Microsoft thinks it might have the tablet that could replace the laptop – the larger and thinner Surface Pro 3. I have an original Surface Pro – the tablet that runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and has a detachable keyboard – and I like it very much. My one complaint is that it can be a little small sometimes. Screen just a bit too small and the keyboard just a little too tight. This new, larger size could change all that.

It’s a great little device, but it hasn’t been a huge seller for Microsoft. The new Surface Pro 3 is sized more like a small laptop with a 12″ screen, but still weighs less than two pounds, even with the keyboard attached and the screen is just over 1/3 of an inch thick.

The device can be used as a touchscreen tablet or you can attach a keyboard that also acts as a cover. The touch cover is a flat Touch keyboard, while the Type cover has physical keys and feels more like a traditional keyboard. The new keyboards also features wider touch pads and come in a variety of colors.

One of the nice features of a Surface, is that unlike other tablets that require a case to use as a stand, it has a built-in kick stand that lets you use it upright. With the Surface Pro 3, the kickstand is now adjustable to put the device at the angle you prefer. It also now balance a little better on laps when you need to use the keyboard.

There’s a new, improved stylus pen that allows you to take notes in your own handwriting and perform other tasks on the touch screen. When you’re using the special pen, the device recognizes your hand and prevents your palm from accidentally activating the touch screen while resting on it.

This device runs the full version of Windows 8.1 -so unlike iPads, Android tablets and Windows RT tablets, you can run fully functional Windows programs like Office, Photoshop or other productivity software.

Hard drive space starts  64 GB but does all the way up to 512 GB. It uses the 4th generation Intel Core processor, boasts an extended battery life of up to 9 hours of web browsing and a 2160 by 1440 resolution for the screen. The starting price is $799.

Unlike many tablets, the Surface Pro offers USB ports and allows you to connect USB devices and flash drives. There will also be an ethernet adapter that allow a wired connection as opposed to the wireless connection most tablets are limited to.

¬†Some people are tossing around the term PC-killer, which I think misses the point about tablets. Tablets are not killing the personal computer, even though sales of laptops and desktops are falling. Tablets and smartphones are personal computers. What’s more personal that a computer you can carry around with you everywhere? Microsoft is attempting to combine the best features of the laptop with the best features of the tablet and finally gain footing in the tablet market while stopping the skid in sales of laptops.

~ Cynthia