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Surface 3 – A Cheap Tablet That Will Run On Windows 10

Microsoft will release Windows 10 by the end of this month, on July 29 more exact, Surface 3 users will be able to upgrade for free. This tablet has weaker specs than the Surface Pro 3, but it’s also convertible, so if you attach a physical keyboard, you’ll transform it into a nice small laptop with a 10.8inches display and a magnesium-alloy body. If you want to dig up more information about the Surface 3, below you’ll find everything that interests you.

The differences between the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 are noticeable only on the inside, where they host two types of processors. The premium version from this family uses an Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor, while the Surface 3 has a weaker 14nm Atom Cherry Trail chip, but which runs pretty fast and it doesn’t make too much noise, because it lacks a fan. However, don’t worry about the heat, because it’s hardly getting warm.


Obviously, the Surface 3 is cheaper than the Surface Pro 3. The prices depend on the internal configuration, so prepare your money, because this is how much you’ll spend on one of the two variants:

– $499 for 64GB of storage / 2GB of RAM / WiFi;
– $599 for 128GB of storage / 4GB of RAM / WiFi.

There are also two more variants that support 4G connectivity, but they’re not available in the official store, at this moment. However, in addition, Microsoft will offer you 1 year Office 365 Personal, which normally has a value of $69.99.

If you’ll decide to buy a keyboard for your Surface 3, you’ll spend $130 and you will be able to order it from the Microsoft Store. You will also need a docking station to transform the tablet into a desktop workstation and this accessory costs also $130. If you’re a fan of pens, the tool is priced at $50, just like the Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition.

Surface 3 2


The Surface 3 looks almost identical to the bigger Surface 3, featuring a body built of magnesium alloy with a matte gray finish on the back. There is a kickstand which will help you adjust the cover to different angles for the position of the tablet: 22, 44, and 60 degrees. Since the device lacks a fan, it’s thinner than the Surface Pro 3, measuring 8.7mm, and it has a weight of only 180 grams. The Surface 3 lacks also a proprietary magnetic charger, and instead, it’s powered through a standard Micro-USB charger.

It has a power button located at the top-right side, where you’ll also find the volume rocker. As normal, you’ll get a microSD card reader, a headset jack to insert headphones, there’s a MiniDisplay port, cover port and the aforementioned micro-USB charging port.

The 10.8inches ClearType Full HD Plus display is able to provide a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. Some analysts tested it with the i1Display Pro colorimeter, and it resulted that it rated 416 cd/m2 (nits), which means that it’s a bright display that beats Asus’ T100 Chi’s 319.2 cd/m2. However, like most of the screens, this one has problems in direct sunlight, because you will read content with difficulties, but when it comes to viewing angles, the IPS panel won’t disappoint you. In addition, the screen supports full 10-point multi-touch and it’s pretty responsive.

Operating System

The Surface 3 is shipped with Windows 8.1 and here are some of the applications that come installed on it: Calendar, Weather, Microsoft Office 365 Personal (free for on one year), OneNote, OneDrive, Fresh Paint, Drawboard PDF, Flipboard, Maps, Food & Drink, Money, Mail, Internet Explorer, Sound recorder, Skype etc.


Internally, the device has a quad core Intel Atom x7-78700 processor (2MB Cache), clocked at 1.6GHz, but supporting turbo boost to 2.4GHz. It’s backed by 2 or 4 GB LPDDR3 1600 MHz, it houses Integrated Intel HD Graphics and a flash memory of 128GB.

The tablet has been tested several times and below we’ll present you the benchmarking results:
– Cinebench R15 GPU: 17.70fps
– Cinebench 11.5 GPU: 11.38fps;
– Cinebench R15 CPU Multi core: 144cb; Single core: 37cb
– Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 1.74 points
– 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 2,352;
– Sky Diver: 1,094;
– Fire Strike: 288
– PCMark 8 Home: 1,682 points
– PC Mark 8 Battery Life: 7 hours and 55 minutes.

The Surface 3 has a 27 Wh battery onboard which offers up to ten hours of video playback. You can charge the battery to its full capacity within 2.5 hours.


On the back side they placed an 8MP shooter which can record videos at 1080p HD, it has autofocus and just a few features which help producing great photos. The front camera isn’t exceptional, but it supports a resolution of 3.5MP and it’s perfect for Skype video conferences.

Costea Lestoc
Costea Lestoc
I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about SEO, technology and gadgets in general. I am a technical writer, author and blogger since 2005. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets.
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