Live Updates: Microsoft Debuts Surface Pro 3

Microsoft debuted its Surface Pro 3 tablet with a 12-inch screen at an event in New York City on Tuesday.

3 things you need to know now:
  • Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3, a tablet that the company says can replace the laptop.
  • Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch screen, versus the Pro 2's 10.6-inch screen.
  • At 9.1mm thick, it's the "thinnest Intel Core product ever made," Microsoft says.
See the latest updates below...

Microsoft introduces Surface Pro 3 ("The tablet that can replace your laptop.")

11:24 a.m. ET / May 20, 2014

Surface Pro 3 is "the tablet that can replace your laptop," according to the tagline. It’s 9.1mm thin — the "thinnest Intel Core product ever made" — with a 12" screen, multi-position kickstand and a 2160x1440 screen — “pretty important,” according to Panay.

What we have here is a full-blown Intel-core-based Windows Machine with a size and weight similar to Surface RT -- which makes us wonder if people held off on buying original Surface Pro because it was too heavy. Yet, Microsoft expanded the screen to 12 inches. That's big. 

The big question here is why did Microsoft ignore the 8-inch revolution? 

Is the company officially moving away from the consumer market? In the tablet space, the answer has to be yes. Consumers who want tablet technology from Microsoft should look to phablet-sized phones from Nokia.

Microsoft shows that the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than a MacBook Air. But is this really the best comparison Microsoft should make? And what about the added weight of a keyboard? Microsoft doesn’t answer that question.

Panay is making a big deal about the screen, which sounds great (2160x1440, highest contrast ratios in industry, etc.) and weight, but it's the multi-position kickstand that will get people to use this as a laptop — as Microsoft clearly found, even two positions aren't enough.

Microsoft is talking about scaling technology for the Surface Pro 3. Presumably referring to improved HiDPI support in Windows 8.1. Our question: Are apps going to scale accordingly? Our past tests with using Windows 8.1 with a 4K display has had mixed results. For this type of aspect ratio and screen resolution to work effortlessly, Microsoft needs to ensure its software is up to snuff. No one wants to look at tiny icons on a 12-inch screen, especially if your finger is a primary input device.


The Surface man takes the stage

11:10 a.m. ET / May 20, 2014

"A device that enables you to create art and enjoy art.That's the mission of the Surface line, Nadella says, which represents an ideal combination of what a tablet and a laptop has to offer — seemingly pointing toward a larger Surface tablet, as opposed to a smaller one. 

We know it's new hardware, we know it's another Surface, but it's still unclear who this device will before and what size it will be. We're getting nervous that this is going to be for business. The video is showing an architect using Surface, then a student who is developing Web sites.

Microsoft then made a very salient point: 96% of people carrying iPads have laptops in their backpacks. This is true and we're not sure anyone believed tablets would kill laptops, but certainly desktop PCs.

We can’t help but think Microsoft keeps trying to recreate the Courier concept that was killed several years ago. The idea of pen computing is something Microsoft has focused on since the first Windows tablets from the early 2000s. The question, we think, is that very few actual users want to use a pen. Or want to use a Surface the way we see it in these demos.

We're inside — and the event is now getting underway

11 a.m. ET / May 20, 2014

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opens the event
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is on stage now — meaning this is a big and important deal for the company. He's recapping what Microsoft has done in the last few months, saying, "Today is the next step of that journey. We're here to talk about hardware." He’s pushing on business and enabling — not talking a lot about consumers, which could be a concern. "We are not interested in building refrigerators or toasters," he added, a subtle reference to something Tim Cook said about Windows hybrids over a year ago -- that they're analogous to refrigerator-toasters, essentially a mashup that no one wants.

No loose lips at Microsoft Surface event

10:30 a.m. ET / May 20, 2014

Mashable's Pete Pachal and Lance Ulanoff are on the scene in New York City -- and they're providing live updates on Twitter. Lance has already spoken to multiple Microsoft representatives and they will reveal nothing. All of them just smile back at him and say to wait. Says Lance: “I even asked on guy to blink once forbid we were wrong and twice if we were right. He literally gave me a bug-eyed stare.” 

It's do or die for Windows RT

3 p.m. ET / May 19, 2014 / Pete Pachal


This much we know about Microsoft's "small" Surface event happening Tuesday in New York City: It will mark the launch of the long-awaited Surface Mini. The Mini will be Microsoft's official entry into the small-screen tablet market, currently dominated by the likes of the Apple iPad mini and Amazon's Kindle Fire.

What we don't know is exactly how Microsoft is going to present its pint-size Surface to the world. The path Microsoft lays out for the Surface Mini will show just how much confidence the company has in Windows RT, the version of Windows tailor-made for tablets but one that so far hasn't found much love from PC manufacturers.

If there was ever a product where running Windows RT made the most sense, it's a small-screen tablet. Windows RT, after all, is the flavor of Windows that tastes best on tablets powered by ARM chips, putting touch-first apps from the Windows Store front and center. Although it has a desktop, it's really only there to run Office, since apps made for Windows 7 (and earlier versions) won't run on Windows RT devices.

Microsoft hinted at Surface Mini's debut in early-May invitation

Karissa Bell

Microsoft sent us an invitation for a "small gathering" hosted by Microsoft's Surface team in New York on Monday. We’ll be there with a small team — and covering it live.

You can watch it unfold right on Mashable or follow our tweets @MashableLive. Then, stick around for the extensive post-event analysis. 

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