Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Microsoft introduces latest laptop replacement

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NEW YORK -- Microsoft bills its new Surface tablet computer as a laptop replacement -- and it means it this time.

The Surface Pro 3 will have a screen measuring 12 inches diagonally, up from 10.6 inches in the previous model. The Pro 3 is 32 per cent thinner and 12 per cent lighter than October's Pro 2. The company said it customized more than 100 parts and worked closely with chipmaker Intel Corp. to maximize performance in a slim device.

Microsoft had also billed the Surface Pro 2 as a laptop replacement, but Surface executive Ben Reed said technological advances and customer feedback over the past several months led to the device unveiled Tuesday.

The Surface Pro 3 will go on sale this summer, in five configurations ranging from $799 to $1,949. Microsoft will start taking orders today. Older models will still be available. The starting price of the Pro 2 is $100 more, at $899, but it has a faster processor than the Pro 3's starting model.

A keyboard cover to make the tablet feel like a laptop costs $130 more.

The Surface is an important part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's mobile-focused strategy. The company is trying to boost sales of Windows tablets and phones to stay relevant with consumers as computing habits change.

Microsoft executives spent much of an hour-long presentation in New York comparing the Surface with Apple's iPad and MacBook Air laptop and tried to make the case for the Pro 3 to replace both.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 21, 2014 B6

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