing for Winphone anyway, all other components are the same

Exactly. To put this into prespective less than 1% of kernel code is (usually) architecture specific and less than 1% of OS code is kernel code.

The next challenge for Microsoft ist to support ARMv8 64-bit architecture. Currently only ARMv7 is supported by the OS and the (compiler)toolchain.

I'll buy one,hopefully it will have a 4k screen and all the best internals too. I need to replace my aging vista desktop

I would have thought it was to son for a surface pro 3 but the 2 was a minor upgrade so maybe they're ready to do more with this one. Looking for an upgrade from my rt so if the source of this are good and its got a stylus and isn't too thick I'm interested.

No thanks. Would prefer a Surface branded Ultrabook with a touch screen (well only if they release one).

I have never had any interest in Surface Pro. Too big and clunky. That is why the Great Spaghetti Monster created ultrabooks. On a tablet, RT is the ticket for me. And I can hardly wait for the new Mini.

I like a surface mini and I want a surface phone!!!

Surface (Pro) 3 - even an announcement - would be way too early and just stupid. I would be mad with my 5 months old surface pro 2.

My money is on a 11w Haswell i3-4030Y to replace the old 17w i5 in the original surface pro. That tablet was recently removed from the microsoft store. The new cpu would allow them to hit the same price point ($600-650), remove the cpu fans, make it thiner than .5" & improve the battery life to 7+ hours.

I really hope it's a reasonably -sized larger tablet that could work with the FreedomCase for Surface Pro/Pro 2, has an i7, 8 GB of RAM, and better in so many more ways that I've been thinking about but can't think of off the top of my head because I'm so excited!

I would love a Surface 3. There wasn't a lot of incentive to upgrade from the 1 to the 2 (it seems they spent most of their time upgrading the RT, and little to no time upgrading the Pro), so if there are big improvements to the 3, I'm in!

I would love a Surface Pro 3! It took so long before the Surface Pro 2 - 256GB models were finally in stock on their website that I decided to hold off on buying a new one until Surface 3. I have a Surface Pro original and a Surface 2 and love them both! :)

You clearly have no idea where the surface is going. When the first surface came no one looked at it as more than just a tablet, then with the surface 2 it was branded as a laptop replacement, so yes a toaster refrigerator is coming :p

It means he wants a surface that is powerful enough to replace his desktop computer. This is going to happen, it's inevitable, your phone or tablet will also be your home workstation, stick it into a dock and you are good to go.

Actually it wouldn't even need a dock, just come home and it connects automatically and your lounge room wall turns into a display.

oh yeah, it will replace my 4 year old desktop. it is a matter of physics guys. you cannot replace a modern desktop with a modern tablet period unless you're under utilizing the desktop. My SP2 cannot yet match my desktop, and I doubt the new one can. In particular the chipset and the GPU will not be rivaled by tablet SOC for a decade +. And a desktop a decade + away, will not be matched by those tablets.

it is the same naive analogy all the time: you'll carry a supercomputer in a box in a year, thus supercomputers will go away. except off course that super computers will be even more powerful by then, thus ensuring super computers, just as desktops will not just be around, but kick the living lights out of your silly tablet year after year after year. :) I can assure you, my core i7 "2020" desktop chip will eat your core i3 mobile chipset for lunch. Its physics. 

20 years ago, software was advancing faster than hardware, in terms of size and complexity, so a desktop replacement was an absurd term back then and people would still not live without a desktop. Today the opposite is happening, hardware advanced beyond software (and beyond what people usually do with their computers), this is why cellphones and tablets are replacing computers, and PC sales are declining.

The term "desktop replacement" is referring to something different than what you took literally. If I want a dedicated gaming machine I will certainly build a desktop, but that's not the only reason why people use desktops.

Cell phones and tablets are computers. PC sells are declining, no for a number of reasons not just because of tablets or cell phones. A 5 year old PC can run today's software fairly well, thus no need to upgrade. If daily use software was more demanding people would replace their aging machines.

the reason for the decline is that people used to use them for web and email. But the inconvenient fact you're ignoring is that desktops, or more accurately workstations, aren't getting any less relevant because processes and data demands are only increasing. Consider this:

1080p used to be taxing on editing for your desktop. Today is no problem. So desktops are useless? think again the next time you have to handle that 4K file. The reasons desktops will always be around is because the needs will never diminish. So while your average joe, who only needs web and email no longer needs a desktop, much less a replacement, your guy editing 4-8K video, running a scientific simulation, or designing a car will certainly look at your "desktop replacement " tablet and laugh his ass off. I know I'm laughing right now :)

Oh,btw I work in IT and my Surface Pro has replaced my desktop and my laptop. Runs everything I need and does it with ease.

yeah, I have a surface pro which has replaced my laptop/desktop also. But when I have to load a 32GB in memory database to run a unit test that takes the whole weekend to run, let me tell your that the desktop is the only machine that will do the job outside of a heavy iron server.

if you're replacing a desktop, it is because the desktop left you behind.

Surely waht you are saying then is that YOU could not replace YOUR desktop with a SP2/3 but others may eaisly be able to. I am a software dev and I am looking at moving to SP - tried buying one but had a DOA unit. Now i will wait and see if there is a spec bump.

As I do more and more Azure development my dev pc needs are going down not up but everyone is different and thats why we have choice i guess :)

no, what I'm telling YOU is that if YOU can replace yout desktop with a tablet, then you didn't have to use a desktop to begin with :)

if you're a true desktop user, you know, gamer type, high power type, your needs aren't going down, but always up.

software always stays ahead of hardware. And while there is some truth that a desktop for web and email is irrelevant, desktops are doing other know stuff that NEEDS a desktop.

and don't get me started on azure lol. super expensive VMs that charge for the compute bit aren't a match to the value I get out of a desktop...which works offline great for the ocassional FPS exeprience. try that on azure and tell me about the bill.

Well thats good, i think we agree then but just different personal requirements. You make a good point. Im quite surprised that VS2013 and some addons etc looks to run fine on a tablet but to be fair SP 2/ 3 is an ultrabook with the keyboard cut off. Not exactly accurate but you know what I mean, its not really a tablet is it. Still nice form factor for portability, handy for me when i want to take it away for the weekend.

Azure is awesome and super cheap but i dont know about VMs on it, I was referring to AZURE SQL DBs and web - very very cheap and scalable. Amazing stuff really. Never tried the VMs cant really think of why you woul dbut im sure some do. Maybe I need to read more - so much to read so little time ;)

oh VMs are great. just don't forget to turn them off when you're done coding or you'll end up with a surprise bill.

Let's hope their drivers won't be a steaming pile of crap like on SP2. Even now this device crashes while on sleep even after hundreds of comments and reports at the MS fix in sight. DP 1.2 MST hubs don't work. The wireless card gets fixed every month. If this is what we have to look forward from phones...oh boy.

I can't figure out exactly what MSFT's thinking with the Surface family. It looks like they're content using the brand as a showcase of what's possible rather than as an attempt to sell large quantities. They leave the BayTrail systems, which should be the sweet spot for Windows tablets, to the OEMs and only sell the tech demo ARM Surface 2 along with the high end Surface Pro 2. Both are niche markets. I guess they don't want to p*** off their OEMs.


agree nfc woudl be cool but what would we actually use it for aon a daily basis? Just curious, I will be buying one either way.

I want a Surface to challenge iPod touch so I can get rid of mine.
Give a minimum 120gb Surface media player in a pocketable form and I'm in.

Still enjoying my surface pro one. Also waiting for the power cover to drop in price. currently too expensive!

Me too! I did want a Pro 2, but i still love my orginal Pro. So I figured i'll wait for the 3rd pro.

I have a SP2, now I just want a 5" thin-bezel Surface Phone powered by Windows RT, which i will use as a phone (duh) AND mini tablet. That's my dream.

My Lenovo x220 with 8 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage went down last week and I turned to my Surface Pro. Because I was using it as a notetaking machine and an extention of my main computer, I was surprised to see that I was able to get up in a couple of hours and function without missing a beat. The bonus is that it is a regular computer with a desktop and a tablet with Windows 8.1. I saw how it could easily be my desktop replacement. That was an original Pro, not a Pro 2. If there would be a 13" Pro 3 I would seriously consider it. That would put it in the Lenovo weight class but I would really prefer something around 2 pounds. The main reason I didn't do an RT is because I am a strong user of Onenote and the Wacom tablet and stylus support is important. I am hoping that with the new RTs and RT Mini that they would include the Wacom support. If they did that I would buy one of those too. :-)

All I want is for them is to release it internationally so that I, and everyone else who wish to have one in currently unsupported countries, could get our hands on them. Is that too much to ask?

The Surface Pro 3 might be almost as fast as an original Surface Pro if it uses an i7 Y chip. If it also has a low power dGPU it could be faster.

I really hope this is true. Bought 512Gb version on Sunday, had to take it back Monday as March firmware update broke it. Got replacement and took that back on Tuesday - same batch, same problem.

may be a lucky escape as I would definitely opt for a slightly more powerful version as i intend to use it as my main dev PC