Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 3: The similarities and the differences

As the first two generation Surface tablets did before it, the Surface 3 shares a lot visually with its Pro compatriot. So, now we've got a Surface 3 and a Surface Pro 3 you might be wondering how different they are?

Let's take a look at the main specs:

Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 3

Specs as ever only tell part of the story. It's no surprise that the Surface Pro 3 is a little bigger, has a higher resolution display, higher storage options and CPU options all the way up to the 4th generation Intel Core i7.

The Surface 3 by comparison could be considered a 'slimmed down' version of the Surface Pro 3. You get the same design, same 3:2 form factor, even the same accessories made available for it such as the Docking Station and Type Cover. You even still get pen support.

Scaling down the internal hardware with the reduction in size and display resolution also leaves the Surface 3 priced pretty well compared to the Surface Pro 3. Starting at $499 in the U.S. compared to $799, it's a decent saving to go with such a 'slimmed down' version. And you have the bonus of a 1-year subscription to Office 365 included with the Surface 3. Something you don't get with its bigger brother.

There are also some other small differences in how the Surface 3 charges and stands up. It uses microUSB charging compared to the proprietary charger on the Surface Pro 3. The kickstand on the Surface 3 is also a little more limited with just three different positions compared to the many possible with the Surface Pro 3.

So, which should you buy? It's a tough ask. From what we know so far it looks at least like the new Surface 3 will give a comparable experience to the existing Surface Pro 3 albeit with less powerful hardware and a smaller body.

And that doesn't sound bad at all.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at